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WG wrestlers visit Cornell, take loss to Liverpool

Marcellus, led by Hood, takes fifth at OHSL meet

West Genesee’s wrestling team had a memorable weekend, regardless of what took place on the mat.

Instead of the typical CNY Counties League meet against Liverpool, the two sides took their Saturday contest to Ithaca – or more specifically, to Cornell University’s Friedman Wrestling Center, the country’s only college-level facility devoted solely to wrestling and home of a program currently no. 7 in the national rankings.

WG lost the meet, 45-30, to the Warriors, but still managed a string of victories, including the 195-pound opener, where Caleb Blasczienski pinned Louis Ragonese in 1:56.

Liverpool took the next three matches before Mike Linton, at 106 pounds, pinned Dominick Battaglia in 3:12. Odae Badwan (126 pounds) claimed a forfeit after Tyler Heggelke, at 120 pounds, got into a tough battle with Anthony Ianno and lost a 2-1 decision.

When Connor Grome pinned his 132-pound opponent, Mark Saba, in 2:44, WG still was in the meet, only trailing 27-25. But the Warriors put it away with wins in the next four matches – two pins and two majority decisions - before Dalton Elias (182 pounds) ended things with a 6-3 victory over Conner O’Connor.

As this went on, Marcellus took part in the OHSL Liberty/Patriot tournament at Cazenovia High School's Buckley Gym, finishing fourth in a 12-team field with 135 points. Phoenix (230 points) held off Port Byron (204 points) for the top spot.

Four Mustangs made it to the final round, but just one prevailed – Ben Hood, at 106 pounds. Hood pinned Anthony Negrette (Tully) and stopped Sean Gilbert (Phoenix) 11-2 to reach the title match, where he held off Joe Brillo (Skaneateles) in a 6-3 decision.

In a close 113-pound final, Zach Ruggles dropped a 4-1 verdict to Andrew Taber (Port Byron), who was named one of the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestlers. Jon Cavaretta lost the 220-pound title match to Maurice Russell (Institute of Technology Central) 13-6, with Kevin Morrissey (160 pounds) suffering a second-period fall against Phoenix’s Justin Rhodes in his championship match.

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