Team results – 1. Danbury 130, 2. Windham High and South Windsor 121, 4. New Milford 93½; 5. Fairfield Warde 78, 6. Ledyard 76, 7. Newington 75½; 8. Glastonbury 74, 9. Bacon Academy 72, 10. Southington 65; 11. Foran 59½; 12. Daniel Hand 59, 13. Manchester 55, 14. Trumbull 53, 15. Avon 52, 16. New Fairfield 50, 16. Xavier 50, 18. Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech 32, 18. Middletown and Farmington 32; 21. New Britain 29½; 22. East Lyme 28½; 23. Greenwich, Conard, Somers 28, 26. Montville and Fairfield Ludlowe 27; 28. Wethersfield and Immaculate/Joel Barlow 26, 30. Windsor Locks 25, 31. Hall 24½; 32. Nonnewaug 23, 33. Waterford and SImsbury 21, 35. Maloney, Berlin, Westbrook/Old Saybrook 20, 38. Oxford 19, 39. Bristol Central 18, 40. Portland 16, 40. Hartford Classical Magnet/Capital Prep 16, 42. Platt High and Norwich Free Academy, Hartford co-op 15, 45. Guilford 14½; 46. Jonathan Law and Ridgefield 14, 48. Westhill 13, Holy Cross and Pomperaug 13, 51. Canton 12, 52. Terryville, RHAM and Suffield High 11, 55. Griswold, Bethel, Norwalk, Fairfield Prep, Newtown 10, 61. SMSA/University and Bristol Eastern 9, 63. Cheshire, Derby, Windsor 8, 66. New Canaan 7, 66. Rocky Hill 7, 66. St. Bernard/Norwich Tech/Wheel 7, 69. Fitch 6½; 70. Old Lyme, Staples and Haddam-Killingworth 6, 73. Branford and Vinal Tech 5, 75. Lyman Hall, Wolcott Tech, Goodwin Tech 4, 78. Stamford, Thomaston, Morgan, Killingly 3, 82. East Catholic, New London, East Haven, Stafford 2, 86. Brookfield 1, 87. Housatonic, Seymour, East Windsor, Masuk, Plainville, Wilton, Gilbert, Hale-Ray, Stratford, Woodstock Academy 0
106 Championship -- Joseph Rossetti, Glastonbury dec. Paulo Freitas; Danbury 4-2; Third Place: Matthew Elias, Daniel Hand dec. Mark Chien,; Greenwich 5-2; Fifth Place: George Wales, Fairfield Ludlowe dec. Halim; Bourjeli, New Milford 13-8
113 Championship -- Kareem Small, East Lyme dec. Michael Ruffino, Windham; 3-2; Third Place: Chris Bryant, Danbury dec. Kyle Lindner, New Milford; 6-0; Fifth Place: Brentt Smith, Waterford dec. Benjamin Batulanon,; Fairfield Ludlowe 3-0
120 Championship -- Kevin Jack, Danbury dec. Brian Amato, Newington 5-1; Third Place: Taylor Shay, New Fairfield dec. Devon MarcAurele, Ledyard; 5-1; Fifth Place: Benjamin Durst, Simsbury dec. Daniel Ebert, Fairfield; Warde 5-2
126 Championship -- Matt McAllister, Bacon Academy dec. Conor Caffrey, South Windsor 7-2; Third Place: Niko Stefanatos, New Milford dec.; Brandon Liscinsky, Trumbull Forfeit; Fifth Place: Nathan Solomon; Southington dec. Emmet Lacastri, Immaculate/Joel Barlow 1-0
132 Championship -- Howard Kilpatrick, Bacon Academy dec. Geovanni Medina, New Britain 7-4; Third Place: Max Odell, South Windsor pin Pharoah; Eaton, Fairfield Warde 0:28; Fifth Place: Ryan Bannon, Jonathan Law; dec. Jacob Caskey, Montville 3-2
138 Championship -- CJ Luth, Foran dec. David Colvin, Westbrook/Old; Saybrook 9-4; Third Place: Christian Zotti, Newington dec. Zach Tepper, Danbury 4-2; Fifth Place: Favion Williams, Weaver/Hartford Public dec.; Dylan Bender, Fairfield Warde 10-5
152 Championship -- Sam Odell, South Windsor dec. Clay Callahan, Foran; 3-2; Third Place: Lucas Muntz, Conard pin Kameron Bradshaw, New Milford; 0:54; Fifth Place: Jophy Nieves, Maloney dec. Brandon Finney, Ledyard Forfeit
160 Championship -- Khamri Thomas, Windsor Locks dec. Mikey Amorando, New; Fairfield 2-1, 2 OT; Third Place: Juan Garcia, Danbury pin Brandon Fulco, Trumbull 1:59; Fifth Place: John D'Agostino, Nonnewaug dec. Benjamin; Onofrio, Daniel Hand 3-0
170 Championship -- Elliot Antler, Xavier dec. Christopher Chorzepa, Newington 6-5; Third Place: Devyn Petsa, Windham pin. Joe Murphy, Avon; 1:53; Fifth Place: Dante Futia, Middletown dec. Thomas Anania, Fairfield Warde 8-5
182 Championship -- Colin Grim, Ledyard dec. Jimmy McDunnah, Wethersfield; 5-3; Third Place: Kevin Wivell, Daniel Hand dec. Brian Donovan, Manchester 5-1; Fifth Place: Dan Rodrigues, Avon dec. Spencer Hill, Windham Forfeit
195 Championship -- Zachary Maxwell, Southington dec. Kyle Foster, Somers; 6-4, OT; Third Place: Christopher Joel Samboy, Classical Magnet/Capital Prep; dec. Steven Ghossaini, Immaculate/Joel Barlow 5-2; Fifth Place: Thomas; Anderson, South Windsor pin Erik Mercado, Trumbull 4:51
220 Championship -- Andrew Cavanna, Glastonbury dec. Patrick Sawicki, Bacon Academy 5-3; Third Place: Nicholas Poulin, Windham pin. Benjamin; Morales, Ledyard 0:26; Fifth Place: Robert Tozzi, New Milford pin Michael Fisher, Conard 2:16
285 Championship -- Wolfgang Fiasconaro, Windham dec. Tobias Lichtenstein, Hall 4-1; Third Place: Amed Hourani, Fairfield Warde pin Darick Orange, Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech 3:25; Fifth Place: Christopher Simmons, Manchester dec. Travis Daly, Southington 6-4
Outstanding wrestler: Elliot Antler, Xavier (170)
Danbury doesn't let a few defeats derail title hopes
By GERRY deSIMAS, JR.
Connecticut Wrestling Online
NEW HAVEN, Feb. 23 – The Danbury High wrestling had seven wrestlers going into the quarterfinal round of Saturday’s State Open wrestling championships.
Only two of the seven advanced to the semifinals. The other five were tossed into the consolation bracket where another loss would end their day and, perhaps, Danbury’s attempt to regain the State Open title.
However, Chris Bryant (113), Shane Jennings (145) and Juan Garcia (160) never lost again as all three won four consecutive matches to finish third. Zach Tepper (138) won three of his four matches to take fourth.
Coupled with a second straight State Open title from junior Kevin Jack at 120 pounds and a second place finish from Paulo Freitas at 106, the Hatters outlasted Windham High and South Windsor to win their 11th State Open championship in 13 years.
Danbury finished first with 130 pounds with Windham and South Windsor tying for second place with 121 points. New Milford was third with 93½ points.
“Things didn’t go as planned and some of our teams haven’t handled adversity well in the past,” Danbury coach Ricky Shook said. “But these guys wrestled through it.”
After the quarterfinals, Danbury wrestlers went 15-3 in the consolation round.
Bryant, who lost to Class L champion Kyle Linder of New Milford, 10-5 in the quarterfinals, won four in a row including a 6-0 win over Linder in the consolation final. In his final four matches, Bryant didn’t give up a single point, outscored his opponents 24-0.
Garcia lost to Nonnewaug’s John D’Agostino in overtime in the quarterfinals but didn’t let that get him down, giving up just three points in his final four victories.
Danbury will be sending six wrestlers to next week’s New England championships. The top four wrestlers in each weight class earn berths to the New England tournament.
South Windsor had just six wrestlers in the tournament, three made the finals and four earned medals. Sam Odell won his second straight Open title at 152 pounds while Casey Mitchell used a last second takedown to his second Open title at 145 pounds. Conor Caffrey (126) finished second while Max Odell (132) was third. Thomas Anderson (195) took fifth.
“I’m very proud of the kids,” South Windsor coach Jude Knapp said. “They wrestled hard.”
Knapp praised his two champions. “Both have been here before and they know how to win big matches,” he said. “They know how to win when it counts.”
South Windsor finished second for the third time in the last five years. The Bobcats were also second in 2009 and 2010.
Windham High had two finalists, five wrestlers earn medals and had seven of eight athletes earn at least two wins in the tournament. Wolfgang Fiacconaro won his first State Open title at 285 pounds.
Michael Ruffino (113) was second while Devyn Pesta (170) and Nicholas Poulin (220) each finished third. Spencer Hill (182) earned a sixth place medal.
“I’m estatic with what we’ve done this year and this week,” Windham coach Patrick Risley said. “They were amped up all week for this. We had a few tough semifinal bouts but overall we did well.”
Pins from Pesta and Poulin in the consolation finals helped lift the Whippets into the second place tie with the Bobcats. Windham finished second for the first time since 2004.
Below are some highlights from each weight class:
Sophomore Joseph Rossetti of Glastonbury outlasted Danbury freshman Paulo Freitas, 4-2 to win his first State Open championship. Rossetti, the Class LL champion, got a key takedown with about 50 seconds left in the third period to secure the victory. He improves to 41-2 on the season. Freitas (31-6) got a big win over Windham’s Sebby Ruffino in the quarterfinals, 1-0.
East Lyme’s Kareem Small had something to prove. The senior won a Class L championship as a junior but finished second to New Milford’s Kyle Linder, 12-8 a week ago at the Class L meet. Earlier in the year, he had been pinned by his opponent in the State Open final, Michael Ruffino of Windham.
“People were beginning to forget him a little,” East Lyme head coach Ed Lorah said. “But he was been around for a long time. He’s a good, solid wrestler.”
Small did his talking on the mat with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Ruffino. Small got a first period takedown and extended his lead to 3-0 with a second period escape. He controlled most of the first two periods.
Ruffino tightened the match with a reversal with 58 seconds left and tried to turn Small to win the title. But Small’s excellent use of hand control was able to keep Ruffino at bay. Ruffino tried to get Small into a cradle in the waning seconds but couldn’t turn him.
“At the end, it all came down to who wanted it more,” Small said. Added Lorah, “You have to stay calm and in control in that situation and he did.”
Danbury’s Kevin Jack won his second State Open championship with a solid performance over Newington senior Brian Amato, 5-1. The third period escape by Amato was the only point that Jack allowed in the tournament. He won his previous three matches by technical fall, combining to outscore his opponents, 46-0. “Kevin has been stellar all year,” Danbury coach Ricky Shook said. Jack improves to 38-0 on the season.
Two early takedowns helped Bacon Academy’s Matt McAllister beat South Windsor’s Conor Caffrey, 7-2. McAllister led 4-0 after two periods and extended the lead to 5-0 early in the third period. Caffrey got his first takedown with about 1:18 remaining to cut the lead to three, 5-2 but a reversal with 46 seconds left but McAllister back in control. Caffrey slips to 44-2 on the year.
McAllister survived a pair of one-point decisions to earn his spot in the final. He beat Xavier’s Will Chowanec, 4-3 in his first match of the tournament and beat Southington’s Nate Solomon in the semifinals, 1-0 on a penalty. Solomon was penalized for locking hands in the second period.
Bacon Academy junior Howard Kilpatrick beat the top two seeds from Class LL to win his first State Open championship. In the semifinals, Kilpatrick blanked Class LL runnerup Max Odell of South Windsor, 7-0 to earn a chance to wrestle defending Open champion Geovanni Medina of New Britain.
Kilpatrick caught Medina and threw him to his back with about 20 seconds left in the first period for a 5-0 lead. “That first takedown definitely helps,” Kilpatrick said. “If you get that first takedown, you win 80 percent of the time. I caught him in a bad position and that was that.”
In the second period, Medina cut the lead to three, 5-2, on a takedown but Kilpatrick extended his lead again with a sharp standing switch. Kilpatrick held on for a 7-4 decision handing Medina, the Class LL champion, his second loss in 37 matches this season.
Bacon Academy coach Michael Voiland praised Kilpatrick and Caffrey. “They’re just two kids who work really hard every day,” he said. “They believe in their skills and will wrestle whomever you put in front of them.”
All four state champions made the semifinals at 138. In one semifinal, Class M champion C.J. Luth of Foran-Milford beat Hartford co-op’s Favon Williams, the Class LL champion by a score of 11-2. In the other semifinal, Class S champion David Colvin of Old Saybrook/Westbrook outlasted Class L champion Christian Zotti of Newington, 4-1.
In the final, Luth scored five points in the third period with an escape, takedown and near fall to pull away from Colvin and win, 9-4.
Avon’s Jimmy Murphy didn’t wrestle his first two years of high school after suffering a concussion playing football as a freshman and breaking his hand on an opposing helmet in the final game of the season as a sophomore. In fact, he hadn’t wrestled since he was in sixth grade.
Murphy, who won a Class M championship a week ago, came close to winning a State Open title but South Windsor’s undefeated Casey Mitchell got a takedown with 14 seconds left in regulation to earn a 6-4 decision and win his second State Open title. Mitchell also won in 2011.
Murphy took a 2-0 lead with a takedown in the first 10 seconds of the match. Mitchell cut the lead to one with an escape of his own. In the second period, Mitchell got a takedown but Murphy had two escapes to take a 4-3 lead. In the third, Mitchell (46-0) tied the match at 4-4 with an escape and it looked like the match could go into overtime before he got his winning takedown.
In a battle of two undefeated wrestlers, South Windsor’s Sam Odell escaped with 10 seconds left in the third period to beat Foran’s Clay Callahan, 3-2. Odell improves to 45-0 on the year while Callahan slips to 43-1.
Windsor Locks sophomore Khami Thomas went for a switch and escaped with two seconds left in in the second overtime to hand New Fairfield’s Michael Amorando his first loss of the season, 2-1 and win the State Open title.
Amorando (31-1) nearly won the match with 10 seconds left in regulation but his takedown attempt was about a second too late. Both wrestlers had escapes in regulation. “Khami was focused. He won a pure determination,” said Suffield High coach Chris Potter. Thomas is a one-man team who works out each day with Suffield.
The top three finishers from last year’s State Open each returned this year, including defending champion Chris Chorzepa from Newington, runnerup Joe Murphy of Avon and third place finisher Elliot Antler of Xavier. Chorzepa rolled through the first three bouts of the tournament with two pins and a win by technical fall over Class S champion Devyn Pesta of Windham. Antler beat Murphy in the semifinals by pin in 5:23.
In the final, Antler had a pair of takedowns in the first period to take a 4-2 lead. Chorzepa got a second period escape to trim the lead to one, 4-3.
In the third period, Chorzepa let Antler escape to give him a two-point lead, 5-3 but tied the bout at 5-5 with a two-point takedown with 26 seconds remaining. But Antler (41-0) was able to escape 10 seconds later for a 6-5 win and the Open championship.
Antler was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler, as voted by the coaches.
“Elliot has been executing on the tactics we’ve been working on since last year,” Xavier coach Mike Cunningham said. “He has been working his butt off to get better.”
Close matches were nothing new to Ledyard’s Colin Grim. He earned a two-point decision in his opening match over Shelton’s Mackenzie Thom, 6-4 and outlasted Windham’s Spencer Hall, 5-4 in the semifinal thriller. Down by two, Hall got a takedown with seven seconds left in regulation but Grim didn’t falter and escaped at the buzzer to earn the win.
Grim won another close one with a 5-3 win over Wethersfield’s Jimmy McDunnah in the finals. Grim did take a 4-0 lead when a throw early in the second period. “He got more explosive on this feet this year,” Ledyard coach Steve Bilheimer said.
Undefeated Kyle Foster of Somers looked like he was on the way to his first State Open championship. Foster won his first three bouts in the tournament by pin and had a 4-1 lead after two periods of his championship final against Southington’s Zach Maxwell, the Class LL champion. In fact, Foster was up by four before Maxwell got on the board with a late second period escape.
In the third period, Maxwell got an escape early in the period to cut the lead to two, 4-2 but struggled to get close enough to take a shot at a takedown on Foster. The match was nearly over before Maxwell hit the jackpot, penetrating and taking Foster down with a double leg tackle with three seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
In OT, Maxwell was able to get one of Foster’s legs and tripped him for the match-winning takedown and an improbable 6-4 win in OT. It was Foster’s first loss of the season (38-1) while Maxwell improved to 44-2.
“When you attack, great things happen,” Southington coach Derek Dion said. “We’ve been working on Zack’s wind (endurance) all year so that in the third period, he would be strong.”
Foster beat Maxwell earlier this year at the Greater Hartford Invitational, 7-3. “I got more aggressive this time,” Maxwell said. “I went right at him. Coach has been telling me all season to go (hard and aggressive) and it finally worked.”
Glastonbury’s Andrew Cavanna two takedowns in the third period to beat Bacon Academy’s Patrick Sawicki in the finals, 5-3. Cavanna remains undefeated on the season with a 42-0 record.
Windham’s Wolfgang Fiasconaro beat Hall’s Tobi Lichtenstein, 4-1 to win the State Open title.
Fairfield Ludlowe had its best-ever showing at the State Open earning 27 points. Ludlowe had three wrestlers in the tournament and two earned medals. Junior Ben Batilanon (113) went 3-3 in the tournament and finished sixth while sophomore George Wales (106) went 6-2 in the tournament, winning four straight matches and finishing fifth. Ben Brozoski (182), who was sixth in Class LL, went 3-2 in the event. He finished 40-10.
Wales, now 42-10, will compete at next week’s New England tournament because the fourth place finisher cannot attend. He will be the first Ludlowe wrestler to compete at the New England tournament.