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This page was last updated on: September 5, 2001

Schibi conserves energy to earn bid to New England tourney
2001 State Open wrestling
At Glastonbury
Team results  -- 1. Danbury 127, 2. Bethel 96, 3. Southington 90½, 4. Berlin 70, 5. Windham High 64, 6. Hand 62, 7. NFA 61, 8. Killingly 50, 9. New Fairfield 48½, 10. Newington 45, 11. Fairfield High, Ledyard 43½, 13. RHAM 42, 14. Platt High-Meriden 41½, 15. Glastonbury 41, 16. Greenwich 33, 17. Jonathan Law 32½, 18. Stratford 32, 19. Amity 31, 20. Bridgeport Central, Newtown 29, 22. Guilford 27½, 23. Derby 27, 24. Warren Harding 24, 25. Plainville, Waterford 23, 27. Fitch 22½, 28. East Catholic 22, 29. Ridgefield 20, 30. East Windsor, Hall, Morgan, New London 18, 34. Brien McMahon 17, 35. Gilbert 16, 36. Bulkeley, Middletown 14, 38. Simsbury 13½, 39. Staples 11, 40. Avon, Fermi 10, 42. Enfield 9, 43. Bristol Eastern, Canton, New Milford, Weaver 7; 47. Weston/Barlow/Masuk 6, 48. Nonnewaug, Pomperaug, Stamford High 5, 51. Bacon Academy, Branford, Cheshire 4, 54. East Haven, Rocky Hill, South Windsor, St. Bernard 3, 59. Wethersfield 2, 60. Bristol Central, Stafford, Woodstock Academy 1.

1. Ian Kessler (New Fairfield) dec. James Therrien (Killingly), 7-3
3. Trevor Brown (RHAM) dec. Phil Young (Danbury), 4-3
5. Jon Read (Newtown) dec. Dylon Tuz (New Milford), 12-6
1. Greg Pace (Bethel) dec. C.J. McCormack (Berlin), 4-3
3. Mike Armstrong (Hall) dec. Freddy Ruperto (NFA), 10-3
5. Nate Russell (Bulkeley) pin Chris Kaplanis (Danbury), 6:53, overtime
1. Kevin Egolf (Glastonbury) dec. Jeff Oldman (Bethel), 4-2
3. Luis Murillo (Platt) pin Vito Barbagallo (Plainville), 1:34
5. Pat Newkirk (NFA) dec. Ryan Lee (Southington), 9-1
1. Tim Faucher (Newington) dec. Chris Schienberg (East Catholic), 6-4
3. Trevor Howe (Danbury) dec. Andres Vanegas (New London), 12-9
5. Steve Arel (Fermi) def. Brett Piscitello (NFA), forfeit
1. Dave Stec (Derby) dec. Doug O'Leary (Southington), 4-2
3. Lee Mannion (Fairfield) dec. Mike Beers (Glastonbury), 10-4
5. Aaron Wrann (Enfield) dec. A.J. Albano (Brien McMahon), 4-0
1. Ben Davis-Oscar (Windham High) dec. Anthony Corvino (Stratford), 6-3
3. John Szymanski (Berlin) dec. Justin Gilbert (Killingly), 7-3
5. Dan Maley (Newtown) dec. Josh Kaplan (Canton), 4-3
1. Allyn Quibble (Ledyard) dec. Matt Cattel (Platt), 17-6
3. Dennis Stone (Danbury) pin Paul Bowman (Newington), 2:51
5. Jon Spivak (Staples) dec. Bryan Hawes (Windham), 16-4
1. Steve Scott (Danbury) dec. Will Deveau (Fitch), 13-5
3. Adam Russell (East Windsor) dec. Dan Fortner (Ledyard), 5-1
5. Jim Battigliero (Jonathan Law) def. Dan McAveney (New Fairfield), forfeit
1. Jeff Sullivan (Guilford) dec. Adam Chenette (NFA), 15-9
3. Chris Sheppard (Amity) dec. Ken Gennett (Jonathan Law), 6-3
5. Kevin Davis (RHAM) dec. Steve Hoffsis (Simsbury), 13-8
1. Matt Palermo (Bethel) dec. Larry Liseo (Southington), 5-0
3. Devin Schibi (Gilbert) dec. Mike Laroche (Berlin), 10-5
5. Damian Mierney (Middletown) def. Steve Selezan (Newtown), forfeit
1. Brett Scholnick (Hand) dec. Colin Sepko (Southington), 8-3
3. Mike Walsh (New Fairfield) dec. Silver Oghayore (Bridgeport Central), 3-2
5. Bo Cotta (Amity) dec. Scott Brisson (Danbury), 6-5
1. Scott Fay (Danbury) dec. Adam Karasevicz (Waterford), 10-2
3. Dan Cook (Ridgefield) dec. Andre Williams (Stratford), 4-1
5. Aaron Cramer (Morgan) pin Andy Palermo (Bethel), 0:59
1. Greg Roberton (Harding) dec. Andre Diaz (Windham), 4-1
3. John Topolski (Fairfield) dec. Justin LePore (Hand), 9-1
5. Andre Diaz (Windham) pin Eric Carbone (Bristol Eastern), 3:32
1. John Sullivan (Greenwich) dec. Matt Vose (Southington), 6-2
3. Aaron Trusty (Berlin) dec. L.J. Spinnato (Hand), 1-0
5. Anthony Capirichio (Bethel) dec. Jerrid Ballard (Brien McMahon), 3-2
Most outstanding wrestler  -- Allyn Quibble (Ledyard), 140 pounds
Fast fall award -- Phil Young (Danbury) 4 pins in 8:20, 103 pounds

Connecticut Wrestling Online
GLASTONBURY, Feb. 25, 2001 --  Gilbert's Devin Schibi knew his would have to conserve his energy at this weekend's State Open wrestling championships.

In 29 regular season matches, he had wrestled a full six minutes only three times. In his first five matches of the tournament, Schibi allowed more points to be scored on him (12) than he had in his previous 33 matches.

But when the evening was over, Schibi was holding an invitation to next weekend's New England wrestling championships.

Schibi saved enough energy to earn third place at 160 pounds with a thrilling 10-5 victory over Berlin's Mike Laroche, who had beaten Schibi earlier in the day in the quarterfinals.

With the consolation final tied 5-5, Schibi quickly scooped up Laroche's ankle with 17 seconds left in the third period for the takedown. Schibi held on tight, reached over and scooped up his neck and put Laroche to his back to earn the victory.

"Quickness always beats strength," a pleased Gilbert coach Jim Rollins said. "You have to be quick to get to the ankle. The takedown was exactly what he wanted when he wanted it."

Schibi (38-1) led 2-1 after two periods. Laroche took a 3-2 lead when he reversed Schibi and shortly after he let Schibi escape. Laroche hit a pretty takedown with 1:06 left but couldn't hold Schibi and again let him escape intentionally, tying the match at 5-5.

Schibi is the first Gilbert wrestler to ever earn a berth to the New England tournament, which will be held March 2 and 3 at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H.

"His gas tank has been a bit low but technically, he is better than anyone I've seen him wrestle," Rollins said. "He knew that he would have to pace himself. In his first match, he got a takedown in the first eight seconds. It was too soon. It's very energy inefficient to wrestle on top. He needs to be patient and set up his moves."

Schibi, only a junior, dropped a 6-4 match to Laroche in the quarterfinals. Larcohe was the first wrestler this season to earn a pair of takedowns off the Gilbert grappler.

"The loss didn't faze him," Rollins said. "He went back out there to play the game. He enjoys the sport for the challenge that it is. He's a thinking wrestler."

Schibi rebounded in the consolation round with wins over Ridgefield's Justin Mikhalevsky, 4-2, Greenwich's Carl Highbie, 10-4 and Newtown's Steve Selezan, who forfeited after hurting his knee in his semifinal loss.

The forfeit gave Schibi an easy win with no expenditure of energy.

"I knew every match would be a tough one and I had to conserve energy until the later rounds," Schibi said.

He is looking forward to the New England tournament. "That's real good competition," Schibi said. "That's the best of the best."

Schibi's third-place finish matches the best previous Open effort by a Gilbert grappler. Irving Surdam finished third in 1982 and 1983 at 185 pounds.

Gilbert teammate Ryan Wheeler (171) went 0-2 but he was pleased with his performance. He lost his first match to Amity's Bo Crotta, 8-2 and wrestled well in a loss to Hall's Max Harrell by pin in overtime.

"He wrestled to the limit of his ability and beyond," Rollins said. "He did that here and all season long."

Wheeler weighed in at 156 pounds, giving up nearly 17 pounds. He could have wrestled at 152 this season but moved up to 171 to help the team this season.

KNIGHTS FINISH THIRD: No. 2 Southington placed four wrestlers in the finals and finished third behind champion Danbury and Bethel with 90½ points.

Doug O'Leary (130), Larry Liseo (160), Colin Sepko (171) and Matt Vose (275) each finished second. Ryan Lee (119) also earned a medal, taking sixth. O'Leary, Liseo, Sepko and Vose qualified for next weekend's New England championships.

"We picked up the intensity. The competition got more severe but we wrestled better," Southington coach Pete Sepko said. "We came back with six guys (Saturday) and four made the finals. We gave it a good six minutes all the time. We wrestled a good tournament."

Liseo, O'Leary and Vose each had to rally from behind to prevail in their semifinal victories.

In the finals, it was a difficult road for Southington.

O'Leary dropped a 4-2 decision to Derby's Dave Stec, who won a second straight Open title. Liseo dropped a 5-0 decision to Bethel's Matt Palermo, the Class M champion while Colin Sepko was beaten 8-3 by Hand's Brett Scholnick. Vose dropped a 6-2 decision to Greenwich's John Sullivan.

"A good wrestler will make maybe one mistake," Sepko said. "If you are ready for it, you can take advantage. The openings are sometimes slight and quick but if you don't capitalize, they disappear."

Colin Sepko (171) had a headlock on Hand's Brett Scholnick early in the first period of their match but couldn't hold it long enough to get near fall points or get into position for a possible pin.
O'Leary had a few takedown opportunities that he couldn't convert.

It was 2-2 after two periods but Stec escaped with 1:24 left in the third period and added another point on a penalty point.

For O'Leary, he finished second in the State Open for the second straight year.

"Last year, it was more disappointing because it was a mental mistake. This time I made a physical mistake and I can live with that," O'Leary said. "(Stec) outwrestled me tonight. He tied me up in every way possible."

Danbury won the first State Open team championship since 1975 with a 31-point victory over Bethel, 127-96. The Hatters, who have been ranked No. 1 in the state all year, had seven medalists including champions Scott Fay (189) and Steve Scott (145).

The last and only State Open champion from Southington was Bill Lee in 1999 at 152 pounds.

PHILLIPS DOES WELL: Pomperaug senior Tom Phillips (140) wrestled well, winning a pair of matches including a 13-11 overtime win over Southington's Chris Lee in the first round.
Phillips (30-6), who finished third at last weekend's Class L championships, dropped a 14-2 decision to finalist Matt Cattel of Platt, the Class M champion before earning a 15-11 victory over Avon's Dave Niek in the consolation round.

Staples' Jon Spivak eliminated Phillips, 8-7 in the consolation semifinals. Ironically, Phillips beat Spivak last week, 10-4, to finish third in Class L.

"The last few years I looked up to all the people who wrestled in this tournament," Phillips said. "Today I was a part of it and there was a lot of respect amongst the wrestlers. It was great."

Panther teammate Tim Farrell (145) dropped a tough 4-0 decision in his opening round match on Friday but rebounded to beat Xavier's Ross Giovannielo, 10-0 in the consolation bracket. Ledyard's Dan Fortner eliminated Farrell, 5-3.

AROUND THE MAT: Nonnewaug's Pat McKirdy (103) earned a victory in the consolation round to finish 1-2 while teammate Joe Budris (215) earned a pair of victories in the consolation bracket. Budris beat Stratford's Eugene Williams, 6-4 in overtime and stunned Class S champion Tom Anadore of Bacon Academy, 5-3 before being eliminated by Windham's Andre Diaz by pin.

State Open notebook