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New Milford repeats as Class L wrestling champion

Updated 11:05 pm, Saturday, February 22, 2014
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BRISTOL -- By placing four of its athletes in the weight-class finals Saturday at Bristol Central High School, New Milford won its second straight Class L wrestling championship and its third title in six years, with runner-up finishes in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Fairfield Warde, which won it in 2009 and 2010 and placed second last year, was runner-up this year by 27½ points and also got four athletes into the finals.

The Green Wave, the SWC champion, had three wrestlers finish in third place as well and won with 215½ points. New MilfordÂ's advantage over the Mustangs (188 points) in the consolation rounds, for wrestlers who lost before reaching the finals, was pivotal in providing the winning margin. All weight-class finalists advanced to the championships by not losing any matches on Friday and Saturday. The top six finishers in each of the four class championship tournaments Saturday advanced to the State Open next Friday and Saturday in New Haven.

"The key is (reaching) the semifinals and the wrestlebacks (consolations),"Â"said New Milford coach Chris Piel, whose team was rated second in the state. "It takes a big man who can accept a loss and wrestle his way back. It takes heart and maturity, and IÂ'm proud to say my guys have got it. We're going to make a run at the Opens."Â"

Ten Green Wave wrestlers placed in the top six in Class L and qualified for the State Open. Warde is sending eight to the Open. Bristol Eastern (160½) finished third, followed by Farmington (155½), Platt (134) and Fairfield Ludlowe (133½).

"It was a well-rounded, good day for us," Warde coach Jason Shaughnessy said. "We beat Bristol Eastern, and they were ranked ahead of us coming into this tournament."Â"

New Milford junior Kyle Lindner, the No. 1 seed, defeated Warde freshman Tim Kane, 11-7, at 113 pounds with a strong third period. Â"

"I let him score too much in the first period," Lindner said. "To win the Open, I'm going to have to wrestle better than that."

Lindner improved to 38-2 on the season but remained undefeated against wrestlers from the state. Kane, the second seed, will bring a 32-2 record into next week's State Open.

The rivals placed wrestlers in the 126 final, and the Mustangs' Dan Ebert evened the head-to-head, Green Wave-Mustangs matchup with a 6-4 victory over Niko Stefanatos. Â"

"It got a little hairy in the first period," Shaughnessy said. "He wrestled out of a scramble."

Ebert (35-1), the 120-pound runner-up last year, said: "I got myself into positions I wanted to be in."Â"

Halim Bourjeli placed third for New Milford at 106 pounds, freshman Charles Schultz was third at 120 pounds and Zachary Arnold won the silver medal at 138 pounds. Piel said he valued their victories in the consolation-round finals and the role they played in leading the Green Wave to the team title.

Ludlowe was the only other FCIAC school among the top 10. The Falcons' previous highest team finish was sixth in 2008.

Warde senior Ahmed Hourani improved to 37-0 on the season, and 99-5 in his career, by pinning Bristol Eastern's Kyle Porter in 29 seconds at 285 pounds. Â"

"I've been practicing harder and been running," said Hourani, whose goals are to win the State Open, where he was runner-up in 2013, and the New England Championships. "I've wrestled him once, and I knew I wanted to start taking it to him."Â"

The next final was won by Ludlowe junior George Wales, who was fourth last year at 106 pounds. He defeated Ryan Pantalena, of Maloney, 11-8, and improved to 34-4 in 2013-14.

"The first time they wrestled, Pantalena dominated him with three takedowns," Ludlowe coach Nick Garoffolo said. "He stopped his best move, a double-leg takedown, this time and he was able to take him (Pantalena) down. That was the difference."Â"

Platt senior Marlon Argueta beat top-seeded Ludlowe senior Ben Batulanon 4-3 for the championships at 120. Batulanon's record dropped to 37-4 this winter, Argueta's improved to 33-2. That moved Platt into fifth place in the team standings ahead of the Falcons where each team stayed.

Warde junior Dylan Bender (35-1), the top seed, repeated as runner-up at 138 pounds, losing the final to Hand's Ashton Gyenizs 8-4. New Milford's Brett Leonard, No. 2, lost the 145 final to top seeded Ryan Rigney, of Farmington, 7-6, in a match that went down to the final seconds.

rwalmark@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 113; twitter.com/ReidWalmark

CLASS L CHAMPIONSHIPS

at Bristol Central

Team scores

1. New Milford 215.5; 2. Fairfield Warde 188; 3. Bristol Eastern 160.5; 4. Farmington 155.5; 5. Platt 134; 6. Fairfield Ludlowe 133.5; 7. Middletown 125; 8. Hand 108.5; 9. South Windsor 97; 10. Newington 94.5; 11. Maloney 89; 12. Hall 87; 13. Bristol Central 85; 14. (tie) Masuk and Windsor 64; 16. Pomperaug 54; 17. E.O. Smith 50.5; 18. Bunnell 46; 19. Fitch 44; 20. Wilton 28; 21. Harding 26; 22. Norwalk 24; 23. Darien 20.5; 24. Wethersfield 18; 25. RHAM 16; 26. Platt Tech/ND-West Haven 4; 27. New Canaan 3.

Individual results

106: championship: George Wales (Fairfield Ludlowe) dec. Ryan Pantalena (Maloney) 11-8; third: Halim Bourjeli (New Milford) maj. dec. Joseph Miano (Farmington) 17-6; fifth: Robert Hartling (E.O. Smith) pinned Jack Price (Fairfield Warde) 4:58; 113: championship: Kyle Lindner (New Milford) dec. Timmy Kane (Fairfield Warde) 11-7; third: Eric Kirchgasser (Fairfield Ludlowe) dec. Daniel Morocho (Bristol Eastern) 3-1; fifth: Nghia Nguyen (Windsor) dec. Luke Schwartz (Norwalk) 6-0; 120: championship: Marlon Argueta (Platt) dec. Benjamin Batulanon (Fairfield Ludlowe) 4-3; third: Charles Schultz (New Milford) dec. Joshua Wilson (Bristol Eastern) 9-3; fifth: Drew Dahlberg (Farmington) pinned Nate Hunter (Maloney) 2:00; 126: championship: Daniel Ebert (Fairfield Warde) dec. Niko Stefanatos (New Milford) 6-4; third: Michael Ross (Bunnell) dec. Marcus Sherrod (Fairfield Ludlowe) 2-1; fifth: Robert Petry (Hall) won by forfeit over Mathew Pangle (Pomperaug); 132: championship: Conor Caffrey (South Windsor) maj. dec. Bryan Rojas (New Milford) 11-0; third: Jordan Baker (Middletown) dec. Aaron Beinstein (Fairfield Warde) 3-2; fifth: Robert Clark (Fairfield Ludlowe) dec. Tyler Burrow (Bristol Central) 5-1; 138: championship: Ashton Gyenizs (Hand) dec. Dylan Bender (Fairfield Warde) 8-4; third: Zachary Arnold (New Milford) pinned Zachary Thompson (Bristol Eastern) 2:41; fifth: Nathan Roy (Middletown) dec. Brian Goncalves (Newington) 8-5; 145: championship: Ryan Rigney (Farmington) dec. Brett Leonard (New Milford) 7-6; third: Youssef Saez (Platt) dec. Brendan Zotti (Newington) 9-2; fifth: Chase Lind (Fairfield Ludlowe) dec. Owen Gottlick (Hand) 6-1; 152: championship: Max Odell (South Windsor) dec. Christian Zotti (Newington) 5-3; third: Jophy Nieves (Maloney) dec. Anthony Rotz (Fairfield Warde) 7-2; fifth: Bernard Figuera-Velez won by forfeit over Anthony Ryan (Pomperaug); 160: championship: Harry Pacheco (Farmington) dec. Benjamin Onofrio (Hand) 2-1; third: Otton Velez (Masuk) dec. Colin Ventura (Fairfield Warde) 4-0; fifth: Billy Goff (Fitch) dec. Stefan Ceconi (New Milford) 4-3; 170: championship: Dovydas Simanskis (Farmington) dec. Jacob Grasis (Middletown) 5-0; third: Nick Koury (Windsor) dec. Bradley Marston (E.O. Smith) 7-2; fifth: Ian Gonzalez (Bristol Central) pinned James Pavelchak (Bristol Eastern) 2:29; 182: championship: Cody Carrillo (Middletown) dec. Jordan Kenyon (Fitch) 8-2; third: Jacob Skalski (Platt) maj. dec. Douglas Katz (Masuk) 10-1; fifth: Stephen Goodrich (Bristol Eastern) pinned Turner Ellis (New Milford) 1:12; 195: championship: Ogadinma Ikani (Hall) dec. Salvatore Longo (Masuk) 9-8; third: Dimitri Smith (Maloney) dec. Robert Crespo (Windsor) 4-3; fifth: Jordan Baggiero (Platt) pinned Justin Dwyer (Hand) 4:38; 220: championship: Cole Souza (Hall) dec. John Bernardo (Platt) 4-2; third: Jamar Jones (Middletown) dec. Jacob Pelletier (Bristol Eastern) 1-0; fifth: Thomas Mcilveen (New Milford) pinned Cody Mcquarrie (Bristol Central) 1:32; 285: championship: Ahmed Hourani (Fairfield Warde) pinned Kyle Porter (Bristol Eastern) 30 seconds; third: Joseph Fraccaroli (Wilton) pinned Vincent Stevens (Farmington) 4:34; fifth: Andres Del Valle (Newington) won by forfeit over Keith Benjamin (Windsor).

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