Cover photo courtesy of Stephanie Wilkinson
The Class B tournament and its finals essentially turned into the Iroquois-Pioneer-Fredonia show as nineteen of the thirty finalists represented one of those three teams. The team scoring reflected a three-team race as well, as #2 Iroquois accumulated 248 points to outscore #4 Pioneer and #5 Fredonia’s 227. Pioneer gained considerable ground late in the day while Fredonia’s five finalists and two champions evened the score with the Panthers at the conclusion of the finals. Iroquois was led by four champions and eight total finalists and will send ten wrestlers to Saturday’s Section VI Division II championships at Southwestern. Pioneer’s three Class B champions will lead a group of eleven sectional qualifiers while the Hillbillies crowned three champions and will advance twelve athletes to SW. #10 Albion and Olean tied with 127-points apiece to wrap up the top five team scoring squads.
99: Lewiston-Porter’s Caden Barrientos captured his first class championship in a loaded lightweight field. The Lancers 8th grader will be the top seed for the sectional championships which may very well be the best weight class in either division of the state qualifiers. Barrientos earned two pins before defeating Pioneer’s 2-seed Xander Kirsch in the final, 4-2. Kirsch earned a quality win in the semifinal over Fredonia’s 3-seed Mike Ball, 3-0, to advance to the final. Ball wrestled back to 3rd in the bracket using a 6-0 decision over 4-seed Matt Skowronski from East Aurora followed by a second period pin over Iroquois’s 5-seed Brady Wilkinson in the consolation finale. Skowronski wrestled back to 5th in the weight class to round out an outstanding Class B group headed to SW.
106: Top seeded Peter Gaglio claimed the first individual title of the night for Iroquois, who featured a wrestler in six of the first seven finals. Gaglio started with a first period pin over Cheektowaga’s unseeded Anthony Raczka followed by an 8-1 decision over Pioneer’s Jack Lacy in the first two rounds. A semifinal pin over 5-seed and teammate Caleb Day followed by a finals 5-4 decision over 2-seeded Nolan Skowronski from East Aurora earned Gaglio the 106-pound Class B title. Skowronski held off 3-seed Blake Hageman from Lake Shore in the semis, who would wrestle back to 3rd overall defeating Lacy first and then Raczka, who won three straight consolation matches before settling for 4th, including a win over Day to guarantee sectional entry in a tough weight. The unseeded Lacy earned an entry to the state qualifier as well with a 5th place finish.
113: Returning sectional finalist Dan Kirsch pinned in three of his four matches to earn the 113-pound Class B title. Kirsch used a 6-0 decision over 4-seed Lucas Hoffman from Fredonia in the semi to reach the final against 2-seed Michael Schiffhauer from Iroquois. Schiffhauer cruised past his first three opponents but fell late in the second period to Kirsch in the final. Hoffman pinned his last two opponents after falling in the semi to claim 3rd place, including a pin over Pioneer’s 4-seeded Owen Poling in the consolation finale. Springville’s 6-seed Shilo Rogers rounded out the bracket’s sectional qualifying wrestlers with a 5th place finish.
120: One of the entire day’s best finals match was wrestled between two returning state tournament qualifiers as Iroquois’s Donovan Bukaczeki edged Alden/Depew’s Carson Alberti in an exciting bout worth the price of admission. Down 5-3 with less than thirty seconds left in the match, Bukaczeski earned a takedown and secured two near fall points as time was running out to win by decision, 7-5. Bukaczeski, a returning state tournament wildcard, earned tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler honors for his win. Alberti is a returning Section VI champion. They should be 1 and 2-seeds on Saturday, respectively. Olean’s 6-seeded Nate Gabler fell in the quarterfinal to Lackawanna’s 3-seed Nagi Fadel, but wrestled back to 3rd place with a pin over Tonawanda’s 4-seed Nick Szortyka in the consolation semi before accepting a medical forfeit for third. Maryvale’s 4-seed Nick Freyburger qualified for sectionals with a 4th place finish while Szortyka edged Fadel 10-7 for the final entry to the state qualifier in a bout between two returning sectional place winners.
126: The seeds held on as Iroquois’s top seeded Jake Jozwiak captured 1st place in the weight class, defeating defending Section VI champion Alex Skowronski in the title bout, 8-3. Jozwiak earned a pin and a semis technical fall to reach the final, while the 2-seeded Skowronski used an overtime 9-7 victory over 3-seed Mike Alberti from A/D to advance past the semifinal. Alberti responded with a 3rd place finish and consolation finale win by major decision over 4-seeded Amilicar Morales from Albion. Lake Shore’s Carter Groham took 5th in the weight to guarantee entry to the state qualifier.
132: Top seeded Iroquois sophomore Ryan Sweeney claimed his first title in three Class B finals appearances. Sweeney earned two pins and a 10-4 semifinal decision over talented Pioneer 9th grader and 4-seed Brady Heckathorn to advance to the final where he was a 17-1 technical fall winner over 3-seed Donald Bennett from Pioneer. Bennett, who captured his 100th career win earlier in the tournament, upset returning Section VI champion Julian Martin from Lake Shore with an overtime pin in the semi to reach the final. Martin did however wrestle back to 3rd place defeating Heckathorn by a 9-1 major decision score in the consolation finale. CSAT’s 7-seed Kaleb Rang earned pins in two of his last three bouts, both over higher seeded wrestlers, to capture 5th place and a spot in the state qualifier.
138: Pioneer junior Alex Miley finished 6th in Class B in 2018-2019, however he claimed 1st place on Saturday in a strong 138-pound bracket. The 2-seeded Miley started the day with two pins and edged Lewiston-Porter’s 3-seed Ciaran Edwards 4-3 in the tiebreaker to advance to the final. The Panthers junior was a 6-0 winner by decision over Iroquois’s top seeded Tristan DeGrace in the championship match. Edwards wrestled back to a 3rd place finish defeating Dunkirk senior Adam Sanchez in the consolation finale. The 4-seed Sanchez pushed DeGrace in the semifinal, ultimately falling by a narrow 3-2 decision. Tonawanda’s Josh Fischer was upset in the opening round but won three out of his next four matches to capture 5th in the bracket.
145: Top seeded Kameron Riordan from Pioneer captured the Class B title with a 5-3 decision win over Fredonia’s Hunter Larson in the final. Riordan defeated 5-seed Andrew Czelusta, 6-0, in the semifinal before matching with 2-seeded Larson in the finale. Springville’s 3-seed Nick Brown captured 3rd overall after falling to Larson in the semifinal and earning a 6-1 win in the consolation final over Czelusta. Lewiston 6-seed Jeff Hayhurst fell in the quarterfinal to Brown, but pinned in four of his six matches on Saturday to claim 5th place and an entry to sectionals.
152: Fredonia’s Cole Golembieski defended his top seed in going 4-0 on the day to claim the class title. Golembieski was a finals 11-6 winner over East Aurora’s Joplin Hess, who as the 3-seed defeated Lake Shore rival and 2-seed Devin Jeffrey in the semifinal, 5-4. Jeffrey did claim 3rd in the bracket after coming back to pin in the consolation semifinal before earning a major decision over Maryvale’s Will Mendofik. Fredonia’s Bryson LeGrano lost in the opening round but won three of his last four to earn 5th place, qualifying for sectionals.
160: In one of the big weight class moves of the weekend, Olean senior Gavin Kulp bounced up to 160 and it paid off at the class tournament as he earned the top seed and defeated Iroquois’s Tyler Barry in the final, 6-5, in a battle of returning state qualifier place winners. Both wrestlers earned pins over all of their respective opponents on the way to reaching the Saturday night final. Lewiston’s 6-seeded James Marshall topped Olean 3-seed Jeramiah Crivelli 5-4 in the quarters, however the Huskies senior got revenge in the 3rd place bout with a third period pin for bronze. Springville’s Devin Hitchcock finished 5th in the bracket.
170: Tonawanda’s defending Section VI champion Jason Frazer cruised through his competition on Saturday for his second straight Class B title. Frazer earned pins in all three of his first matches before a finals 19-5 major decision over 3-seed Alex Schenk from Pioneer. Schenk defeated Albion 2-seed Dayne Aina in the semi, 11-2, to reach the final. Fredonia’s Jack Storm gutted out two, one point overtime wins over Iroquois’s Ricky Hess, first to reach the semifinal, and then later for 3rd place in the weight class. Aina finished 5th in the bracket to qualify for sectionals.
182: Defending Section VI champion Ceric Kristan was impressive in capturing his second straight class title with a 10-3 decision win over 2-seeded Ryan Current from Iroquois in the final. Current is also a returning state qualifier place winner. Olean’s Chris Bargy finished 3rd in the bracket as the 3-seeded wrestler, defeating Albion’s William Freeman in both the quarters and consolation final. Lake Shore’s Marcus Williams qualified for sectionals with a 5th place finish.
195: Charter School for Applied Technologies got the program’s first ever class finalist AND champion when Christopher Wheeler pinned his way to the title on Saturday. Albion’s Cameron Bell finished 2nd in the weight class while Fredonia’s Matt Lotter defeated CSAT’s Alhassan Allami for 3rd place. Albion’s Colburn Spierdowis finished 5th in the weight class.
220: 2018-2019 Class A champion Conner Walsh cruised past his first two opponents before defeating Fredonia’s Alex Christy in the class final, 5-2, in a quality match between top four returning sectional place winners. Christy pinned his first three opponents including a semifinal fall over 3-seeded Christian Miller from Lackawanna, who then captured 3rd place with a pin only nine seconds into the second period of the consolation final match. Pioneer’s Mitch Landphair finished 4th in the bracket. Unseeded Dunkirk senior Bradley Jones upset the 5 and 4-seeded wrestlers to reach the semifinal before pinning the 8-seed for 5th place and an entry to sectionals.
285: Across WNY this season, the heavyweight division has featured an abnormally high amount of quality athletes whom have excelled on the football field as well. Saturday’s Class B 285-pound final was pure evidence of that fact, as Fredonia’s Jake Skinner escaped in overtime to edge Albion’s top seeded Cody Wilson, 3-2, in the championship match. Skinner vs. Wilson could happen again in the upcoming Division II semifinals. 4-seed Austin Noel from Pioneer had to face Olean’s 5-seed AJ Addotta twice, both resulting in pins for the Panthers junior as he captured 3rd overall in the bracket. After falling to Addotta in the consolation semi, 3-seed Yaniel Acevado from Fredonia captured 5th to round out a solid group of Class B heavyweight qualifiers for the sectional tournament.
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