Class A South wrestling champs Marshwood ties for second
Noble repeats as Class A South wrestling champs Marshwood ties for second
NOORTH BERWICK, Maine — It was deja vu all over again for the Noble High School wrestling team.
As they did last year, the host Knights got some surprising efforts from their second-tier wrestlers to repeat as Class A South regional champions Saturday.
Noble sewed up the title during the consolation finals where six of their seven wrestlers won via pin.
The Knights won with 205 points. Marshwood was tied for second with Kennebunk with 128. Bonny Eagle took fourth with 126 and Portland/South Portland rounded out the top five with 103.
York/Traip was seventh with 94.
Noble will send 10 wrestlers — as it did last year — to the Class A state finals next Saturday at Cony High in Augusta, led by regional champions Josh Cote (126 pounds) and Sam Martel (138).
Disappointed Marshwood will move six along. Freshman Aydin Rix-McElhinney (no relation to Marshwood coaching legend Matt Rix) was the Hawks’ lone champ at 132.
Last year, under similar circumstances, Marshwood was second in the regional but came back to win the state title with seven wrestlers.
Cote and Martel picked up wins in the championship round for Noble, while senior Duncan McGilvery lost a tightly contested match at 145, 6-4.
Cote gained the final with two pins and won the title when his opponent, Kennebunk’s Aiden Shields, was unable to continue with a head injury.
Martel renewed his rivalry with Marshwood’s Liam Coomey. Last year the two met four times with Martel winning three matches. Coomey’s lone win came in the state final.
Martel pinned Coomey at 1:47 in their first meeting this season.
“I think I was just mentally ready to wrestle,” Martel said. “I was able to keep my head the whole match, that’s what helped. I was able to keep control on top and keep really good pressure, and then I was able to drive him over.”
Martel missed several weeks last month with strep throat and is still recovering.
McGilvery came back from a 4-0 deficit after two periods to tie it at 4-4 before losing by two in one of the better matches of the day to Scarborough’s Elijah Holbrook.
The Knights, however, flexed their muscles during the consolation finals in lightning-quick fashion.
Alex Marchand (106), Dylan Mulligan (113) and Jaden Balcewicz (120), who missed the regionals last year with an injury, set the tone with back-to-back-to-back pins of three Westbrook/Gorham wrestlers.
Marchand stopped Zach Davis at 1:52, Mulligan pinned Gabriella Taylor in 15 seconds, and Balcewicz collected his win by fall in 47 seconds over Nicco Pappalarado.
At 132, Alex Rachkoskie pinned Biddeford’s Peyton Bissonnette at 3:24. That was followed by pins from Logan Rendell (152) in 11 seconds over Keagan Rice of Cheverus, and Chris Pilcher (160) in 17 seconds over Morrison Doucette of Bonny Eagle.
PJ Exel at heavyweight was the lone Knight to lose in the consy finals. He was pinned at 5:24 by Bonny Eagle’s Jakob Harriman.
“We had guys battle back, which was nice,” said Noble coach Kevin Gray. “Sometimes this year we haven’t done that. We kind of laid over when times got tough. We did a much better job today.”
Rix-McElhinney pinned a familiar face, to him, in Kennebunk’s David York at 132 with a pin at 2:31. it was tied 2-2 when he collected the fall.
“I’ve been wrestling him since we were 3 years old,” Rix-McElhinney said. “We’re good friends. … It’s always back and forth. He’s beat me once this year and I’ve beaten him three times. … I had that chicken wing in and when he went to roll I kind of just scooped it right up and was able to pin his shoulders.”
Five Hawks made the finals and four lost. Coomey fell to Martel, while Sean Moriarty was pinned at 120 by Bonny Eagle’s Colby Frost with 31 seconds to go in the third period.
David Spinney lost a battle at 152 to Massabesic’s Noah Beal Hernandez, 4-1. There was no score after the first period and Spinney trailed 2-1 after two. Hernandez got a reversal in the final 27 seconds to get some breathing room.
Dylan Strong was thrown to the mat and suffered a head injury 35 seconds into his match at 182 with Sanford’s Isaac Plante. He couldn’t continue and Plante won by injury default.
“That move, the way it was executed on him was illegal,” said Marshwood coach Pat Howard. “It wasn’t called that way. I didn’t argue it because I don’t want to see somebody lose on a technicality of an illegal move. Even though it should have been that way. … The bottom line is he was not returned safely to the mat the way he’s supposed to be. I had a talk with the Sanford coach. He apologized. They understood it was illegal. They felt bad about it.”
Carsen Goodwin was the sixth Marshwood wrestler to advance. He was fourth at 126, losing to Massabesic’s Garret Francoeur by major decision, 13-4.
“We got to see what we’ve got to work on,” Howard said. “You always learn more from a loss than a win. This was a good learning tournament for us.”
York/Traip had one wrestler make the championship and three advance to the consolation finals.
Nathaiel Grader lost in the 160 final to Zach Elowitch of Portland/South Portland by pin at 3:44.
In the consy finals, Austin Niles won his match at 220 over Sacopee Valley’s Tristan Day by fall at 2:21.
William Orso (182) and Nathaniel Davis (195) fell in their matches by pin and major decision, respectively.
“It’ll be a different game at states, we know that,” Gray said. “We’re sitting in that same position as we were last year. We’ve got a lot of kids in. That’s why that consy round was key to not be in the fourth spot for all of them. That gives us an opportunity to score some points at states.”