Even with its tremendous December run, the Marcellus wrestling team faced a tough, deep field when it went to the Kenneth Haines Memorial Tournament Dec. 27-28 at SUNY-Oswego.
Overall, the Mustangs tied Irondequoit for 18th place with 65 points in a 24-team field. Fairport, with 215.5 points, edged Newark Valley (214 points) for the top spot, with Fulton (207 points) in third place, best among the local sides.
John Dunn had the best finish for Marcellus, at 220 pounds. Beaten in the quarterfinals, he won three bouts in the consolation bracket before falling to Billy Marino (Horace) 2-1 in the third-place match.
Elsewhere, Ben Hood took fifth place at 113 pounds when Hannibal’s Dustin Ouellette forfeited that match, and the same thing happened at 120 pounds, where a forfeit by Victor’s Kevin Marcano allowed Zach Ruggles to take fifth place.
When the Mustangs took the shorter trip to Port Byron for its invitational meet a week later, it fared better, getting to fourth place in an 18-team field with 159.5 points. North Rose-Wolcott (187.5 points), Skaneateles (179 points) and the host Panthers (171 points) made up the top three.
Ruggles would emerge victorious at 120, fighting past Dennis Spaulding (Hannibal) 8-5 in the semifinals and, in the championship match, going to overtime against Port Byron’s Austin Parker before a takedown earned Ruggles a 6-4 decision and the first-place medal.
Hood gained his own title at 113. After dominating Zack Maxwell (Cazenovia) 13-2 in the semifinals, Hood faced Zach Shove (NR-W) in the finals and controlled that match, too, rarely giving up much and winning by an 8-2 margin.
Nate Long got to the 145-pound final, only to run into Shawn Conner (Red Creek) and get pinned late in the first period to settle for second place. Kevin Morrissey lasted the full six minutes in the 160-pound final, but didn’t get on the board in a 7-0 defeat to Ithaca’s Ian VanValen.