Feb 09, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Tough competition everywhere would await the Marcellus wrestling team as it traveled to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill for Saturday’s Section III Class B championships.
But Zach Ruggles was up to it, as his victory in the 120-pound division, combined with a near-victory for Ben Hood at 113 pounds, gave Mustangs fans plenty to smile about, even though it only finished ninth in a 12-team field.
Ruggles, as the top seed, started in the quarterfinals, where he pinned Peter Davis (Homer) 24 seconds into the second period. Then he met South Jefferson’s Kyle Snyder in the semifinals and won an 8-3 decision.
Moving to the title bout, Ruggles took on Morrisville-Eaton’s Zach Burke, and it proved a close match, with every point important. But Ruggles held on to beat Burke, 5-3, and went to the top of the podium, improving his record to 30-4 this winter.
As this was going on, Hood contended at 113, working past Ross McFarland (Phoenix) 6-2 in the quarterfinals and Austin Vanderhoff (VVS) 6-0 in the semifinals. A close final followed against Mexico’s Hunter Howland, but Howland pulled it out, beating Hood 5-4, just the fifth defeat of the season for Hood against 29 victories.
Sam Rice also wrestled at 113 for the Mustangs, losing to Dennis Hilts (Camden) 4-3 in the quarterfinals, but recovering to finish third, pinning Cameron Cronk (Homer) and edging Vanderhoff 3-2 before shutting out McFarland 4-0 in the consolation bracket final.
With these efforts, Ruggles, Hood and Rice all qualified for this Saturday’s Section III Division II championships at SRC Arena, which start at 10 a.m.
Back in the Class B meet, John Dunn, who is 26-6 this season, lost in the semifinals due to a disqualification against Central Valley Academy’s Nathan Cook. Nate Long took sixth place at 145 pounds, with Kevin Morrissey matching that sixth-place effort at 160 pounds.
West Genesee’s wrestling team went to the sectional Class AA meet at Baldwinsville and picked up 94 points, finishing sixth, while the host Bees (197.5 points) edged Cicero-North Syracuse (196.5 points) for top honors.
Tyler Heggelke won the 126-pound title without a pin, getting past Jack Kinsella (Fayetteville-Manlius) 13-7 and Cole Murphy (CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt) 13-7 to reach the finals, where he held off another CBA/J-D wrestler, Arsen Bagiryan, in a 4-2 decision.
Pete Zholobov contended at 170 pounds, using a 12-1 win over Ed Pickard (Auburn) and a 7-5 decision over Bernard McMillian (Institute of Technology Central) to reach the title bout, only to lose in that round to F-M’s Tim Byrnes in a third-period fall.
Odae Badwan earned third place at 132 pounds when Liverpool’s Mike Mills took an injury default, while Dalton Elias pinned Auburn’s Brandon Malone for third place at 182 pounds. Zach Valerino (285 pounds) was fourth, while Yvan Kouakou (138 pounds) edged Auburn’s John Edwards to finish fifth and Liam Kotas (152 pounds) got sixth place.
Marcellus warmed up for the Class B meet by meeting ITC last Tuesday night and rolling to a 57-12 victory over the Eagles.
Four different Mustang wrestlers earned pins, including Tristan Duger (138 pounds), who took 2:43 to finish off Naseem Fielder, the fastest fall of the evening.
Ruggles pinned David Villegas in 3:36, with Hood earning his pin over Ashanti Gethers in 3:09. Rice waited until the third period before pinning Egal Adan with 42 seconds left.
Morrissey got through the closest bout at 170 pounds, holding off Bernard McMillan 7-5, right after Nate Lukins (160 pounds) defeated Naujalic Walker 11-6.
Dan Tierney had his own tough bout at 145 pounds, but beat Muppenzi Kabera 7-4 as Nick Distefano (132 pounds) blanked Keshon Howard 8-0. Marcellus also got points from forfeits to Long, Riley Donovan (99 pounds) and Brett Weller (106 pounds).