Wrestling: Milford sending three to New Englands
Foran High’s Nolan Bannon and Jonathan Law’s Shayne McCourt were runners-up in their weight classes at the State Open Wrestling Championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on Saturday.
Foran’s Umer Khan wrestled back to place fifth with a 4-3 win over Warde’s Hunter Rasmussen.
The trio have qualified to wrestle at the New England Championships this weekend in Providence (R.I).
Bannon, the Class M champion and third seed at Opens, seed lost a 6-3 decision to No. 1 seed and Class LL titlist Joe Gjinaj in the 195-pound final.
Bannon got the takedown on the strong-legged Gjinaj, before the Mustang escaped and took control. Bannon got free to make it 4-2 after one. Gjinaj let Bannon up to start the third, betting he had another takedown in him. With 41 seconds left, the senior got on top and rode out his 6-3 victory for his second consecutive State Open crown.
Bannon defeated No. 2 seed Johnny Falco from Griswold High, 4-3, in the semifinals. He trailed 2-1 after one. Neither grappler was able to score from the neutral position in the later stages of the first, nor the entire second stanza.
From the bottom in the third, Bannon scored to tie things at 2-all. Off a restart with 42 seconds remaining, the Lion senior scored a two-point takedown. He gave up a one-point escape and rode out the win on his feet.
In the quarterfinals, Bannon defeated Danbury’s 6th-seeded Montez Osbey, 2-1. A senior, won by 20-15 technical fall 5:32 into his first match with Coventry’s P.J. Vignone.
McCourt, the five seed, lost by second period fall to No. 2 seed Hunter Adams from Suffield/Windsor Locks at 152 pounds. The matchup was familiar, as Adams pinned McCourt in the Class M final.
McCourt had one of the days’ stunners — not in the result but how quick it was executed — when he got the takedown and pin call only 48 seconds into his quarterfinal match with No. 4 seed Noah Zuckerman from Fairfield Warde.
On the semifinals, McCourt put it all on the line to win a 14-12 anything-goes decision from Ryan Powers from Lyman Memorial/Windham Tech.
McCourt led 7-2 after one period and 11-7 after two. The senior earned three back points to open the final period for a 14-7 advantage that held up over the final 1:33.
On his first bout, McCourt had a 7-0 lead when he pinned Alex Hernandez from Plainville in 1:57.
Coming off a second-place finish in Class M, the eighth-seeded Khan lost a 4-2 decision to No. 9 seed Cooper Nodden from South Windsor. Nodden shocked the field, as he swept his way to the Open title.
Dropped to the consolation bracket, Khan advanced.
A senior, he defeated No. 4 Billy Carr from Southington 8-6. He fought back from a deficit to go up 8-4. Carr got within two after two, but Khan was perfect from the bottom and didn’t allow a point in the final frame. He also had a 7-1 victory over Granby Memorial’s sixth seeded Tyler Perez.
In the consolation semifinals, Khan lost to No. 5 seed Alec Arnold from Wethersfield, 7-3.
In his fifth-place bout, Khan trailed Rasmussen from Warde 2-0 after one. He scored a reversal in the second, gave up an escape, but brought the Mustang to the mat for a 4-3 lead. Again, the third period belonged to the Lion. From the top, he didn’t allow Rasmussen an escape to tie or a reversal to win over the final two minutes.
Foran High’s Pat Brogan was seeded ninth at 182 pounds. Down 4-3 in his first match to Amity’s Simon Fletcher, Brogan pinned in 3:24 He then lost 7-4 to Class LL champion and eventual Open fourth-place finisher Joe Palmieri from Trumbull.
In consolations, Brogan defeated Austin Pompa from Masuk 7-0 and Wethersfield’s Marcus Nieves 10-0. In the get-to-medal with win round, Brogan lost 5-2 to No. 5 seed and fifth-place finisher Justin Osler from Branford, 5-2.
Billy Ives was seeded 15th at 220 pounds, and the senior split his first two matches. After losing 6-3, Ives defeated Frank Guilfoyle from Simsbury 10-4. He advanced another round via forfeit before losing by fall to sixth-place finisher Austin Harnish from Wethersfield.