Foran High put up an impressive day of wrestling, and Jonathan Law provided the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, but it was not enough to halt the dominance of Xavier-Middletown at the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament.
Behind the strength of a 6-0 mark in the finals, the Falcons captured their third consecutive Southern Connecticut Conference wrestling championship on Saturday at Law’s James L. Richetelli Sr. Gymnasium.
It was the seventh league title in eight years for the Falcons, with Foran in 2016 and inclement weather that forced the cancellation of the 2013 tournament the only things that have stopped them since 2011.
The championship was already wrapped up for Xavier heading into the championship round, as four Falcons were victorious in their third-place bouts. Xavier then reeled off six wins in six finals’ matches to cruise to the team title with 199.5 points.
Foran was second with 138.5 points, followed by East Haven (101), Guilford (75) and Daniel Hand (73) rounding out the top five.
Nolan Bannon, who improved to 42-1 overall, was the champion at 195 to power coach Dave Esposito’s Lion squad. Pat Brogan and Umer Khan notched second-place finishes at 182 and 170 respectively. Kyle Pokornowski (120), Jordan Lang (126), Tyler Stanko (138) and Ethan Edmondson (145) won their consolation finals to take thirds.
Coach Matt Schoonmaker’s Lawmen were also represented on the medal podium, with senior Shayne McCourt winning the title at 152. His impressive tournament, where he conceded just six points in three bouts that culminated in a 19-4 technical fall over Fairfield Prep’s Sean Zentner in the final, garnered him most outstanding wrestler honors.
“How I practice in the room, it shows when I compete,” said McCourt, who improved to 36-2 overall.
McCourt controlled his match with Zentner from whistle to whistle, using strong work from the neutral position to cruise to the technical fall in 5:28.
“The game plan was to get as many takedowns as possible, to wear out my opponent and finish off the match,” McCourt said.
Bannon defeated his opponent almost as handily, dispatching Branford’s Cody McHenry in a 20-8 major decision.
“Coach has really high expectations for us and we have high expectations for ourselves,” Bannon said. “Even for our guys that lost matches, I didn’t see one guy that didn’t want to win and I’m proud of them for that.”
Brogan was one of the Lion grapplers that fought to the finish, before falling to top-seeded Justin Ostler of Branford, 10-4.
“I’ve been working all year on improving my technique,” Brogan said.
Both Foran and Law will compete in the Class M state tournament starting next Friday and continuing on Saturday at Guilford High.
- Xavier 199.5; 2. Foran 138.5; 3. East Haven 101; 4. Guilford 75; 5. Daniel Hand 73; 6. Branford 71; 7. Fairfield Prep 59; 8. Shelton 55; 9. Jonathan Law 46; 10. Notre Dame-West Haven 37; 11. Amity 31; 12. Morgan 29; 12. New Haven 29; 14. West Haven 1; 15. Cheshire 1.
106 Final Michael Rapuano (Xavier) pin Drew Koval (Guilford), 1:12; 3. Dominic Milano (East Haven) dec. Colin Boufford (Amity), 9-2.
113 Final Victor Garcia (East Haven) TF Edward Barlage (Guilford), 19-4; 3. Colin Loria (Xavier) dec. Garrett Ziperstein (Shelton), 11-5.
120 Final Mathew Divito (East Haven) dec. Kyle Davern (Daniel Hand), 8-5; 3. Kyle Pokornowski (Foran) dec. Ronan Moynihan (Xavier), 15-2.
126 Final Tommy Manganiello (Xavier) dec. Henry Bosken (Fairfield Prep), 8-0; 3. Jordan Lang (Foran) dec. Cody Malin (Law), 8-3.
132 Final Louis Bradley (Morgan) dec. Keldon LaRose (Guilford), 7-4; 3. Grant Barber (Xavier) pin Alec DiVito (East Haven), 1:51.
138 Final Quinn Moynihan (Xavier) pin Tanner DiVito (East Haven), 1:50; 3. Tyler Stanko (Foran) dec. Chris Fillion (Notre Dame-West Haven), 3-2.
145 Final James Lunt (Xavier) dec. Vincent Mascola (Guilford), 13-2; 3. Ethan Edmondson (Foran) dec. Aisaiah Rodriguez (Law), 9-6.
152 Final Shayne McCourt (Law) TF Sean Zentner (Fairfield Prep), 19-4; 3. Andrew Robinson dec. (Branford) Mike Monaco (Shelton), 7-4.
160 Final Dean Tsiranides (Fairfield Prep) pin Chino Grant (New Haven), 0:38; 3. Luke Tischio (Xavier) dec. KJ Pokornowski (Foran), 4-3.
170 Final Dylan Sousa (Xavier) pin Umer Khan (Foran), 4:38; 3. Andrew Seaton (Amity) dec. Seamus Moriarty (Daniel Hand), 12-0.
182 Final Justin Osler (Branford) dec. Pat Brogan (Foran), 10-4; 3. Alex Barbour (Notre Dame-West Haven) pin James Rusciecki (Xavier), 1:36.
195 Final Nolan Bannon (Foran) dec. Cody McHenry (Branford), 20-8; 3. Alec Dube (Daniel Hand) pin Jackson Paulishen (Notre Dame-West Haven), 0:29.
220 Final Ray Weiner (Shelton) dec. Minsok Lee (Branford), 7-3; 3. Matt Derken (Daniel Hand) pin Billy Ives (Foran), 1:49.
285 Final Jameel Salami (Xavier) dec. Matt Weiner (Shelton), 3-1 OT; 3. Jaylin Houston (New Haven) pin Pat Rescanski (Foran), 1:38.