Mar 02, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
From an injury one season ago that prevented an all-out pursuit for the biggest prize of the winter, CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt wrestler Ben Honis made quite an impression in his return to the state championship meet last weekend at Albany’s Times Union Center.
All that Honis did was go 4-1 on the weekend and snare a third-place finish in Division I at 195 pounds, matching Carthage’s Trevor Gibbons (285 pounds) for the best Section III effort of the meet in the large-school category.
Honis had plenty of motivation for his second state meet appearance, as a torn rotator cuff suffered just before he went to Albany in 2013 led to a quick exit. Now fully healed, he expected, at the very least, a deep run, possibly to the finals.
Meeting Monsignor Farrell’s Michael Newman in his opening-round bout, Honis battled through a scoreless first period, and then used an escape and takedown in the second period to grab a 3-0 lead. Within seconds, Honis had Newman’s shoulders on the mat, and earned the pin in 3:13.
This gave Honis a quarterfinal bout against Kings Park’s Nick Weber, and while he couldn’t pin Weber, Honis remained in top form, pulling away late to earn a 9-3 decision and advance to Saturday afternoon’s semifinal bout against Union-Endicott’s Reggie Williams.
Trailing 5-0 in the second period, Honis used a reversal, takedown and escape to tie it, 5-5, by the third period, but Williams’ late takedown proved too much to overcome as Honis lost, 7-5, to the man who eventually beat Andrew Grella (Beacon) for the state championship.
Guaranteed a spot on the awards podium, Honis pinned Trent Egenlauf in exactly four minutes to reach the consolation bracket final, where against Plainedge’s Robert Oliver, Honis was in total command, using a series of deft moves to prevail 8-2 and earn that third-place spot, finishing his season with a record of 34-2.
Elsewhere, two Fayetteville-Manlius wrestlers had modest success at the state meet, including Pat Quinlan, who won a pair of bouts at 132 pounds. Quinlan did go to the state tournament a year ago – as a spectator, watching his older brother, Tom (now a freshman at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.), compete.
Now it was Pat’s turn. In his first-round match against Union-Endicott’s Xavian Hughes, Quinlan got a first-period takedown and went in front, 2-1, but then in the second period put Hughes on his back, a reversal and near-fall that made it 7-1. Hughes fought back, closing the gap to 7-5, but Quinlan took over late and went on to win, 14-6, to advance to the quarterfinals.
Here, the dream of a state title ended. Said Kakhramonov (New Utrecht) withstood Quinlan’s effort and, with a late takedown, prevailed 9-6. Angry with that, Quinlan pinned Chris Truglio (Minisink Valley) in just 49 seconds in the consolation bracket before a narrow 5-4 defeat to Pearl River’s John Muldoon left Quinlan one victory short of a podium finish with a 41-4 mark for the winter.
Also from F-M, Tristan Broddus said that all the time in the off-season spent working out and competing in various tournaments were the key to his claiming the 145-pound sectional title.
But in the opening round of the state tournament, Broddus ran into Lockport’s Kirk Feeney, who grabbed a 2-0 first-period lead with a takedown. He responded with a second-period reversal that tied it, 2-2, and after Feeney escaped, Broddus got a takedown to go up, 4-3, with one period left.
Yet another takedown produced a 6-3 lead, and though Feeney hung in there, Broddus prevailed, 6-4, and like Quinlan would make his way to the quarterfinals, facing Tommy Dutton (Rocky Point), who proved far too tough, beating Broddus in a 15-0 technical fall.
Much like Quinlan, Broddus won his initial consolation bracket bout, edging Karl Wiesner (Monsignor Farrell) 8-6, and he, too, would lose a round later, pinned by Fox Lane’s Ben Ettinger just before he could get a podium finish. For the season, Broddus had a 35-9 record.
CBA/J-D’s Mark Friske, a wild-card entry after finishing second in the sectional meet at 182 pounds to Baldwinsville’s Gunnar Sutphen, had not expected to make the field, saying he was “pleasantly surprised” when he learned otherwise. He said wrestling against Honis in practice, though he didn’t win that often, made him better for the tests ahead.
But in his first-round bout against Deer Park’s David Hamil, Friske nearly got pinned in the opening period, falling behind 5-0. That margin got stretched to 8-0 in the second period as Friske never got into the contest, only managing a single escape in a 10-1 defeat.
Fortunately, Friske did win a consolation bracket bout when Chaminade’s Connor Watson had to forfeit, but the fun ended there as Dom Pirraglia (Shoreham) pinned Friske in the next round.