Hello from Lake Shore, site of the Section VI Division I wrestling championships.
Consolation bouts are winding down, after which the five-mat layout will be changed to one for the championships.
Below is the lineup of the finals, which I'll be updating as we go.
As you can see, all top seeds have reached the finals with only three upsets making it to the finals: two No. 3 seeds and one No. 7.
5:28 p.m. The gym has been cleared and reopened and fans are filing in while one green mat has been set up in the middle.
5:49 p.m. We're starting with the 96-pound final.
96: 1-Anthony Orefice (Lockport-8, 38-1) vs. 2-Austin Acquard (Iroquois-9, 48-3)
First period: Takedown and three back points for Orefice just over halfway through the period. Acquard tried to escape but no sale. Orefice, 5-0.
Second period: Orefice starts on top, remains in control through the first minute. Out of bounds with :37 left. Remains in control through end of period.
Third period: Orefice picks down. Quickly escapes for 6-0 lead. Takedown for 8-0 lead. Out of bounds with :33 left; Orefice warned for stalling. Acquard apparently has hurt his knee; :27 left. Acquard back up. Orefice wins by decision, 8-1.
103: 1-Rocco Russo (Frontier-9) vs. 2-Kellen Devlin (Amherst-7)
First period: Two-point takedown to Russo after some early scrambling. Devlin is undefeated on the year. Stalemate with :53 left. Escape by Devlin; 2-1 Russo. Russo takedown in final seconds of the period to go up, 4-1.
Second period: Russo starts on top; 1:35 restart. Stalemate with :54 left. Russo remains in control; Deviln tries to back out of the hold but he can't as time expires.
Third period: Russo, up, 4-1, starts on top. Devlin jumps early at the start, his third caution, which costs him a point. Russo, 5-1. Stalemate with Russo in control with 1:16 left. Devlin jumps out early again; Russo, 6-1. Russo wins by decision, 6-1.
112: 1-Steve Michel (Lancaster, 34-5, two-time Section VI champion) vs. 2-Jake Zaleski (Williamsville North-10, 29-8)
First period: Quick takedown less than 30 seconds in by Michel after grabbing a leg; 2-0 Michel. Michel starts on top on a restart with about 1:32 left. Michel lets Zaleski go for an escape and a 2-1 lead. Close to a takedown for Michel but he's out of bounds. Another takedown by Michel, now a 4-1 lead. Lets Zaleski escape again; 4-2 lead. Blood time for Zaleski with :33 left. Out of bounds with :18 left. Clinical takedown again by Michel with about 10 seconds left. Michel leads, 6-2.
Second period: Michel selects down. Uses some great leg strength to stand up and nearly escape. Out of bounds with 1:44 left. Michel quickly up again. Potentially dangerous position with :57 left. Michael spins around and completes a reversal for an 8-2 lead; allows another escape for 8-3; another takedown followed by an escape, 10-4. Out of bounds with :19 to go. Another takedown Michel and he leads, 12-4, in final seconds.
Third period. Michel promptly is after Zaleski to start the third and he pins him with 1:37 left. Michel wins by fall, 4:23.
119: 1-Eric Lewandowski (Lancaster-10) vs. 2-Ron Duguay (Kenmore West, 42-5)
First period: Lewandowski beat Duguay in last week's Class AAAA championships. Lewandowski takedown with about :45 to go.
Second period: Lewandowski on bottom. With both standing, Lewandowski escapes for a 3-0 lead. Takedown by Lewandkowski; followed by a two-point reversal for Duguay, 5-2. Reversal came with about 40 seconds left. End second period with Duguay bleeding from the nose.
Third period: Lewandowski on top and with a 5-2 lead. Blood time Duguay with 1:16 left. Lewandowski two back points for a 7-2 lead and remains in control the rest of the way. Lewandowski wins by decision, 7-2.
125: 1-Dylan Caruana (Kenmore West, 44-0) vs. 2-Dylan Cohen (Williamsville East, 39-2)
First period: Out of bounds, 1:39 to go. Caruana looking to go low but they continue to feel each other out it seems. :30 left. Nearly a takedown for Caruana but Cohen spun to avoid it as the period ends.
Second period: Cohen on top. Caruana escapes for a 1-0 lead less than 10 seconds in. Blood time Cohen with 1:25 left in second. Caruana drives Cohen forward and gets a takedown just inside the out-of-bounds; 3-0 Caruana. Caruana maintains a hold of Cohen's leg. Cohen with a very nice reversal to make it 3-2; out of bounds with :15 left. Cohen holds on to end the period. Caruana leads, 3-2.
Third period: Caruana starts on top, drives Cohen to mat. Stalemate with 1:16 left. Caruana on top. Caruana wins by fall with :40 left. Great scene as crowd got louder and then roared with the pin. Caruana wins by fall, 5:20.
Here's the big finish:
130: 1-Timothy Schafer (Lancaster-10, 35-3) vs. 7-Terrance Acker (Grand Island-10)
First period: Schafer with a quick takedown for a 2-0 lead; timeout 1:32 left. Two back points for a 4-0 lead. Potentially dangerous situation with 1:05 left. Schafer on top. Out of bounds with :49 left. Acker with one pont for an escape as Schafer allows him to start nuetral; 4-1 Schafer. Acker tries a takedown and the pair falls out of bounds off the mat.
Second period: Acker defers; Schafer selects down. Schafer now up, 6-2 (sorry, text came in). Schafer running away with it now, in very good control. Takedown followed by three points and an 11-2 lead. Three more for another near fall; 14-2. Another three for a 17-2 lead an a technical fall. Schafer wins by technical fall, 17-2 (3:48).
Note: Word from the Division II tournament is that the finals have yet to start. Whoa.
135: 1-Patrick Mix (Lake Shore-12, 42-2) vs. 2-Joe Kurtz (Clarence-12, 41-8)
First period: Mix with a quick takedown and 2-0 lead. Out of bounds with 1:12 left. Mix in control, two back points to the delight of the home crowd. 4-0 end of the period.
Second period: Mix goes from down position to on top with a reversal for a 6-0 lead very quickly. Mix with a near takedown to take a 8-0 lead with 1:21 left. Mix racks up the criteria points and is up, 11-0, with :26 left. Nearly a pin, three more near-fall points for a 14-0 lead to end the period.
Third period: Mix quickly gets a takedown and a 16-0 major decision. Mix wins by technical fall, 16-0 (4:21).
Here's how Mix finished things off:
140: 1-Mike Feeney (Lockport-11, 35-7) vs. 2-Luke Falzone (Williamsville South-11, 31-5)
First period: Both feeling each other out; both warned for stalling; timeout :51 left. The least exciting period of the evening so far. Someone actually said, "Booo-ring." :-)
Second period: Feeney on bottom. They twist out of bounds with 1:50 left. Caution Falzone. Feeney gets a hold of Falzone and lifts him up on his way to a reversal and a 2-0 lead. Out of bounds with 1:09 left. Out of bounds with :51 left. Out of bounds with :44 left. Feeney maintains control the rest of period.
Third period: Feeney leads, 2-0. Feeney starts on top as Falzone picks bottom. Out of bounds with 1:54 left as Falzone tried to switch out of it. Feeney has Falzone flat on the mat. Warning stalling makes it a 3-0 lead for Feeney. Falzone tries to get away; Feeney keeps ahold of his foot and takes him to the mat. Out of bounds with :58 to go. Falzone down position trailing, 3-0. Feeney pulls him back. Potentially dangerous position with :43 left and a whistle. Falzone back to starting from bottom. Falzone spins and scores a reversal; Feeney escapes to take a 4-2 lead. Out of bounds with :12 left and Feeney scores a takedown to come away with the win. Feeney wins by decision, 6-2.
Here's Feeney putting it away:
145: 1-James Kloc (Iroquois-11, 46-1) vs. 2-Joe DeFrancesco (Niagara Falls-11, 29-7)
First period: Out of bounds, 1:39. Out of bounds, 1:26. DeFrancesco poked in the eye apparently; 1:17 left. Out of bounds, 1:09 left. Powerful takedown by Kloc for a 2-0 lead. Out of bounds, :57. Klock with two points awarded as he drives DeFrancesco around the mat; 4-0. Out of bounds, :25. Caution on DeFrancesco in down position. End of period with Kloc up, 4-0.
Second period: Kloc chooses down position. Kloc escapes, 5-0. Out of bounds, 1:48 left. Kloc takedown, 7-0. Out of bounds, 1:38. Kloc chooses to go nuetral; 7-1. Out of bounds, 1:26. Takedown Kloc, 9-1. Out of bounds, 1:11. Kloc goes nuetral; 9-2. Kloc takedown (11-2) just before they go out of bounds with :50 left. Kloc starts on top; escape DeFrancesco; 11-3. Out of bounds, :41. Another takedown by Kloc, 13-3 inside 20 seconds.
Third period: DeFrancesco starts down. Klock riding. Out of bounds, 1:03 left. Kloc loses a contact it seems. Timeout with :49 left. Escape DeFrancesco; 13-4. Out of bounds, :27 left. Another takedown for a 15-4 lead. Out of bounds, :11. Kloc wins by major decision, 15-4.
152: 1-Irvin Buck (Niagara Falls-12, 36-1) vs. 2-Jacob Gullo (Jamestown-11, 38-6)
First period: Buck pinned Gullo at last week's AAAA tournament. Out of bounds, 1:44. Buck takedown about 40 seconds in for a takedown, 2-0. Buck in complete control. Three near-fall points for a 5-0 lead. Injury timeout for Gullo after he hit his head on the mat; :55 left in first. Reversal and an escape; 6-2 lead for Buck. Buck takedown for 8-2 lead; out of bounds, :29 left. Two points for a near fall for Buck late in the period for a 10-2 lead going to the second.
Second period: Buck with a two-point reversal and a 12-2 lead. Out of bounds, 1:06 left. Stalemate, :10 left in second.
Third period: Buck with a nice takedown right off the start; 14-2. Out of bounds, 1:08 left. Escape allowed, 14-3. Another takedown, 16-3. Out of bounds, :51 left. Nuetral chosen by Buck, 16-4. Another takedown, 18-4 Buck. Out of bounds, :25. Neutral, 18-5. Takedown, Buck for a 20-5 technical fall with :18 left. Buck wins by technical fall, 20-5 (5:42).
160: 1-Tyler Bruce (North Tonawanda-12, 36-1) vs. 3-Joseph Catalano (Lake Shore-11, 32-11)
First period: Catalano with a nice hand from the home crowd. Two-point takedown Bruce about 20 seconds in. Technical violation on Bruce for a full nelson; one point to Catalano for a 2-1 score. One point escape by Catalano for a 2-2 tie. Both neutral for rest of period.
Second period: Bruce defers; Catalano chooses down. Bruce in control through halfway point, Catalano flat on his front. Stalemate, :12 left.
Third period: We're tied at 2-2. Bruce on bottom. Bruce with an escape for a 3-2 lead. Out of bounds, 1:41 left. Bruce remains on offensive. Out of bounds, 1:20 left. Home crowd tries to get Catalano to a big finish but Bruce blocks it. Bruce wins by decision, 3-2.
Here's Bruce holding on to win:
171: 1-Joe Amoia (Kenmore West-12, 40-3) vs. 2-Nicholas Bannister (Frontier-12, 33-8)
First period: Amoia with a quick takedown and racking up the riding points, 6-0, as they go out of bounds with 1:23 left. Amoia avoids a reversal, out of bounds, :50 left. Escape for Bannister; 6-1. Out of bounds, :13 left.
Second period: Amoia starts on top. Bannister manages an escape as he goes out of bounds with 1:45 left; 6-2. Out of bounds, 1:02.
Third period: Amoia on bottom. Out of bounds, 1:26 left. Out of bounds, :57. Bannister goes nuetral; Amoia, 7-2. Out of bounds, :16 left. Amoia wins by decision, 7-2.
189: 1-Rodney Offhaus (Iroquois-12, 49-3) vs. 2-Jake Kelly (Niagara-Wheatfield-11, 47-3, 101 career wins)
First period: Offhaus won their only meeting this year at the Niagara Frontier officials tournament. Kelly comes out aggressive, hands moving. They settle in, feeling each other out, arm wrestling while standing. One minute past. They go to their knees with about 40 seconds left. End of period with no scoring.
Second period: Kelly chooses down. Kelly tries to stand, Offhaus leans him down to the mat. Kelly spins out and his reversal gives him a 2-0 lead with about 1:30 left. Kelly stays on top. :30 to go. Stalemate with :22 left. End of period with Kelly up, 2-0.
Third period: Offhaus picks down. Entertaining final period ends with our first top seed going down. Offhaus reversed to tie it at 2-2, but then Kelly reversed back for a 4-2 victory. Kelly wins by decision, 4-2.
Our only match in which the top seed has not won.
Here is the third period:
215: 1-Adam Donner (Niagara-Wheatfield-12, 38-4) vs. 2-Nicolas Burgos (Kenmore West-11, 30-12)
First period: Out of bounds 10 seconds in. Donner with a takedown about 25 seconds in for a 2-0 lead. Out of bounds, 1:25. Donner with two back points on the near fall; 4-0 with :50 left. Out of bounds, :40 left. Donner nearly had the pin; three more near-fall points for a 7-0 lead.
Second period: Donner picks down. Donner quickly registers a pin with 1:39 left in the period. Donner wins by fall, 2:21.
8:05 p.m. One match to go.
285: 1-Max Antone (Niagara-Wheatfield) vs. 3-Ken Fierle (Iroquois)
First period: Gym is fairly cleared out as the heavyweights go at it. Antone with two points on a takedown. Out of bounds, :51 left. Escape by Fierle; Antone leads, 2-1. Out of bounds, :37. Out of bounds, near takedown for Antone; :01 left.
Second period: Fierle chooses down. Out of bounds, 1:39. Out of bounds, 1:28. Out of bounds, 1:24. Fierle keeps standing up trying to escape. Out of bounds, 1:08. Fierle escapes just before out of bounds, :53. Tied 2-2. Out of bounds, :33 with Antone nearly having taken Fierle down. Out of bounds, :03 left.
Third period: Tied, 2-2. One-point escape for Antone, 3-2 lead; out of bounds with 1:52 left. Antone holds on for the win. Antone wins by decision, 3-2.
8:15 p.m. Time for some housekeeping and interviews. More to come later.
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