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Connecticut Wrestling Online

This page was last updated on: August 20, 2002

Copyright 2002, Collinsville Publishing Company
2002 State Open championships

Connecticut Wrestling Online
GLASTONBURY, Feb. 23, 2002 --- Gilbert School's Devin Schibi didn't get a chance to wrestle under the spotlight in the State Open finals but the Yellowjacket wrestler was still pleased with his performance Saturday at Glastonbury High.

Schibi (152 pounds) lost for the first time in nearly a year in the semifinals to Danbury's Dennis Stone but he finished strong with two victories in the consolation bracket to finish third and earn his second straight berth to the New England Tournament at Roger Williams College in Bristol, R.I.

Pomperaug's Josh Feldman (119) dropped a heartbreaking decision in semifinals in overtime but finished fourth to earn a berth to the New England's. The top four finishers in each weight class qualify for the New England Tournament.

Northwestern Regional freshman Joel Webster (112), who finished fifth along with Southington's Chris Lee (140). Southington's Bill St. Pierre (130) and Matt Florian (145) each finished sixth.

Schibi's toughest match of the tournament came against Stone, who led 4-3 after one period. Stone tightly controlled the match in the second period and took advantage of his chance when it came, turning Schibi and pinning him in 3:11

"He ran a half-nelson and got it tight and when he gets it that tight, its hard to fight off," Schibi said. "I knew he would come right at me so I went right at him."

Schibi, now 39-1, pinned Derby's Anthony Defala in 59 seconds and beat New Canaan's Alex Ohrn, 14-3 to finish third for the second year in a row.

"It's tough to go from the king of the jungle in Class S where he had little competition to where most guys have been receiving steady competition all year," Gilbert coach Doug Smith said.

Schibi, who was 4-1 in the tournament, said he is looking forward to the competition at the New England and maybe another shot at Stone.

Platt's Luis Murillo, the eventual Open champion and tournament MVP, handed Feldman a tough 5-3 loss in overtime in the semifinals. Murillo completed a takedown on Feldman as time ran out in the one-minute OT session.

In the third period and trailing 3-1, Feldman got a nice takedown with 1:05 left to tie the match at 3-3. But Feldman couldn't turn Murillo and the match went into OT.

"Maybe if I had cut him loose and gone for another takedown instead of OT, I might have had a better shot," Feldman said afterwards.

In the consolation final, Feldman (41-4) fell to Bethel's Greg Pace, 3-0, in the rematch of the SWC final that Pace won 1-0.

"I feel a little disappointed," Feldman admitted. "It (Murillo) match definitely could have gone either way. I wrestled hard but give credit to Murillo and Pace."

Feldman finished 10th in the state at 103 pounds in Ohio a year ago. "Connecticut is a lot more challenging that people said it was," he said.

Webster (112) earned Northwestern's first medal. He dropped a 4-3 decision to
Harding's Luis Espinoza in the quarterfinals but rallied to win three of his fourth consolation final matches. He finished fifth with a 11-6 win over East Hartford's Shawn Howey.

In the consolation semifinals, Webster was trailing Killingly's Chris Malarkey 10-0 in the third period but put Malarkey to his back and was inches away from the big upset. Webster ended up losing 10-5.

"He wrestled the best that I've seen this season," Northwestern coach Jerry Trieshmann said. "He wrestled up to the level of his competition. He is wrestling better today than he did in the Class S tournament (where he finished second)."

Webster finishes the season at 28-5.

LISEO WINS A TITLE: A week ago, Southington's Larry Liseo (160) gave up his first takedown of the season in the Class LL championship match in a 16-6 loss to Greenwich's Dan Taylor. Liseo didn't waste his second chance.

Liseo's takedown with 22.3 seconds left in the third period clinched a 5-0 victory over Taylor to become the second wrestler in school history to claim an Open championship. Bill Lee won at 152 pounds in 1999.

"After losing for the first time this season, I wanted to come out and make the biggest statement possible," said Liseo, who is now 39-1. "I was a lot better prepared. Last week, I was too lightly prepared."

Taylor used leg moves to dominate in the Class LL finals but Liseo learned to counter them this past week in practice.

Upstart RHAM which won its first state championship a week ago in the Class M tournament had the rare opportunity to beat Danbury. But the Hatters received two wins in the finals from Dennis Stone (152) and Anthony Hayes (125) to slip past RHAM, 94-92. Fitch finished third with 76 points.

RHAM had three wrestlers in the finals but only one prevailed  Trevor Brown at 112 pounds. Louie Grano (140) dropped a 10-3 decision to Stratford's Anthony Corvino while NFA's Jason Pagan (145) beat RHAM's Greg Dussol, 3-1 with a takedown with 11 seconds left in regulation.

The tournament was so close because Danbury had two wrestlers ejected from the tournament, costing them a total of 10 points. Carlos Valenzuela (140) and Matt Tricarico (145) were each ejected, costing the Hatters two points and all the points they had earned to that point.

Tricario was ejected for taking a swing at RHAM's Greg Dussol in a 9-5 quarterfinal loss while Valenzuela was tossed for biting Southington's Chris Lee as Valenzuela was being pinned in a  consolation round match.

"We were close," RHAM coach Kevin Kanaitis said. "But there was nothing to complain about. We had the first State Open champion in our school's history and two other finalists."

It was the closest finish in State Open history, eclipsing Staples' 6.5 point win over Conard in 1973.

AROUND THE MAT: Gilbert has not placed a wrestler in the Open finals yet.
Irving Surdam
finished third twice for the Yellowjackets at 185 pounds in 1982 and 1983  ... Feldman was looking to become Pomperaug's first Open finalist since Sean Chang (112) finished second in 1995. The Panthers have yet to crown an Open champion. .... St. Pierre (130) nearly made the finals. A near fall with 20 seconds remaining gave him a one point lead (8-7) over Platt's Clayton Torres. But St. Pierre relaxed and Torres drove into him and reversed him, pinning St. Pierre with three seconds left to earn a spot in the finals.

2002 State Open wrestling championships
At Glastonbury
Team results: 1. Danbury 94, 2. RHAM 92, 3. Fitch 76, 4. Killingly 74, 5. 4. Bethel 73, 6. Fairfield, Greenwich 72,  8. Bridgeport Central 57, 9. Southington 55, 10. NFA 52, 11. Platt 49, 12. Hand 47.5, 13. Guilford 39, 14. Derby 37.5, 15. Stratford 34.5, 16. Waterford 33, 16. Avon 28, 18. New Milford, Plainville 27, 20. Amity and New Fairfield 26, 22. New London, Windham 25, 24. Canton, Gilbert 23.5, 27. Berlin, East Haven, East Windsor 22, 29. Bunnell, Wilton 21, 30. New Canaan 20, 32. Bulkeley, St. Bernard 19, 34. Simsbury 18, 35. Weaver 17.5, 36. Stamford 16.5, 37. Brien McMahon, Pomperaug 16, 39. East Hartford , Harding 12, 41. Darien, Morgan 11, 43. Northwestern Regional, Woodstock Academy 10, 45. Glastonbury, Ridgefield 7, 47. Ledyard, South Windsor 6, 49. Bacon Academy, Branford, East Lyme, Fermi, Rockville, Rocky Hill 5, 55. Hartford Public, Holy Cross, Staples 4, 58. Bristol Central, Cheshire, Montville, Seymour, Tolland 3, 63. Hall, Lyman Memorial, Stafford 2, 66. Nonnewaug 1

1. Jesse Cavallaro (Plainville) dec. Jason Vermes (East Windsor), 12-0
3. Nick Weyer (Danbury) dec. Josh Turjillo (Bridgeport Central), 5-3
5. Jason Squillace (Darien) dec. Nick Miraqliuolo (Woodstock Academy), 5-4

1. Trevor Brown (RHAM) pin Ian Kessler (New Fairfield), 4:20
3. Chris Malarkey (Killingly) dec. Luis Espinoza (Harding), 4-2
5. Joel Webster (Northwestern) dec. Shawn Howey (East Hartford), 11-6

1. Luis Murillo (Platt) dec. James Therrian (Killingly), 4-2
3. Greg Pace (Bethel) dec. Josh Feldman (Pomperaug), 3-0
5. Pat Newkirk (NFA) dec. Ryan Murphy (New London), 18-7

1. Jeff Oldham (Bethel) dec. Mark McCauley (Guilford), 7-1
3. Chris Coppolo (Fitch) dec. Brandon Stavola (Amity), 6-5
5. Favio Delabrena (Fairfield) dec. Chris Kaplanis (Danbury), 5-1

1. Anthony Hayes (Danbury) pin Clayton Torres (Platt), 4:17
3. Dana Cleveland (Weaver) dec. J.P. Gilbert (Fitch), 5-1
5. Brock Littlefield (RHAM) dec. Bill St. Pierre (Southington), 5-1

1. Lee Mannion (Fairfield) dec. Miguel Figueroa (Bulkeley), 10-3
3. Justin Gilbert (Killingly) dec. Ramel Murphy (New London), 9-6
5. Trevor Howe (Danbury) dec. Doug Milburn (Bethel), 5-3

1. Anthony Corvino (Stratford) dec. Louis Grano (RHAM), 10-3
3. Sean Caselli (New Milford) pin Josh Kaplan (Canton), 3:52
5. Chris Lee (Southington) pin Rob French (Derby), 2:42

1. Jason Pagan (NFA) dec. Greg Dussol (RHAM), 3-1
3. Dave Stec (Derby) dec. Paul Cicarella (East Haven), 4-2
5. Bill Aust (Berlin) dec. Matt Florian (Southington), 9-4

1. Dennis Stone (Danbury) dec. Bryan Hawes (Windham), 14-1
3. Devin Schibi (Gilbert) dec. Alex Ohrn (New Canaan), 14-3
5. Curt Sheppard (Amity) dec. Anthony Defala (Derby), 19-7

1. Larry Liseo (Southington) dec. Dan Taylor (Greenwich), 5-0
3. Will Deveau (Fitch) pin Steve Hoffis (Simsbury), 2:08
5. Kevin Davis (RHAM) pin Tony Lillo (East Haven), 2:42

1. Brett Scholnick (Hand) dec. Carl Higbie (Greenwich), 12-3
3. Joe Bavolacco (Bunnell) dec. Gavin Sidebottom (Fairfield), 3-1, OT
5. Conor Manley (Wilton) dec. Zack Desmond (NFA), 9-2

1.Adam Karasevicz (Waterford) dec. Max Pazdan (Fairfield), 9-1
3. Jay Leckey (Guilford) forfeit Tim Donnelly (Stamford)
5. Andre Williams (Stratford) forfeit Bill McCollum (St. Bernard)

1. Andy Palmermo (Bethel) pin Wigbero Diaz (Bridgeport Central), 2:38
3. Mike LaBeef (Killingly) forfeit Will Ross (Fitch)
5. Aaron Cramer (Morgan) forfeit Amir Kearney (New Milford)

1. John Sullivan (Greenwich) dec. Brian Dubiel (Avon), 7-2
3. Dave Paniccia (Bridgeport Central) dec. Jerrid Ballard (Brien McMahon), 6-5
5. L.J. Spinnato (Hand) pin Dan Puccini (Ridgefield), 0:52

Outstanding wrestler: Luis Murillo, Platt
Fast fall: Chris Lee (Southington), 4 pins in 12:43
Schibi, Feldman qualify for
New England Tournament