Faria, Gillis claim Gorman In­vi­ta­tional ti­tles

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS - By BRANDEN MELLO [email protected]­et­call.com

CUM­BER­LAND — Ai­dan Faria saw Tim­ber­lane’s (N.H.) An­to­nio Pal­laria look at the clock with 10 sec­onds left in Satur­day’s John Gorman In­vi­ta­tional 145-pound ti­tle match and the Clip­per sopho­more knew it was time to strike.

Trail­ing Pal­laria by one point, Faria faked a shot that un­bal­anced the Owl, which al­lowed the Clip­per to earn the match-win­ning take­down with nine sec­onds left in a 5-4 vic­tory for the sec­ond-seeded grap­pler.

“If he was com­ing at me, I needed to go 10 times harder at him to beat him,” Faria said af­ter pick­ing up his sec­ond ti­tle of the sea­son. “I don’t want to be beat at all. Once I saw him look at the clock, I knew it was time to go be­cause he was not ready for this. I went as hard as I could, caught him with a fake and hit a back trip right to the mat.”

“Our mo­tive here is to con­stantly be of­fen­sive and look to score points,” Cum­ber­land coach Colin Smith said. “I’m re­ally happy for him. He’s do­ing a good job of pac­ing him­self dur­ing the match where he isn’t go­ing crazy in the first minute, but he’s push­ing the pace the en­tire match.”

Faria was named the out­stand­ing wrestler of the tour­na­ment af­ter post­ing a pin and a pair of ma­jor-de­ci­sion vic­to­ries on his way to the ti­tle. Cum­ber­land was in po­si­tion to win its own tour­na­ment through the semi­fi­nal round, but the Clip­pers suf­fered a key in­jury to 285-pounder Reuben Han­cock and suf­fered a num­ber of de­feats in the con­so­la­tion semi­fi­nals.

Tim­ber­lane cruised back to Plais­tow with the tour­na­ment ti­tle even though the Owls only had one tour­na­ment cham­pion, Le­high-bound 132-pound senior Con­nor McGona­gle. Tim­ber­lane de­feated Con­necti­cut pow­er­house Bris­tol Eastern 201-191. Eastern passed Cum­ber­land in the medal round thanks to three cham­pi­ons.

Lin­coln fin­ished a dis­ap­point­ing 17th with 34 points and just two grap­plers on the medal stand. Chris­tian Balon won a pair of matches at 195 pounds to fin­ish fourth, while ju­nior 120-pounder Ma­son Lynch fin­ished sixth af­ter drop­ping his fi­nal three matches, in­clud­ing the con­so­la­tion semi­fi­nals where a penalty point was the dif­fer­ence in a 3-2 de­feat.

“There’s a ton of work to be done and we have a lot of room for im­prove­ment,” Lin­coln coach Michael Tuorto said. “We have to have the right men­tal­ity and the right mind­set and right now we’re a lit­tle men­tally weak as a group. Mov­ing to Divi­sion I where the com­pe­ti­tion is strong, losses in De­cem­ber and Jan­uary don’t mean any­thing if you learn from them in Fe­bru­ary.

“This was a tough day for us only hav­ing two kids place. I think Eric Chin at 160 is get­ting bet­ter each and ev­ery time on the mat. As a team, we need to get bet­ter and go into matches look­ing to win and not try­ing not to lose.”

Cum­ber­land put it­self in po­si­tion to stay in front of Bris­tol Eastern to start the medal round when ju­nior 113-pounder Brady Gillis fin­ished off a dom­i­nant day with a 19-4 tech­ni­cal-fall vic­tory over Shayn Don­ald­son of New Mil­ford, Conn. in the fi­nal. Gillis, a reign­ing state fi­nal­ist, recorded a take­down with five sec­onds left to end the match and give the Clip­pers an ex­tra half team point.

“I wres­tled my hard­est and I just tried to let him up and take him back down just to make up points for my team,” Gillis said. “I didn’t pin him, but I got the tech. I’m proud of my­self for what I did to­day. I’m hop­ing to win the state ti­tle, and I’m work­ing hard ev­ery day to try and do that.”

An­other Clip­per who has de­signs on com­pet­ing for a state ti­tle next month, ju­nior Colby Reilly, didn’t fare as well in the 126-pound fi­nal. Fac­ing Marsh­field Hol­i­day tour­na­ment win­ner Joey Valentino of North An­dover, Mass., Reilly could get noth­ing go­ing of­fen­sively and suc­cumbed to a 14-2 de­feat.

Prior to the de­feat, Reilly posted a pin, a ma­jor and a 3-2 quar­ter­fi­nal vic­tory over Hope’s Damion Rod­er­ick.

“If there are any small vic­to­ries, we had one there,” Smith said. “Valentino’s go­ing to be in con­tention to win the New Eng­land ti­tle and [Reilly] le­git­i­mately scored points against him. He re­al­ized what it’s like to wres­tle some­one like that, and that’s why we have these good teams come in here. It was good for him to fin­ish the match the best he could.”

The Clip­pers were in po­si­tion to pass Bris­tol Eastern late in the 195-pound ti­tle match when senior Kaream San­gare led Oliver Ames (Eas­ton, Mass.) senior Dean Pacini 6-3 on the strength of a pair of take­downs. But, in what must’ve felt like deja vu for San­gare, Pacini threw the Clip­per to his back for a pin at 5:31 to claim the ti­tle.

San­gare led Eastern’s Trinidad Gon­za­lez late in the third pe­riod of last year’s fi­nal, only to suf­fer a sim­i­lar fate.

“I thought he wres­tled a great match against a phe­nom­e­nal op­po­nent,” Smith said. “I thought Kaream re­ally took it to him, but you have to wres­tle the full six min­utes and he only wres­tled five min­utes and 30 sec­onds.”

Cum­ber­land had five other wrestlers reach the podium, in­clud­ing both 152-pounders – Matt Maguire (fourth) and Tyler Kelly (sixth). Tyler Shaw fin­ished fifth at 160 pounds, while Han­cock had to in­jury de­fault to sixth place be­cause of a leg in­jury he suf­fered in the con­so­la­tion fi­nals against Tim­ber­lane’s Mar­cos Colon.

Cum­ber­land will likely go into Thurs­day’s match against un­de­feated Hen­dricken with­out two starters be­cause ju­nior 126/132 Dom Pas­sanante is still deal­ing with a shoul­der in­jury he suf­fered in the Spar­tan In­vi­ta­tional two weeks ago.

The good news for Smith, though, is Phil Cop­polino con­tin­ues to im­prove. The firstyear var­sity starter won three matches, and pushed Gon­za­lez in a 3-1 de­feat in the semi­fi­nals, to fin­ish third at 220 pounds.

“He’s im­proved to so fast that some­times I get frus­trated that he doesn’t hit a move that I have to re­mind my­self he’s just in his sec­ond year and how raw he is,” Smith said. “He’s a com­peti­tor and he wants to be the best at what­ever sport he does – it shows. Go­ing for­ward, we need him to score more points be­cause the state tour­na­ment is wide open. He has the op­por­tu­nity to be as good as he wants to be.”

Three other Val­ley wrestlers made the short trip to the Well­ness Cen­ter, but none of them reached the medal stand. Mount’s Ai­dan Turner won three matches at 138 pounds, while Davies 170-pound Fabian Var­gas and North Smith­field 120-pounder Nick Maraglia went 0-2.

Fol­low Branden Mello on Twit­ter @Bran­den_Mello

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Cum­ber­land 220-pounder Phil Cop­polino, seen here beat­ing North At­tle­boro’s John Kum­mer, fin­ished third in the John Gorman In­vi­ta­tional Satur­day at the Well­ness Cen­ter. The Clip­pers also fin­ished third as a team with Brady Gillis (113) and Ai­dan Faria (145) win­ning ti­tles.

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