UNCASVILLE, Conn., Feb. 16, 2008 – The 2008 Class S wrestling tournament was full of surprises.
Fourteen champions came from 11 schools. Derby was on its way to winning its first state title since 2002 but that fell apart when one of their wrestlers was disqualified in the consolation finals for committing a flagrant misconduct. Ten schools scored at least 100 points, the Berkshire League had five teams in the top 11 and Montville’s Jessica Bennett (103) became just the second girl in state history to win a medal at a CIAC event.
In the end, the state championship was decided in the final match of the evening – the final at 152 pounds between No. 6 seed Nick Herrick of Killingly and No. 4 seed Dustin Wilcox of Montville in a winner-take-all match.
Killingly had just a 1½ point lead over Montville heading into the final match. The match was tied at 2-2 after one period and Herrick took a command 6-3 lead with a takedown with 24 seconds left in the second period. An escape and takedown in the third period secured a 9-4 victory and Killingly’s first Class S title and its second-ever state championship.
“The whole team had to do it,” Killingly coach Rich Bowen said. “It came down to Nick but we never put it on a single wrestler. We win or lose together as a team.”
Killingly finished with 143½ points to Montville’s 137. Nonnewaug, with six medalists came in third with 131 points.
Montville had a 1½ point lead when the finals began. Killingly moved ahead after junior Brandon Thuotte edged Somers’ Troy Zachary at 119 pounds by a 4-3 score. Thuotee had a 4-0 lead with 50 seconds left and he held off Zachary’s late surge.
Montville lost a chance to regain the lead when Griswold’s unbeaten Tyler Banks (130) won his third straight Class S championship with a dominant 11-1 victory over Josh Go.
Killingly could have clinched the title with a victory at 140 pounds but top-seeded James Peek was upset by Morgan’s Robert Butcher, 5-3. The victory earned Butcher the tournament’s outstanding wrestler award.
Montville’s Bennett (103) became the first girl to medal in the state tournament since Windham’s Jenn Ottiano took fifth in the Class L tournament in 1992 and earned some key points for the Indians.
Bennett advanced to the semifinals with two pins before being beaten by eventual champion Rich Wood of St. Bernard. After a 2-0 loss to Killingly’s Tom Lombardi, Bennett beat Thomaston’s Alan Sanford in overtime, 10-8 to finish fifth.
In addition to Bennett, three other Montville wrestlers each finished fifth – Jose Mendoza (112), Dylan Bennett (135) and Nick Manavas (171).
Montville’s Dustin Elie (285) had moved into the quarterfinals with a victory on Friday but he was ill and didn’t show up Saturday, which cost the Indians some potential points.
Juan Flores finished third for Killingly at 145 and Lombardi finished fourth at 103.
Derby could only ponder what if after the Red Raiders fell from the lead. Derby had virtually clinched its fourth state championship but that vanished when No. 2 seed Justin Parlow (145) was disqualified in his consolation final bout with Killingly’s Flores.
Losing 9-0, Flores landed a hard cross face on Parlow, who threw a hard elbow to the chest that stunned Flores. Parlow’s ejection cost Derby three team points and the 20 points that Parlow had earned in the tournament. Derby finished fourth with 129 points.
“I guess the other kid just get frustrated, threw a nasty elbow and put my kid on the mat for a while,” Bowen said. “The refs called it right. It’s just a shame that the kid got that upset.”
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Rocky Hill’s T.J. Magnoli (145) won his second straight Class S title with a 9-2 decision over Thomaston’s Francis Gelada, building a 5-0 lead in the first period and getting two takedowns in 25 seconds in the third period to clinch it.
Magnoli (34-1) had more difficulty with ECC champion Juan Flores of Killingly in the semifinals, prevailed 3-1 in overtime.
“He is a tough wrestler,” Magnoli admitted. “We’re always close. We’re built the same.”
Flores took a 1-0 lead with a second period escape but Magnoli tied it at 1-1 with an escape of his own four seconds into the third period.
Flores nearly took down Magnoli twice in the final 15 seconds but the Rocky Hill grappler was able to maintain his balance and hold off Flores to force overtime.
“He’s great in every position,” Rocky Hill coach Joe Gaboury said. “He is always wrestling. He never stops. He’s always moving.”
That extra effort paid off in overtime. Magnoli saw an opening and went for it and drove into Flores for a takedown with 31 seconds gone and the 3-1 victory.
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Thomaston’s Colin Platt (160) became the first wrestler in his school’s history to win a state title with a 10-4 win over No. 4 seed Andrew Secola of Immaculate-Danbury. The Bear program is only in its seventh season.
Platt had a pair of takedowns in the final 30 seconds of the second period to seize control of his match. “He was strong,” Platt admitted afterward. “I’m probably the weakest 160 pounder out here. Everyone overpowers me so much. I had to use my speed and technique.”
Platt (40-3) had to rally to even make the championship match but he prevailed in a 12-9 semifinal victory over Housatonic’s Brad Visconti. A week ago, Platt beat Visconti, 11-10 with a takedown with 10 seconds remaining to win BL Tournament.
Ahead by a point in the third period, Visconti tried to throw Platt but he slipped and Platt was able to gain control and slam Visconti to his back for a two-point near fall to take the lead for good.
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Terryville senior Justin Cronan (189) became the first Terryville wrestler to earn a spot in the state final since 1994 as he outlasted Berkshire League rival Marsel Bebo with a 3-1 victory in overtime. “It’s hard. It always is,” Cronan said regarding battling Bebo. “When you shoot in, he is right on top of you.”
Each had a one-point escape in regulation. In overtime, Bebo made the shot attempt but Cronan (42-1) countered and slipped behind him for the winning two-point takedown.
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Holy Cross’ senior Dave Wildman became the 12th state champion in school history with his 58 second pin of Gilbert’s Marshall Deane.
“It was a cow catcher,” Wildman said of his winning move. “Basically, it is a headlock and a underhook. You bring your weight down to the mat, drag him down and flip him over.”
Wildman earned a spot in the semifinals with a tight 3-2 decision over Devon Fraser of Hartford Classical.
“For a kid his size, he is a great athletic and he uses his athleticism,” Cross coach Mike Diorio said. “He has a lot of weapons in his arsenal. He is real solid on his feet.”
The Wildman win spoiled a storybook return for Deane, wrestling with a torn ligament in his knee. Deane (16-4) hurt his knee in January at the Northwestern Duals but he returned to the lineup last week for the first time to win a BL Tournament championship and help Gilbert win the BL Tourney for the first time since 1996.
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The Berkshire League had four teams in the top 11. Nonnewaug was third, Housatonic was sixth, Gilbert took eighth, Terryville finished 10th and Thomaston was 11th in the field of 39 teams.
Nonnewaug finished a strong third (131 points) with six wrestlers earning medals. “Our kids wrestled really well,” Nonnewaug coach David Green said. “It was an outstanding day for us.” Marsel Bebo finished second while Rob Basile (112) took third. Keegan Mulready (135) was fourth while Vin Tanuis (130) and Kyle Bucciarelli (215) were fifth. Tyler Tilbe (119) finished sixth.
Housatonic had five medalists including Dom Ghi (119), Sam Schwartz (152) and Brad Visconti (160) who each finished third. Ben Wilbur was fourth at 215 while Peter Brazee was fifth at 189. The Mountaineers were sixth for their best finish since 1992 when they also took sixth.
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Six wrestlers defended won a championship for the second or third time. Griswold’s Tyler Banks (130) won a third title while East Windsor’s Jake Miller (125), Griswold’s Brock Coutu (135), Morgan’s Rob Butcher (140), Rocky Hill’s T.J. Magnoli (145) and Somers’ Tim Vollaro (171) won for the second year in a row.
Killingly holds off Montville to claim first Class S title
2008 Class S tournament
Top team results – 1. Killingly 143½, 2. Montville 137, 3. Nonnewaug 131, 4. Derby 129, 5. Immaculate 124, 6. Housatonic 118½, 7. Griswold 109, 8. Gilbert 104½, 9. Somers 103, 10. Terryville 100½, 11. Thomaston 90, 12. St. Bernard 88½, 13. Canton 86½, 14. Windham Tech 79, 15. East Windsor 72, 16. Weston 69, 17. Granby 68½, 18. Holy Cross 66, 19. Haddam-Killingworth 65, 20. Morgan 59, 21. Suffield 55, 22. Rocky Hill 49½, 23. Hartford Classical 42½, 24. East Catholic 39, 25. Northwestern 31, 26. Shepaug, 27. Ansonia 21, 28. Stafford 20.5, 29. Portland 18, 30. Ellington 8½, 31. Lyman Memorial 7, 32. Old Saybrook, Coventry 6, 34. Old Lyme 5, 35. O’Brien Tech 3; 36. University, Tolland, New London, East Granby 0
Final – Rich Wood, St. Bernard dec. Stephen Carpenter, Canton, 7-2; 3. Kyle Parrilla, Windham Tech dec. Tom Lombardi, Killingly, 8-2; 5. Jessica Bennett, Montville dec. Alan Sanford, Thomaston, 10-8 OT
Final – Rob West, East Windsor dec. Dan Piscottano, Somers, 7-3; 3. Rob Basile, Nonnewaug dec. Dennis Christie, Immaculate, 3-1; 5. Jose Mendoza, Montville pin Ron Allen, Griswold, 2:25
Final – Brandon Thuotte, Killingly dec. Troy Zachary, Somers, 4-3; 3. Dom Ghi, Housatonic win by injury default over John Miller, Stafford; 5. Mike Rossley, Canton dec. Tyler Tilbe, Nonnewaug, 6-2
Final – Jake Miller, East Windsor dec. Dan Curtis, Immaculate, 11-1; 3. Zach Moran, East Catholic dec. Justin Simmers, Haddam-Killingworth, 9-2; 5. Nate Getler, Canton dec. James Driscoll, St. Bernard, 14-6
Final – Brock Coutu, Griswold pin Michael Daly, St. Bernard, 3:17; 3. Steven Poppa, Derby dec. Keegan Mulready, Nonnewaug, 7-4; 5. Dylan Bennett, Montville dec. Joe Sandolo, Weston, 4-3
Final – Robert Butcher, Morgan dec. James Peek, Killingly, 5-3; 3. Ulysess Vega, Windham Tech pin Chris Mastianni, Derby, 2:33; 5. Nick Boots, Griswold dec. Mike Delavalle, Immaculate, 5-2
Final – T.J. Magnoli, Rocky Hill dec. Francis Gelada, Thomaston, 9-2; 3. Juan Flores, Killingly win by disqualification over Justin Parlow, Derby; 5. Robert Garlick, Somers dec. Wade Perkins, Holy Cross, 4-0
Final – Nick Herrick, Killingly dec. Dustin Wilcox, Montville, 9-4; 3. Samuel Schwartz, Housatonic win by injury default over Greg Smith, Granby; 5. Michael Waterhouse, Weston dec. Chris Gonsalves, Windham Tech, 9-7
Final: Collin Platt, Thomaston dec. Andrew Secola, Immaculate, 10-4; 3. Bradley Visconti, Housatonic pin Dan Grady, Derby, 1:24; 5. Dan Lussier, Granby pin Mike Zabala, Hartford Classical, 3:55
Final: Tim Vollaro, Somers dec. Tore Lovetere, Gilbert, 9-7; 3. Matt Dahlman, Granby dec. Scott Wolfe, Shepaug, 8-2; 5. Nick Manavas, Montville win by default over John Draper, Terryville
Final: Justin Cronan, Terryville dec. Marsel Bebo, Nonnewaug, 3-1, OT; 3. David Shelanskas, Suffield pin Alberto Pacheco, Windham Tech, 3:31; 5. Peter Brazee, Housatonic pin Tim Hester, Gilbert, 2:05
Final: Steven Lazurek, Derby dec. Dave Baldyga, Terryville, 3:24; 3. Travis Torello, Ansonia dec. Ben Wilbur, Housatonic, 10-3; 5. Kyle Bucciarelli, Nonnewaug dec. Jose DeJesus, Gilbert, 12-6
Final: Dave Wildman, Holy Cross dec. Marshall Deane, Gilbert, 0:58; 3. Jake Luchuk, Morgan pin Andrew McCleary, Terryville, 2:43; 5. Devon Fraser, Hartford Classical pin Michael Tucker, St. Bernard, 0:32
Outstanding wrestler: Robert Butcher, Morgan
Fast fall: Jose Mendoza (Montville) 4 pins in 9:38
NOTE: Derby lost three team points and 20 points earned by Justin Parlow (145) when he was disqualified in the consolation final