*Cover photo courtesy of Bob Blair*
**1st NYSPHSAA Girls Wrestling Invitational** @ Onondaga County Community College
By all accounts, the 1st NYSPHSAA Girls Wrestling Invitational was a smashing success on Friday at SRC Arena in Syracuse. Over 200 athletes competed within the thirteen weight class, bracketed tournament that featured four of the top ranked high school girls in the entire country.
Niagara Wheatfield 7th grader Gabriella Barone captured the 100-pound title going 4-0 with four pins and defeating the 2, 3, and 1-seeded wrestlers in a row on the way to 1st place. Newfane’s Alexa Doxey (7th) and West Seneca’s Christina Evans (11th) were also runners-up from Western New York. In total, ten wrestlers from Section VI schools placed in the top six of their brackets out of thirty two total entered wrestlers.
1st NYSPHSAA Girls Invitational WNY place winners:
Gabriella Barone – NW – 1st – 100-pounds
Alexa Doxey – Newfane – 2nd – 126
Christina Evans – West Seneca – 2nd – 145
Michaela Thomas – Iroquois – 3rd – 152
Ava Bragg – Lockport – 3rd – 165
Doris Baker – North Tonawanda – 3rd – 185
Hannah McCarley – North Tonawanda – 4th – 107
Meghan Edwards – Lewiston-Porter – 5th – 145
Khamya J’Maxwell – Lockport – 5th – 185
Gabi Freeburg – Chautauqua Lake – 6th – 235
More details can be found at the below link via WNYAthletics.com:
**5th Annual NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Wrestling Championships** @ Onondaga County Community College
The 5th edition of the NYS dual meet championships did not disappoint for any of the three competing Section VI teams. 2-seeded Starpoint cruised to the NYS large school title with wins over Cicero-North Syracuse (III) and a solid Fairport (V) team in pool duals. The Spartans impressively took down returning Duals runner-up and past champion Wantagh (VIII), 36-26, in the semifinal before moving on to meet the two-time defending top-seeded Minisink Valley Warriors (IX) in the championship match. Starpoint tallied eight wins with bonus points coming from two pins, two majors, and an injury default compared to five wins and four pins for the Warriors. The team state title is the first for any sport at Starpoint CSD and is the second NYS title won by a Section VI team in Syracuse; Falconer/Cassadaga Valley captured the NY Div. II title in 2020. Six different Spartans went 4-0 on the day with Kole Haseley pinning in all four matches. Starpoint’s Griffin LaPlante collected his 100th career win on the day as well…and he’s only a freshman.
For more details on Starpoint’s state championship please visit the link below via WNYAthletics.com:
Niagara Wheatfield made the team’s third appearance at the Duals, this time as an at-large entry. NW earned the 8-seed in the Division I tournament and met Minisink Valley and unseeded Section I champion Fox Lane in pool action. Wheatfield earned a big 60-5 win over the Foxes highlighted by six pins to start the day in their third meeting all time in Syracuse. In the next round, the Falcons would fall to the Warriors, 42-13, in a hard fought match. Take note of Tremell and Te’Shaun Mathews and Collin Coughenour all wrestling fellow returning NYS tournament qualifiers from MV all in a row from 132 to 145.
On the Div. II side, Section VI champion Chautauqua Lake impressed as the 8-seed in the program’s first visit to the state duals. CL opened with a solid 49-18 victory over the Section II champion Cobleskill-Richmondville Bulldogs in their first dual. The Thunderbirds earned nine wins in the dual, five of which came by pin with two forfeits and a major decision also accumulated.
The third round pool match put the T’Birds against the top seeded defending state champion Tioga Tigers. CL pushed the Tigers in an exciting match that turned out to be the closest of the day for Tioga as they defeated the Thunderbirds 33-24, then winning by 40 points in the semifinal and 31 in the final to repeat as champion. Tioga, who returns two state champions and three more place winners, won eight weights to CL’s five but were held to decisions in three of those matches. Jayden Malecki did a nice job to hold returning NYS champion Ousmane Duncanson to a 5-2 decision at 172-pounds to keep crucial team points away from the Tigers just before Ison Shirley and Gavin Segovia earned back to back pins with only five weights left thereafter. Chautauqua took Tioga right up to the last bout of the dual to decide the match.
**Ken-Ton Invitational Wrestling Tournament** @ Kenmore West HS
The annual Ken-Ton Tournament served up some very interesting results – many of which were inter-divisional – in the last weekend of the regular season. Six championship matches saw Section VI big school vs. small school representatives, four of which featured returning state tournament qualifiers and/or place winners. Niagara Falls ran away with the team title accumulating 176.5 team points to runner-up Southwestern’s 120. Hamburg scored 115-points to round out the top three, followed by a hot Iroquois team with 94. Williamsville North/East rounded out the top-5 with 91.5 points out of the big 27-team field.
Five Wolverines reached the final in their respective weights with seniors Jaden Crumpler (126) and Mike Syposs (160) claiming titles. Crumpler also claimed his 100th career victory on the day. Falls placed a tournament high seven wrestlers followed by the runner-up team with six top-4 wrestlers. Iroquois was the only other team to crown multiple champions by the end of the tournament. Southwestern advanced four wrestlers to the final but crowned only one champion.
Impressive Randolph sophomore Caden Inkley posted a 4-0 day and earned tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler honors with a finals decision, 5-2, over retuning Section VI Div. I champion and state tournament placer Amarfio Reynolds, Jr at 132-pounds.
Ken-Ton Tournament individual champions:
102: Tanner Catrabone – Williamsville North/East
110: Aidan Shufelt – Groton (IV)
118: Kenny Schmitz – Hamburg
126: Jaden Crumpler – Niagara Falls
132: Caden Inkley – Randolph
138: Ben Merrill – Alexander (V)
145: Brady Wilkinson – Iroquois
152: Cam Millender – Sweet Home
160: Mike Syposs – Niagara Falls
172: Tavio Hoose – Southwestern
189: Jack MacDonald – Orchard Park
215: Trevor Barry – Iroquois
285: Hamza Merrick – Wilson
Top ten team scores:
1. Niagara Falls 176.5
2. Southwestern 120
3. Hamburg 115
4. Iroquois 94
5. Williamsville North/East 91.5
6. Alexander 89.5
7. Wilson 86
8. Orchard Park 66
9. Groton 57
10. Randolph 50.5
**7th Annual Gary Gross Memorial Tournament** @ Medina HS
Pioneer cruised to the Gary Gross team title behind 172-pounnd champion Brady Heckathorn and four runners-up after a big night in Pantherland on Friday. The Panthers outgained runner-up Spencerport (V) with six place winners to the Rangers’ five for a 10-point differential in the team score, 132.5 to 125.5. Eleven teams filled the pool of participants – six squads from Section V, five from VI – in a final tune-up for everyone before class tournament Saturday. Although the tournament overall had a limited number of competitors, 110-pounds featured three returning state tournament qualifiers out of the eight wrestlers in the bracket.
Gary Gross Memorial WNY champions:
102: Reece Senske – Medina
118: Lucas Hoffman – Fredonia
172: Brady Heckathorn – Pioneer
1. Pioneer 132.5
2. Spencerport 125.5
3. Byron-Bergen (V) 118
4. Medina 117
5. Lyndonville (V) 87.5
6. Grand Island 71
7. Holley-Kendall 65
8. Fredonia 56.5
9. Avon-Geneseo (V) 53
10. Albion 31
11. Bloomfield (V) 18
**ECIC JV Tournament** @ Amherst HS
The next wave of up and coming ECIC wrestlers battled on Saturday in the season’s culminating event for its future mat stars!
ECIC JV individual champions:
102: Trey Abrams – Frontier
110: Ty Talty-Reese – West Seneca
118: Ronan Christian – Lancaster
126: Kyle Pirone – Frontier
132: Moshin Ali – Amherst
138: Mason Tirado – Frontier
145: Angelo Cuva – Will. N/E
152: Travis Shiner – Will. N/E
160: Sam Stratton – Will. N/E
172: Kurt Johnson – Clarence
189: Sean Leonard – West Seneca
215: Ashan McFadden – West Seneca
285 Jose Escalara-Vasquez – Frontier
**Saturday, 1/28 – Sunday, 1/29**
**CHSAA Dual Meet Wrestling Championships** @ Iona Prep Hs
St. Joe’s and St. Francis were the lone representative schools from Msgr. Martin this time at the CHSAA Duals held at Iona Prep HS in New Rochelle. The Association badly missed the 2022 Duals which were cancelled due to travel concerns for a threatening storm in the tri-state area.
With a limited traveling lineup, St. Joe’s posted a 4-5 dual record and recorded a 39-35 victory over the always tough St. Anthony’s Friars on Sunday, a first for the Marauders program.
Austin Zimmerman and Nik Massaro each posted impressive 9-0 records over the two day event. ‘Joe’s also recorded wins over Holy Trinity, St. Joe’s by the Sea, and Fordham Prep.
St. Francis also traveled with a few athletes missing, but posted a 2-7 dual record with wins over St. Joe’s by the Sea and Holy Trinity. Sean Gordon led the Red Raiders with an 8-1 record.
An impressive Chaminade team captured the team title followed by Iona Prep, Msgr. Farrell, and Kellenberg HS.
**Jamestown Open** @ Jamestown Community College
Falconer assistant coach Scotty James participated in the Open for the first time since the 2020 season where he captured his first career win. On Sunday, Scotty hit the mat again looking for his second career victory.
After a crucial stalling warning by his opponent, Scotty got the first takedown with a minute remaining in the first period. After looking for an opportunity to accumulate near fall points, Scotty used a turk and a half nelson to finally put his opponent in criteria, ultimately securing the pin for the Golden Falcons.
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