Feb 09, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Perhaps competing on home mats helped the Baldwinsville wrestling team just enough to secure a third consecutive Section III Class AA championship.
Unlike 2012 and 2013, when it had to go to Cicero-North Syracuse to claim the sectional title, the Bees got to serve as hosts in the refurbished Baker High School gymnasium when nine teams gathered Saturday for the 2014 edition of the AA tournament.
And right to the last bout, the team outcome was in question. But with titles from Kevin Paul, Gunnar Sutphen and Joe Nasoni, B’ville held on and, with 197.5 points, edged C-NS (196.5 points) for the team title. Liverpool (184 points) and CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt (179.5 points) were close behind in the third and fourth spots.
Paul, a two-time sectional champion, got through at 138 pounds, where he had a bye straight to the semifinals before pinning Yvan Kouakou (West Genesee) in 1:11. Then, in the finals, Paul dominated against C-NS’s Joe Copani, nearly getting a technical fall, but winning a 16-3 decision.
Sutphen got going at 182 pounds by pinning Nate Knox (Liverpool) in 2:31 and then handled Dalton Elias (West Genesee) 14-4 in the semifinals. And the title bout against CBA/J-D’s Mark Friske didn’t prove difficult, either, as Sutphen pinned Friske in the waning seconds of the second period.
For Nasoni, the 220-pound division proved to be a personal showcase. He pinned Corey Swan (Auburn) in 48 seconds, finished off Oliver Froelich (Rome Free Academy) late in the third period and closed it out with a fall over C-NS’s Andres Anoceto in just 1:46.
In all, five B’ville wrestlers made it to the finals. Chad McArdell did so at 152 pounds, beating teammate Steve Petrelli 14-2 in the semifinals before a narrow 8-7 defeat to Liverpool’s Darren Breen in the finals, while Connor Ross got a 31-second pin over Brian Carr to reach the 145-pound title bout, only to fall to Tristan Broddus (Fayetteville-Manlius) in an 11-5 decision.
Josh Peck, finishing third at 113 pounds, pinned Ashanti Gethers (Institute of Technology Central) in 2:15 in the consolation bracket final.
Petrelli eventually finished fourth at 152, with Kevin Lewis fourth at 99 pounds and Alex Bowen fourth at 195 pounds. Tyler Patrick gained fifth place at 106 pounds and Jeremy Pond did the same at 120 pounds with a pin over ITC’s Egal Adan. Spencer Wood (132 pounds) settled into sixth place.
And now with the Class AA honors secured, the Bees could look ahead to Saturday’s Section III Division I championships at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.
Here, the top Class AA and A wrestlers would battle for 15 automatic berths in the Feb. 28-March 1 state tournament at Albany’s Times Union Center, with wild-card berths possible for others with superior records throughout the winter.