Clip­pers fin­ish sec­ond again

Batista, Hayes claim ti­tles as 10 Clip­pers earn medals

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS -

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — For the sec­ond straight tour­na­ment, the Cum­ber­land wrestling team found it­self bat­tling Con­necti­cut pow­er­house New Mil­ford for a tour­na­ment ti­tle.

And, for the sec­ond straight tour­na­ment, New Mil­ford did just enough in the cham­pi­onship round to stop the Clip­pers from win­ning a ti­tle.

Cum­ber­land ju­nior Jeremy Batista claimed the 132-pound ti­tle and Clip­per se­nior Jack Hayes grabbed the 170-pound ti­tle, but New Mil­ford had three wrestlers win ti­tles at Satur­day’s Con­necti­cut Chal­lenge to take the tour­na­ment ti­tle, 195-189. Tour­na­ment host Southington fin­ished third with 150 points.

Batista and Hayes, who both won their first ti­tles this sea­son, were joined on the medal stand by eight more Clip­pers. Aaron Wil­cox suf­fered his first loss of 2017 in the 285-pound fi­nal, while Kam Por­caro (120) and Kaream San­gare (195) also fin­ished sec­ond. Fresh­man Dom Pas­sanante placed in his fourth tour­na­ment of the sea­son with a third-place ef­fort. Cam Faria (126), Noah Tougas (152), Ma­lik San­gare (160) and Jaylen Reynolds (220) all fin­ished fourth.

Batista, who was ap­pear­ing in his first tour­na­ment fi­nal, dom­i­nated his first three op­po­nents Satur­day, earn­ing a pin, a tech­ni­cal fall and an 11-5 vic­tory to get a shot at No. 1 seed Tyler Schultz, who fin­ished sec­ond at the Gor­man In­vi­ta­tional two weeks ago.

Batista grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first pe­riod af­ter a take­down and a pair of near-fall points be­fore Schultz earned a re­ver­sal. The New Mil­ford wrestler tied the match with a re­ver­sal in the sec­ond and went into the third with a one­point lead thanks to a late take­down.

Batista picked up an es­cape half­way through the third and he se­cured the match-win­ning take­down with 13 sec­onds left in the third pe­riod to earn an 8-7 win.

Hayes, who was mak­ing his sec­ond straight fi­nals ap­pear­ance, was even more dom­i­nant that Batista.

Hayes pinned his first two op­po­nents in un­der a minute be­fore record­ing a 71 win to reach the fi­nal against No. 1 seed Luke Salis of Sims­bury.

Hayes took a 5-0 lead into the sec­ond pe­riod and then he won the match with a pin at 3:13.

Wil­cox, the Spar­tan and Gor­man In­vi­ta­tional cham­pion, snuck past Max Cyr of Mid­dle­town (Conn.) to reach the tour­na­ment fi­nal, but he suf­fered a 3-1 de­feat to Jasper Stone in the ti­tle match. The match-win­ning take­down took place with just three sec­onds left in the third pe­riod.

Kaream San­gare dom­i­nated his first two op­po­nents to reach the 195pound fi­nal, but New Mil­ford’s David An­gulo ba­si­cally locked up the team ti­tle with a 17-4 win over the Clip­per.

Por­caro, who up­set Gor­man In­vi­ta­tional cham­pion Brett Leonard of New Mil­ford in the semi­fi­nals, was tied with Mid­dle­town’s Noah Sylvester in the 120-pound ti­tle match headed into the third pe­riod. Sylvester, how­ever, worked a re­ver­sal and even­tu­ally a pin at 4:53 to se­cure the win.

Pas­sanante re­bounded from a tech­ni­cal-fall loss to tour­na­ment cham­pion Nick An­to­nio of Berlin in the semi­fi­nals with a pair of wins in the con­so­la­tion bracket to fin­ish third.

Faria had an im­pres­sive show­ing, as he was un­seeded headed into the tour­na­ment and wres­tled back to fourth af­ter los­ing to No. 1 Tristan Hav­i­land of Trum­bull in the quar­ter­fi­nals. Faria won four matches. Reynolds and Tougas won three matches and Ma­lik San­gare won a pair of matches to reach the podium.

Cum­ber­land (11-1 Di­vi­sion INorth) con­tin­ues its march to­ward a tour­na­ment ti­tle Thurs­day at the Well­ness Cen­ter against La Salle. The Clip­pers then head to Mount An­thony Union in Ben­ning­ton, Vt, next Satur­day for a dual-meet tour­na­ment.

File photo by Ernest A. Brown

For the third time this sea­son, coach Steve Gor­don (left) guided the Cum­ber­land wrestling team to a top-2 fin­ish at a tour­na­ment. The Clip­pers were sec­ond at the Con­necti­cut Chal­lenge.

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