Windham Jaguars Wrestling '14-'15

Sat, Feb 28, 2015 09:00 AM @ Neutral Location
Team Final
Pelham 32
Salem 15
Windham 5
Pinkerton 4
Londonderry 3
Timberlane 1

MOC: Scalzo the hero for Owls in thriller

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NASHUA — Before the season, Timberlane boasted three impressive streaks in New Hampshire — consecutive dual-meet wins (95), Division 1 state crowns (15) and Meet of Champions titles (11).

Thanks largely to senior Dan Scalzo, two of those streaks still stand.

For the second time this year, Scalzo stunned defending New England champion Jean-Luc Lemieux Saturday, this time with a 2-1 decision in the 138-pound finals, to spark the Owls to their 12th straight MOC crown. Earlier in the year, his upset of Lemieux provided the margin for a 31-30 dual-meet victory. 

In one of the closest team battles in years, the Owls finished with 139 1/2 points, to edge Concord (136) and D1 state champion Londonderry (134 1/2).

Having finished second, third and fourth in previous MOC tourneys, Scalzo’s victory — thanks to a late takedown that the officials couldn’t quite agree on at first — left him one happy guy.

“It was my last chance at a state title so it feels really good to finally get one,” said Scalzo, who was named the tourney Outstanding Wrestler. “Coach (Barry Chooljian) said to keep wrestling and something good would happen and it did.”

That was at about 7:25 p.m. It wasn’t until an hour later that Scalzo was really ecstatic.

“It means a lot more that we won the team title,” he said. “If we hadn’t, it wouldn’t have seemed so great.”

Scalzo’s win was the middle part of a trifecta that tipped the scales in favor of the Owls, who trailed Londonderry by 5 1/2 points heading into the finals.

Derek Bohle started it off with a 7-2 decision over John Stark’s tough Nick Widman, who was fifth in New England last year, Scalzo followed with his electrifying win and Ryan Peters completed the string with a pin at 145 over Bedford’s Yurii Gromokov.

Bohle, who suffered a minor leg injury late in the match,  improved to 48-3 on the year while winning his first MOC crown, Scalzo is 35-7 and Peters is 41-2. Timberlane’s other standout, 182-pounder Brian Lonergan, couldn’t quite hold on and lost to defensive minded George Tarwo of Concord, 3-1, but by then the Owls’ lead was safe.

“Danny’s win was huge but all our finalists wrestled really well,” said Chooljian. “We needed some help, and we got some, and we needed our good kids to wrestle their best.

“Losing last week was a little tough, but the kids had a good week of practice and showed resiliency. Especially with a young team, it feels darn good to be back on top.”

Timberlane’s four finalists will be the only Owls at next week’s New England Tournament in North Andover. With the top three in each weight class advancing, Cam Altobelli had a chance at 152 and appeared to have a dramatic pin in the consolation finals, but it was ruled that it came after he lost by a technical fall. 

The Owls got help claiming the team title when Londonderry’s three finalists — 126-pounder Ryan Cabezas, Lemieux and 195-pounder Richard Bilodeau — all wound up as runner-ups and other standouts, like 120-pounder Tyler Byrd and 160-pounder Kyle Byrd, did not place in the top three.

Pinkerton had three champions. Shayne McCann held on for a 4-3 decision over Keene’s Tristan Stetson in the 113-pound championship match, to improve to 45-1 on the year, while unbeaten Dylan Barreiro (42-0) defeated Bilodeau for the third time this year in the 195-pound finals.

Barreiro, who was seventh in New England last year, was one of two local repeat MOC champs, with Peters being the other.

Also for the Astros, Joey Lydick, who was injured much of the year, avenged last week’s loss to Salem’s Mike Poulin  with a pin in the 220-pound title match. Joining Poulin at New England for Salem will be 152-pound runner-up Avery Santiago.

It was also a strong meet for Windham. The Jaguars will be taking their largest contingent ever to New England with four wrestlers finishing third. They are Sam Cavallaro (106), Peter Caron (113), Jon Ferri (220) and Patrick Hume (285).

Game Statistics:

Meet of Champions
Top 10 team scores:
1. Timberlane 139, 2. Concord 136, 3. Londonderry 134 1/2, 4. Pinkerton 119 1/2, 5. Windham 107, 6. Bedford 104, 7. Hollis-Brookline 82 1/2, 8. Bishop Guertin 57, 9. Alvirne 56, 10. Nashua North 56; 15. Salem 46, 32. Pelham 5

Winners and New England qualifiers (top 3):

106: 1. Jordan Rowlett (BG), 3. Sam Cavallaro (Wind); 113: 1. Shayne McCann (Pink), 3. Peter Caron (Wind); 120: 1. Jacob Nault (Goffstown), 6. Tyler Byrd (Lond); 126: 1. Cam Bennett (NN), 2. Ryan Cabezas (Lond); 132: 1. Derek Bohle (Tim); 138: 1. Dan Scalzo (Tim), 2. Jean-Luc Lemieux (Lon); 145: 1. Ryan Peters (Tim);
: 1. Brandon Levesque (BG), 2. Avery Santiago (Sal);

160 POUNDS: 1.Stephan Nix (Newport) 2.Andrew Butler (Hollis-Brookline) 3.Fran Gesel (White Mtns.) 4.Tyler Wilson (Pinkerton Academy) - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150301/SPORTS21/150309949#sthash.UWpGRoO9.dpuf

160: 1.Stephan Nix (Newport); ; 170: 1. Richie Mills (Winnisquam), 3. Mahdi Achab (Lon); 182: 1. George Tarwo (Concord), 2. Brian Lonergan (Tim); 195:1. Dylan Barreiro (Pink), 2. Richard Bilodeau (Lon); 220: 1. Joey Lydick (Pink), 2. Mike Poulin (Sal), 3. Jon Ferri (Wind); HVY: 1. Bobby Heald (Bedford)  

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