Ledyard's Mullaney survives while Montville's Caskey thrives at Class S wrestling tourney
Willimantic — Ledyard's Richard Mullaney rose to his feet with a pained look on his face after Saturday's CIAC Class S heavyweight wrestling final, thinking that he just lost to top-seeded Austin Daley of Morgan.
Mullaney thought wrong.
"I saw (Daley) laying there (on the mat) and I didn't know why because in my mind, he won," Mullaney said. "I looked at the scoreboard and I saw green (Mullaney) with (more) points, and I just couldn't believe it."
Mullaney escaped the much-larger Daley's grasp with 23 seconds left in the match to tie it, and executed a takedown with seconds left for a 5-3 win and his first state title.
"I had to look at (head) coach (Steve Bilheimer), and I asked him if I was the champion," Mullaney said, still fighting back tears long after the match.
"He said, 'Yes, Richard — you're a champion. I was just so ecstatic with joy. I never thought I'd be a state champion, especially going up against a kid like him."
Montville's Noah Caskey (132 pounds) won his third title and earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors, and teammate Nick Tibbetts (220) won his first state title.
Montville, ranked ninth in the Connecticut Wrestling Online poll, was favored to win Class S. It finished fifth with 131 points. Rival Windham scored 190 to win its fifth Class S title in six seasons.
Dane Concascia (182) placed second for Montville and Jayden Colon was sixth at 120 pounds.
"It's not that they wrestled horrible because they didn't," Indians head coach Gary Wilcox said about his team, "but they didn't measure up to what we were hoping for. The good news is we had three finalists and placed another kid. I'm proud of those kids.
"Sometimes wrestling can be emotional, and I think the emotion overwhelmed us."
It didn't help Montville that Sam Kury, the top seed at 152 pounds, couldn't wrestle due to a shoulder injury.
"Not having Sam and his 22, 24 points ... that makes a big difference," Wilcox said. "Windham had an awesome day, and congratulations to them, but if had we had Sam in there and maybe a little extra effort (from others), we'd probably finish with 30, 40 more points, which was what I was expecting."
Caskey beat Anthony Cimino of Morgan by tech fall, 16-1, in four minutes, 25 seconds. He was the top seed at 132 pounds and won S titles last season (126 pounds) and in 2015 (106). He was runner-up at 113 in 2016.
It was the fifth Class S title for the family — older brother Jake won in 2013 and 2014.
"I wrestled that kid earlier in the year and I pinned him already (at the Morgan Duals), so I was expecting to win," Caskey said. "It's a different level of excitement for me (having already won twice)."
Tibbetts, the top seed at 220, beat Derby's Matt Oliwa 7-4 for the title. Tibbetts, who recently signed a letter of intent to play football for Yale, got a rude awakening in his opening match Saturday (quarterfinals) against Ben Falivene of Valley Regional.
"I got head-locked and I was down four points (early), and I realized my head wasn't in it," Tibbetts said, "When I got out of it, I flipped the switch. That's something we work a lot on at Montville, having the next gear. I was kind of on a tractor and I wasn't in turbo."
Tibbetts pinned Falivene at 5:29.
Defending S champion Ledyard finished 10th (93 points) with a few wrestlers performing well above their seed. Dennis Charles placed third (145) and Cole Dirico, seeded 11th at 126, finished fourth. No. 15 Jadian Mackenzie (195) beat Eduardo Morales of Goodwin Tech by ultimate tiebreaker to take fifth.
"Jadian, he's really come on," Bilheimer said. "He's a freshman. Cole Dirico. … he was 6-22 last year, and in one year he came back (strong). I think he has almost 30 wins now and he placed.
"Dennis is only a second-year wrestler. He's a very athletic kid. He struggled for part of last year, then he really started to come on. He had an overall much better year than I thought (he'd have)."
Windham was the surprise champion after placing seventh at the ECC tournament. It finished 34.5 points ahead of runnerup Gilbert (155.5).
"We knew we had the core guys down low (to win)," coach Pat Risley said. "Then the unfortunate thing with Kury getting hurt for Montville, it just kind of opened that door a crack. And we came busting through."
CIAC WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
1. Danbury, 274; 2. Fairfield Warde, 200; 3. (tie) Trumbull and Southington, 175; 5. East Hartford, 117; 6. Simsbury, 112; 7. Ridgefield, 93.5; 8. Newtown, 91; 9. Manchester, 87; 10. Westhill, 76. Local school: 13. NFA, 67.5.
106 — Final: Thomas Finn (Simsbury) dec. Jack Ryan (Trumbull), 5-2; Third: Tyler Johnson (Danbury) pinned Martial Sutton (Glastonbury), :49; Fifth: Caleb Brick (Southington) pinned Elijah Pelkey (Enfield), :51.
113 — Final: Ben LeBlanc (Danbury) dec. Parker Sutton (Glastonbury), 8-3; Third: Lowayne Harris (East Hartford) dec. Saul Pera (Simsbury), 3-2; Fifth: Terry Brannigan (Staples) dec. Carlos Dewinter (Greenwich), 17-5.
120 — Final: Ryan Jack (Danbury) dec. William Chase Parrot (Westhill), 13-3; Third: Ben Smart (Ridgefield) pinned Cole Shaughnessy (Warde), :21; Fifth: Sam White (Norwalk) pinned Dominic Renfree (NFA), 2:11.
126 — Final: Aaron Occhipinti (Newtown) dec. Jonathan Kosak (Trumbull), 6-3; Third: Thomas Mazur (Westhill) dec. Jacob Cardozo (Southington), 7-0; Fifth: Nathan Cuoco (Warde) pinned Nick Savo (Danbury), 2:30.
132 — Final: Kyle Fields (Danbury) pinned Alex Steele (Warde), 5:57; Third: Nik Accousti (Newtown) dec. David Castaldo (Trumbull), 5-4; Fifth: Jason Brault (Southington) pinned Elijah Watson (New Britain), 4:04.
138 — Final: Matt Ryan (Trumbull) dec. Shamar Schand (Manchester), 8-7; Third: Noah Zuckerman (Warde) dec. Alberto John Caba (Danbury), 4-3; Fifth: Shaun Wagner (Southington) dec. Alex Edwards (Westhill), 8-2.
145 — Final: A.J. Kovacs (Danbury) pinned George Tsiranides (Fairfield Prep), :52; Third: Garey Mendez (Stamford) pinned Timothy Roberts (East Hartford), 4:21; Fifth: Anthony Zarlenga (Warde) dec. Traivon Nieves (Manchester), 1-0.
152 — Final: Kris Gjinaj (Warde) dec. Lazar Agoev (Ridgefield), 6-2; Third: Tagan Welch (Southington) pinned Owen Walsh (Newtown), 1:56; Fifth: Theran Vanase (NFA) won by tech. fall over Jasen Gonzalez (Manchester), 18-2 (3:52).
160 — Final: Izaake Zuckerman (Warde) pinned Simon Preston (Ridgefield), 3:05; Third: Eric Rodonis (Conard) dec. William Carr (Southington), 7-2; Fifth: Jonathan Davila (McMahon) dec. Ibrahim Abdul-Hakeem (Stamford), 9-1.
170 — Final: Gino Baratta (Danbury) dec. Paul Calo (Southington), 2-1 (tiebreaker); Third: Jake Heerman (Stamford) dec. Jakari Walker (Norwalk), 14-3; Fifth: Nate Chesworth (Enfield) pinned Jackson Blanchard (Greenwich), 2:28.
182 — Final: Joseph Palmieri (Trumbull) dec. Jackson King (Simsbury), 4-3; Third: Andrew Nanai (Greenwich) pinned George Estevez (Danbury), 1:43; Fifth: Marc Thelusma (NFA) forfeit over Joshua Atkins (Manchester).
195 — Final: Brett Nutter (Trumbull) dec. Joseph Gjinaj (Warde), 3-2; Third: Ray Weiner (Shelton) pinned Isaiah Medina (New Britain), 2:20; Fifth: Jeffrey Cocchia (McMahon) pinned Ryan Merida (Greenwich), 2:04.
220 — Final: Isaiah Jiminian (East Hartford) dec. Montez Osbey (Danbury), 3-1 (OT); Third: Jacob Vecchio (Southington) pinned Dante Solano (Norwalk), 2:20; Fifth: Kamren Snodgrass (NFA) dec. Nathan Keegan (Manchester), 6-2.
285 — Final: George Harrington (Staples) dec. Joe Zeller (Newtown), 3-2 (tiebraker); Third: Jordan Agosto (Danbury) pinned Anthoneil Phillips (East Hartford), 1:27; Fifth: Christian Bier (Westhill) forfeit over Biliaminy Affini (Manchester).
At Bristol Central
1. Bristol Eastern, 231; 2. Xavier, 196.5; 3. New Milford, 173; 4. New Canaan, 163.5; 5. Hand, 129.5; 6. Wethersfield, 106.5; 7. Bristol Central, 102.5; 8. Amity, 101; 9. Wilton, 100.5; 10. Fitch, 98.5.
106 — Final: Travis Longo (Wilton) dec. Bryce Beebe (Bristol Eastern), 5-0; Third: Drew Currier (Hall) dec. Michael Rapuano (Xavier), 6-2; Fifth: Elijah Cyr (Middletown) dec. Jacob Pressler (Fairfield Ludlowe), 11-3.
113 — Final: Jarod Kosman (Fitch) dec. Jordon Champagne (Bristol Eastern), 4-1; Third: Vito Santarsiero (Xavier) dec. Luke Schell (New Milford), 5-2; Fifth: Christian Chadwick (Amity) dec. Bryce Arnold (Wethersfield), 10-0.
120 — Final: Chris Trelli (Bristol Central) dec. Brandon Leonard (New Milford), 12-4; Third: Thomas Nichols (Bristol Eastern) dec. Quinn Moynihan (Xavier), 7-0; Fifth: Aiden Hebert (Amity) dec. Kyle Davern (Hand), 6-1.
126 — Final: Mel Ortiz (New Milford) dec. Justin Mastroianni (New Canaan), 4-2 (tiebreaker); Third: Nicholas Rende (Wilton) pinned Carson Sassu (Bristol Eastern), 4:08; Fifth: Matt Laurie (Wethersfield) won by tech. fall over Ronan Marino (Xavier), 15-0 (3:16).
132 — Final: Demetre Carnot (Maloney) dec. Mark Hartmann (Daniel Hand), 14-5; Third: James Lunt (Xavier) forfeit over Colin Lindner (New Milford); Fifth: Luigi Derubeis (New Canaan) dec. Daniel Germain (Pomperaug), 5-2.
138 — Final: Tyler Sung (New Canaan) dec. Tyler Schultz (New Milford), 5-0; Third: Zach Taylor (Ludlowe) dec. Michelangelo Bolorin (Wethersfield), 11-9; Fifth: Grant Barber (Xavier) de. Martino Pusz (Middletown), 2-0.
145 — Final: Leonardo Fernandez (Bristol Eastern) dec. Nate Sibbett (New Canaan), 10-6; Third: Austin Robertson (Fitch) dec. Connor Massey (Notre Dame-West Haven), 8-5; Fifth: Nick Richardson (E.O. Smith) dec. Curtis Fedorko (Masuk), 8-4.
152 — Final: Justin Marshall (Bristol Eastern) dec. Matt Rothman (Amity), 4-3; Third: Christian Sibbett (New Canaan) pinned Keith McDonald (Fitch), 5:00; Fifth: Jason Lobdell (Masuk) dec. Luke Popolizio (Farmington), 1-0.
160 — Final: Michael Barrett (Bristol Eastern) dec. Alec Arnold (Wethersfield), 9-1; Third: Timothy Cocchiola (Pomperaug) pinned Markeese Thompson (Maloney), 2:46; Fifth: Sam Keylock (Amity) pinned Jacob Colley (New Milford), :39.
170 — Final: Ryan Devivo (Xavier) pinned Adam Hendrick (Hand), 1:45; Third: Zachary Zeyher (Wilton) dec. Cooper Nodden (South Windsor), 8-5; Fifth: Damian Mahaffy (Bristol Central) pinned Justin Hathaway (Ludlowe), 2:04.
182 — Final: Isaiah Rivera (E.O. Smith) dec. Dylan Sousa (Xavier), 3-2; Third: Alec Dube (Hand) pinned Kyle Fabich (New Milford), 1:46; Fifth: Michael Reilly (Pomperaug) pinned Stan Goldlewski (Ludlowe), 2:45.
195 — Final: Trinidad Gonzalez (Bristol Eastern) dec. Justin Searls (Hall), 7-0; Third: Austin Harnish (Wethersfield) dec. Julian Reza (New Milford), 4-1 (OT); Fifth: Collin Malloy (Xavier) pinned Nigel Debrito (Farmington), 3:19.
220 — Final: Dakota Grover (Fitch) pinned Muhil Saravana (Farmington), 3:22; Third: Michael Guzman (Bristol Central) dec. Nick Kortman (New Canaan), 7-3; Fifth: Hidekel Mangual (Bristol Eastern) pinned Derrick Pommills (ND-WH), 5:55.
285 — Final: Michael Burchell (Hand) pinned Jack Stewart (New Canaan), 1:58; Third: Justin Griffin (Amity) dec. Jameel Salami (Xavier), 4:08; Fifth: John Duncan (Bristol Central) dec. Nicholas DeJesus (Middletown), 3-1 (OT).
1. Foran, 236; 2. Killingly, 190; 3. Guilford, 140; 4. Ellis Tech, 121; 5. New London, 115.5; 6. Platt, 114; 7. (tie) Waterford and Avon, 108; 9. East Haven, 105.5; 10. Barlow, 100.5; Other local schools: 20. East Lyme, 34.5; 22. St. Bernard/Norwich Tech, 28.
106 — Final: Logan Smith (Waterford) dec. Dan Charron (Killingly), 9-7 (OT); Third: Naaji Powell-Keyton (New London) pinned Joshua Brault (Barlow), 2:58; Fifth: Abhilash Bhabad (Avon) pinned Rylan Grant (Bacon), 3:49.
113 — Final: Braeden O'Brien (Bacon) dec. Dave Charron (Killingly), 7-6 (OT); Third: Gavin Rickaby (Ellis Tech) dec. James Rondini (Platt), 7-2; Fifth: Ashton Capichiano (New Fairfield) dec. Logan Kanaitis (RHAM), 11-6.
120 — Final: Mike Charron (Killingly) dec. Jeremy Polanco-Castro (Platt), 11-5; Third: Michael Giordano (Foran) dec. Hunter Chin (New Fairfield), 5-0; Fifth: Eric Zane (Waterford) dec. Caleb Ferland (Ellis Tech), 5-0.
126 — Final: Sean Johnson (Ellis Tech) won by tech. fall over Keldon Larose (Guilford), 17-1 (4:53); Third: Louis Stabile (Brookfield) dec. Alec DiVito (East Haven), 3-2; Fifth: Jordan Lang (Foran) pinned Cooper Morrisette (Killingly), 3:55.
132 — Final: Daniel Veleas (Berlin) dec. Shayne McCourt (Law), 5-4; Third: William Mauro (Foran) dec. A.J. Sachatello (Waterford), 5-0; Fifth: Max Commander (New London) dec. Tanner DiVito (East Haven), 15-12.
138 — Final: Ryan Angers (Tolland) pinned Vincent Mascola (Guilford), :57; Third: Camron Louis (Ellis Tech) forfeit over Aisaiah Rodriguez (Law); Fifth: Ethan Edmondson (Foran) dec. Xavier Powell (Watertown), 10-4.
145 — Final: Zack Burgess (Killingly) dec. Everett Minevich (East Lyme), 5-0; Third: Alex Klein Wassink (Barlow) dec. Kevin Pokornowski (Foran), 5-1; Fifth: Eamon Toland Matos (Bethel) forfeit over Connor Gontarz (East Haven).
152 — Final: Ryan Luth (Foran) pinned Ben Coppock (Barlow), 1:53; Third: Nicholas Marchak (Bethel) dec. Moses Marino (Berlin), 5-0; Fifth: Ryan Maleryn (RHAM) forfeit over Carter Cox (Guilford).
160 — Final: Michael Angers (Tolland) pinned Zachary Cash (Branford), 3:55; Third: Noah Silk (RHAM) dec. Joshua Veleas (Berlin), 7-4; Fifth: Max Khoshabo (Bethel) dec. Ronald Gaul (Foran), 2-1.
170 — Final: Carson Licastri (Barlow) dec. Derek Turner (Killingly), 7-3; Third: Zavian Arroyo (Platt) dec. Umer Khan (Foran), 3-0; Fifth: Cody McHenry (Branford) forfeit over Luis Rodriguez-Veras (New London).
182 — Final: Ben Stratton (Platt) dec. Charles Andrus (Guilford), 9-1; Third: Zach Caffrey (Killingly) pinned William Ives (Foran), 2:18; Fifth: David Osler (Branford) dec. Alex Otero (RHAM), 6-1.
195 — Final: Jacob Commander (New London) pinned Josh Rao (East Haven), 1:55; Third: Kevin Brocksom (Law) pinned Nolan Bannon (Foran), 2:07; Fifth: Matt Bourquin (Avon) dec. Emmanuel Sainville (Stratford), 7-3.
220 — Final: Nicholas Cote (Bethel) pinned Qasim Khan (Foran), 3:55; Third: Kyle Zalewski (Branford) dec. Christopher Gens (Avon), 5-4; Third: Noah Kimball (New London) pinned Renee Bernier (Killingly), :08.
285 — Final: Sergio Ferreira (Stratford) dec. Collin Delsanto (Ellis Tech), 3-2; Third: Henry Schrecengost (Avon) pinned Roark Ryan (St. Bernard/Norwich Tech), 3:42; Fifth: Tanner Small (Guilford) pinned Phillip Boyles (Foran), 3:19.
1. Windham, 190; 2. Gilbert, 155.5; 3. Haddam-Killingworth, 149; 4. Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech, 143; 5. Montville, 131; 6. Morgan, 130.5; 7. Granby, 120; 8. NW Regional, 108.5; 9. Griswold, 98.5; 10. Ledyard, 93.
106 — Final: Jacob Marselli (East Catholic) dec. Elijah Vertefeuille (Windham), 6-3; Third: Josue Bobe (Portland) dec. Cameron Hines (H-K), 10-4; Fifth: Matthew Webb (Canton) pinned Tyler Arsenault (Griswold), 1:49.
113 — Final: Alejandro Garcia (Windham) dec. Louis Bradley (Morgan), 6-2; Third: Tristan Julian (Stafford) dec. Michael Dalessio (Somers), 12-1; Fifth: Thomas Verdiglione (Nonnewaug) pinned Dominic Pedrolini (Plainville), 2:50.
120 — Final: Angelo Folino (NW Regional) dec. Devin Matthews (Gilbert), 7-4; Third: Kevin Fantoli (Windham) dec. Cayleb Leclerc (Terryville), 6-4 (OT); Fifth: Javier Mercado (Portland) dec. Jayden Colon (Montville), 7-3.
126 — Final: Hunter Fleming (Granby) dec. Sebastien Stultz (Windham), 5-2; Third: Trevor Follo (Morgan) dec. Cole Dirico (Ledyard), 7-2; Fifth: Malakai Maher (H-K) forfeit over Sebastian Soli (Plainville).
132 — Final: Noah Caskey (Montville) won by tech. fall over Anthony Cimino (Morgan), 16-1 (4:25); Third: Luis Rodriguez (Windham) dec. Kacper Proczek (Coventry), 7-1; Fifth: Vashil Patel (Griswold) dec. Brian Connolly (Canton), 7-6.
138 — Final: Jared Swett (LM/WT) dec. Matthew Jenkins (H-K), 6-4; Third: Dan Castro (Windham) dec. Zachary McLellan (Gilbert), 4-2 (OT); Fifth: Gabriel Ortiz (Immaculate) pinned Noah Vail (East Catholic), 3:37.
145 — Final: Hunter Adams (Suffield) dec. Jason Jacaruso (Griswold), 4-0; Third: Marcos Rodriguez Rivera (Windham) dec. Dennis Charles (Ledyard), 9-4; Fifth: Connor Blay (Gilbert) forfeit over Jake Frith (H-K).
152 — Final: Cooper Fleming (Granby) dec. John Nieroda (Suffield), 14-2; Third: Andrew Fortuna (Morgan) dec. Ryan Powers (LM/WT), 10-2; Fifth: Benjamin Mow (Gilbert) forfeit over James Guion (NW Regional).
160 — Final: Jeffrey Suschana (Somers) dec. Joshua Schwartz (NW Regional), 5-1; Third: Jack Cronin (Nonnewaug) pinned Justin Popp (H-K), 1:22; Fifth: Tavon Simpson (Notre Dame-Fairfield) dec. Kyle Matthews (Gilbert), 5-1.
170 — Final: Mason Laflam (LM/WT) pinned Alex Smith (Gilbert), 3:13; Third: Flori Cenkolli (Nonnewaug) dec. Liam Smith (NW Regional), 5-3; Fifth: Tyler Perez (Granby) dec. Xavier Gonzalez (Windsor Locks), 4-2 (OT).
182 — Final: Ben Kibby (Granby) dec. Dane Concascia (Montville), 7-0; Third: Steve Grudzien (Nonnewaug) pinned Caleb Boucher (NW Regional), 2:50; Fifth: Prosper John Vignone (Coventry) dec. Kevin Sullivan (Gilbert), 4-3.
195 — Final: Andrey Zhovkly (Gilbert) pinned Johnny Falco (Griswold), 1:50; Third: Joseph Reihl (LM/WT) pinned Braydon Fluckiger (Canton), 4:12; Fifth: Jadian Mackenzie (Ledyard) dec. Eduardo Morales (Goodwin Tech), 5-4 (OT).
220 — Final: Nick Tibbetts (Montville) dec. Matthew Oliwa (Derby), 7-4; Third: Dan Geriak (ND-Ffd.) dec. Trevor Hines (H-K), 3-0; Fifth: Thomas DiMatteo (Rocky Hill) pinned Ben Falivene (Valley Regional), 1:53.
285 — Final: Richard Mullaney (Ledyard) dec. Austin Daley (Morgan), 5-3; Third: Jaden Malave (Windham) dec. Michael O'Connell (LM/WT), 1-0; Fifth: Aiden Maher (H-K) pinned Anthony Slowik (Derby), 4:10.
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