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Mustangs post best finish at State Open wrestling

Updated 3:26 pm, Tuesday, February 26, 2013
  • Fairfield Warde High School's Ahmed Hourani is one of three Fairfield wrestlers to qualify for this weekend's New England wrestling championships in Providence, R.I. Photo: Scott Mullin / The News-Times Freelance
    Fairfield Warde High School's Ahmed Hourani is one of three Fairfield wrestlers to qualify for this weekend's New England wrestling championships in Providence, R.I. Photo: Scott Mullin

 

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The Fairfield Warde wrestling team outdid itself this year.

Five Mustangs placed in the top-six of their weight classes, giving Warde 78 points and a fifth-place finish at Saturday's State Open wrestling meet in New Haven.

The finish was Warde's best ever at the Open. Two Mustangs, Amed Hourani (285) and Pharoah Eaton (132), qualified for this weekend's New England Wrestling Championships in Providence, R.I.

"(They) have a good opportunity to place there," Warde coach Jason Shaughnessy said.

Dan Ebert (120), Dylan Bender (138) and Thomas Anania (170) each placed sixth for Warde.

Hourani wrestled back after a quarterfinal loss to Lyman's Darick Orange, to claim third place. Hourani avenged his loss to Orange, pinning his adversary in 3:25 in the third-place bout.

"The guys we brought wrestled back hard," Shaughnessy said. "You always aspire to be the champion, but wrestling back takes alot of courage and mental toughness."

Eaton reached the semifinals before dropping his last two matches for a fourth-place finish.

Fairfield Ludlowe placed two wrestlers, George Wales (106) and Ben Batulanon (113), as the Falcons finished 27th.

Wales dropped a second-round match to eventual champion Joseph Rosetti of Glastonbury. The sophomore wrestled back, winning four straight matches before his 10-3 loss to Hand's Matthew Elias.

Wales claimed the fifth-place match 13-8 over New Milford's Halim Bourjeli. He is the Falcons' first New England qualifier.

"He is peaking at the right time and seems to be wrestling better with every match he wrestles," Ludlowe coach Nick Garoffolo said. "He is wrestling with great confidence and calmness."

Danbury claimed first place, finishing with 130 points. The Hatters won their first Open title since 2010.

ppickens@bcnnew.com; twitter.com/Pat_Pickens

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