Monday, March 10, 2014
A few tidbits from Saturday’s Tiger Invitational wrestling tournament.
• Gardiner coach Matt Hanley can’t recall if Saturday’s tournament was the 36th or 37th but he does know it began with former coach John Smith in the 1970s and has run consecutively each year since. “I believe it’s the second oldest in New England,” he said.
• Cony’s Nic Benner cut his elbow during his championship match against Gardiner’s Mitchell Chesley. He had to go to the sidelines to stop some bleeding. He trailed 5-0 at the time.
“That was actually kind of a good thing because I got a chance to talk to him for a second,” Cony coach Shawn Totman said. “He was in kind of slow motion out there. The other kid was doing all the action. When Nic started moving he started scoring points and look what happened. He ended up pinning the kid.”
• Two girls competed and scored points. Cony sophomore Chantelle Miller scored a 26-11 technical fall against Erskine Academy’s Cameron Grass in the 106-pound consolation finals. And Erskine’s Ashley Peaslee took third in the 113-pound division after advancing with a bye.
• Mt. Blue junior Khalil Newbill trailed for two periods in the 120-pound final against Morse’s Dylan Harrington then took a 7-4 lead only to see Harrington tie the match with an escape and takedown to send it to overtime. Newbill, who placed third in the state at 112 last season, shot in on Harrington’s legs for a two-point takedown and the win in OT.
“I didn’t want to drag it out long because I was already winded,” Newbill said.
• In addition to the eight varsity teams in the tournament, Gorham and Hall-Dale competed as independents while Cony, Erskine, Westbrook, Mt. Blue and Morse sent “B” teams. Cony B team member Jake Fraser won the 182-pound consolation final with a pin while Erskine’s Logan DeMerchant (152) and Westbrook’s Brandon Conley also scored points in the consolation round.
• Monmouth’s Tyler Lewendowski scored his first career win the consolation finals against Cony’s Josh Gilbert.
• Erskine’s Robert Soohey won the consolation finals at 152 to claim third place after being seeded sixth overall. He wrestled Erskine’s Logan DeMerchant, member of the B team, who was seeded eighth.
• Gardiner coach Matt Hanley was pleased with Mitchell Chesley, second at 195, and Wyatt Thornton who defeated Mt. Blue’s Chris Ingram 6-3 in the 152 pound finals.
“I think that’s his first big tournament win,” Hanley said of Thornton. “Hopefully that will give him some confidence the rest of the season.”
• In a tournament Cony won by only three and half points, every match counted. Senior Cody Geroux trailed Erskine Academy’s Brenden Henderson 5-0 in the third period of the 160-pound consolation final, but rallied with a takedown and near fall to send it to overtime where he won 7-5 with a takedown.
“He only weighs 147 pounds,” Totman said of Geroux, “so he’s giving away a lot of weight. He’s a tough kid.”
• Cony senior Connor Dufour didn’t place in the state meet last season but he’s off to a great start this year. Saturday he knocked off two wrestlers who did place in the states in Morse’s Gary Stevens and Mt. Blue’s Nick Hyde en route to the 132-pound championship.
Travis Lazarczyk has worked at the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal since 2000. He covers football, basketball and baseball. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/tlazarmaine