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WNY Wrestling Weekend Roundup Five

Cover photo courtesy of Cal Phillips

Area tournament results and notes for the fifth weekend of high school wrestling (Friday, 1/3 – Saturday, 1/4).

Friday, January 3rd

Newark Regional Girls Tournament @ Newark HS (V)

On the same weekend as the annually held Jack Fisher Invitational Tournament, Newark also hosted a high school girls invitational. Female representatives from seven WNY schools competed at the event.

Niagara Wheatfield’s Rhylee Jung went 4-1 on the day collecting two pins, a major decision, and a decision falling only to Avon’s Esther Levendusky in the 113/120-pound group. Teammate Tristan Davis also competed at the event going 3-2 overall at 132-pounds. Davis earned all three wins by way of pin.

Kylah Holka and Crystiani Davis competed in Newark representing Niagara Falls. Holka went 3-1 overall with two pins and a technical fall, but fell only to Wheatfield’s Jung at 113/120. Davis went 2-0 with two pins for the Wolverines.

Royalton-Hartland was represented by Laci and Liz Giarla. Competing at 138, Laci collected two wins by pin, finishing 4th in the weight class. Liz earned a pin at 145/152, as both Giarla’s wrestled five matches apiece in Newark.

Salamanca was well represented in Newark, as four Warriors competed in the all-girls event. Skylee Baldwin, Becca Oakes, Marjorie Osgood, and Jessica Seekin all saw mat time, and Baldwin and Oakes saw the max amount of bouts as each competed in five matches.

Falconer’s Summer Senske went 3-2 at the event collecting two pins and winning 16-9 in another win. Teammate Akira Smith wrestled five matches and collected a pin in her first match.

Grand Island’s Jullianna Neyra put in another solid effort going 3-2 with two pins.

Finally, Maple Grove’s Maddie Wadsworth went a perfect 3-0 earning two pins and a 10-2 major decision.

Saturday, January 4th

Section VI Dual Meet Championships @ Lancaster HS

Niagara Wheatfield and Falconer claimed Section VI titles on Saturday and automatic berths to the NYSPHSAA championships on Saturday, February 1st in Syracuse. A special tournament recap can be found here:

Team notes:

Niagara Wheatfield was the 2nd seed and defeated Hamburg, Clarence, and Lancaster for the program’s second Section VI Division I title and second straight trip to Syracuse after advancing on a wildcard in 2018-2019. The Falcons were victorious in a 34-33 tiebreaker win over Lancaster for the championship. Wheatfield’s overall season record improves to 12-4.

Lancaster has been building toward the Duals title this season and fell by the slightest of margins in the final. It was the first loss of the season for the Legends, now 11-1 overall, who could earn a wildcard to Syracuse in the coming weeks. Senior Codie Scotland captured his 100th career win on the day as well.

Hamburg entered the tournament as the 7th seed, lost in the first round, and came all the way back to capture 3rd place defeating #6 Grand Island, #4 Niagara Falls, and #5 Frontier (41-36) in the final match to go 3-1 on the day. “Our boys wrestled well and our coaching staff was proud of their performance,” said Bulldogs head coach Ken Schmitz. “When asked to wrestle up, or guys moved out of the lineup, they didn’t complain. When matches got tough some fought to prevent bonus points and others made sure they went and got the bonus points. They played their role to whatever it needed to be. They started to come to together and wrestle for each other as a team. We don’t feel like we have peaked yet. Third place from the seven seed is something we are proud of and will enjoy, but we’ve got another team goal to work towards starting Monday.”

The Bulldogs improved to 15-3 overall this season and will travel to Lancaster and Clarence and host Frontier all within the span of two weeks in January for critical ECIC I showdowns.

Frontier lost handily in the first round to #4 Niagara Falls, but defeated league rivals Williamsville and #3 Clarence on the way to the 3rd place dual for the second time in three years. Like Hamburg, the Falcons will meet fellow league heavyweights Lancaster and Clarence in January with ECIC title implications on the line in each match. The Falcons are now 16-9 overall this season.

Falconer defended its top seed again, earning the Division II crown and third straight trip to Syracuse. Falconer upended Alden/Depew in the opening round, #4 Newfane in the semifinal, and ran away with a 42-27 win over #2 Iroquois in the title match. The state ranked Golden Falcons will be looking to improve on a final four finish from last season in Syracuse on February 1st. Falconer is now 23-1 this season.

Iroquois took down #3 Fredonia in the semifinal riding a huge push from the powerful Chiefs lower weights to earn a chance the top seed. Iroquois jumped out an 18-3 lead in the final but were overmatched in the middle and upper weights. Nonetheless, the Chiefs remain in contention for a wildcard entry to Syracuse and currently own a 19-3 overall record.

Newfane held off #5 Pioneer twice on Saturday and gave Falconer a highly competitive match in the semifinal but ultimately fell 43-31. The Panthers were impressive in both wins over Pioneer and against Lake Shore on the way to capturing 3rd place for the program’s first place finish in the four years they’ve qualified for it. Newfane is 17-4 overall this season.

Pioneer entered the tournament with the hope of knocking off #4 Newfane in the opening round but fell just short. The Panthers wrestled back to defeat Alden/Depew and then #3 Fredonia in the consolation semifinal, a satisfying win for the Panthers who fell to the Hillbillies earlier this season. Pioneer ultimately ended in the top four of an extremely competitive top five field of small school heavyweights, improving their record to 17-6 overall this season.

27th Annual Ripley Invitational Wrestling Tournament @ Ripley Central School

The host Thunderbirds outpaced runner-up Erie, PA HS by twenty-four points, 188.5 to 164.5, to capture the team title, led by four champions and three 2nd place performances. Jayden Malecki (106), Trent Burchanowski (113), Brendon Ramsey (138), and Zachary Wolcott (160)  all captured individual titles for Chautauqua Lake while Ramsey also collected the Outstanding Wrestler award. St. Joe’s was the next highest placing area team with two champions in Ben Parish at 152-pounds and Ronnie Jones at 170. Jones met Canisius’s Joe Dixon in the final in a bout between two of Msgr. Martin’s top wrestlers but was unfortunately unable to complete the match. A Jones/Dixon rivalry could be an interesting one to keep an eye on as the two may meet again with championship stakes on the line. Williamsville South was fourth in the team standings and crowned one champion in Jaden Friel at 120. Maple Grove was fifth overall led by a trio of champions in Luke Tomlinson (132), Kyle Trim (182), and Zechariah Padd (220). Canisius was led by a pair of champions in Barry Colby (145) who has quietly been putting together a nice season for the Crusaders, and Braydon Vandenberg (195) who has been strong for Canisius all season. Salamanca had a lone champion with Trevor Ellis winning the 126-pound bracket. Lewiston’s Caden Barrientos continued his outstanding 2019-2020 season capturing the 99-pound Ripley title. Barrientos (23-1) went 4-0 on the day including two close wins over Chautauqua Lake opponents that might have been previews of future post-season battles.

Red Jacket Invitational @ Red Jacket HS (V)

Portville made the two hour trip northeast to the annual Invitational held in Shortsville. The Panthers placed fifth overall while Section V small school powerhouse Palmyra-Macedon ran away with the team title. Dakota Mascho and Jayden Lassiter collected individual titles for Portville at 152 and 160-pounds, respectively. Mascho eclipsed the thirty win mark to improve to 30-1 overall on the season and dominated his bracket on the way to the Red Jacket title. Lassiter gutted out a 3-0 quarterfinal win but then pinned in the semi and majored in the final to improve to 29-3 overall this season. The Panthers were also led by two runner-up performances and three 4th – 6th place finishes.

Alexander Green & Gold Invitational @ Alexander HS (V)

The Trojans hosted their annual round robin event and five Buffalo area schools attended. St. Mary’s was the second highest placing area team at 4th overall. Matt Ash earned first place honors at 126-pounds and with it the Lightweight Most Outstanding Wrestler Award. Thomas Moss was a champion for the Lancers as well, winning the 220-pound bracket. Zach Ash was the runner-up at 132-pounds and three more Lancers placed 3rd or 4th in their respective weight classes. Amherst was represented by a handful of athletes. Jonah Christakis claimed the 182-pound Green & Gold title while Ben Levine (195) and Tyree Orange (285) wrestled to runner-up finishes. Albion’s Cody Wilson claimed the 285-pound title and in doing so helped pace the Purple Eagles to a top three team finish. Dayne Aina also captured an individual title for the Purple Eagles at 170-pounds. And, in their first varsity action as a new program, the Health Sciences/Maritime/Tapestry combined team had three placers led by a 3rd place finish by Xavier Williams and 5th place finishes by Zane Schenk and Timothy Chatmon.

Meadville Tool City Tournament @ Meadville Area HS (PA)

Olean placed 19th out of 24 teams at the always tough Tool City Tournament against an all-Pennsylvania field. The Huskies’ Conner Walsh was the highest placing Olean wrestler taking 4th at 220-pounds. Walsh went 3-2 as the 4-seed in the bracket, defeating Eisenhower’s (PA) 3-seed Cael Black 7-0 in the consolation semifinals. Gavin Kulp placed 5th at 152-pounds, also going 3-2 and beginning as the 4-seed in the bracket. Kulp was a winner by pin in all three of his victories and in doing so broke the Huskies’ all-time wins record.

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