Wrestling: Amsterdam's Lapi a five-time champ
GLENS FALLS It’s too bad more people weren’t at the Glens Falls Civic Center for the Section II wrestling championships on Sunday night. They misssd a great show.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake had three champions, four finalists and 11 top-six place finishers to unseat Shenendehowa as the Division I team champion, and Schalmont fell an agonizing one-half point shy of the DII team title after going 3-3 in the finals.
Amsterdam’s Brandon Lapi became a five-time champ with his win at 138; Colonie had four champions, most in school history; Duanesburg went 3-for-3 in the DII finals in coach Joe Bena’s final tournament here; and Burnt Hills senior Joey Butler finally got his first title in his fourth and final try.
When 285-pounder Marcus Ramundo won the final match of the night, after teammates Nick Gallo and Tim Flower got titles, the Sabres thought they had won the team title. Instead, they tied for second with Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George, both a half-point behind Hudson Falls.
“That was just an amazing tournament,” said Sabres coach Brian Faulisi, whose seven-man contingent lost 220-pounder Dom Friello to injury. “To have a chance to win the team title in the final match of the tournament says a lot about the effort.”
“You want to win your match, but if there’s a chance for the team to win the sectional title, you really want to try to make it happen,” said Ramundo. “I can’t believe what we did with just six guys.”
“When I got ahead, and it got late in the match, I could hear everyone yelling for me to get another takedown for a major [decision] and more team points,” said Flower. “I just ran out of time.”
Gallo’s title was his third, as he bulled through three opponents.
Lapi showed why he is one of the best wrestlers ever produced by Section II, beating Kevin Parker of Shenendehowa in the 138 final. Lapi was two seconds away from being a six-time champ, losing a last-second decision in the finals as a seventh-grader. That loss motivated the Buffalo-bound athlete.
“It made me more determined to come back,” said Lapi, who joined Parker’s older brother, Greg. as a five-timer. “It’s a great feeling to know I was one of the best in Section II.”
Lapi also wanted to give retiring Amsterdam coach Ken Benton a going-away present.
“He’s not only my coach. We go hunting and fishing together,” Lapi said. “He’s like a second father to me.”
Butler followed Lapi with his championship at 145.
“It’s an amazing feeling, getting this monkey off my back,” said Butler, whose title came in his 275th varsity match. “I’ve lost to some good wrestlers, and gotten to states on a wild card. It’s relaxing to know I’m in.”
Butler was close to the late Jeff Blatnick, the Olympic gold medalist who was an assistant coach with the program.
“I still feel he’s with me out there,” said Butler. “Every match I look up and ask him for a little extra.”
Butler’s training partner, junior Jake Ashcraft, got his first Section II title when he built a big lead before pinning Queensbury’s Franky Nassivera, in the 170 final.
“Hard work does pay,” Ashcraft said. “Honestly, the shots I went to were my go-to, but I wanted to save them for later in the match. But, I thought, ‘Why not go to them?’ ”
Colonie had winners in repeat champ Golan Cohen (113), returning finalists Wayne Burt (220) and Austin DiCerbo (285) and third-seeded Isaiah Cooks at 182.
“I’m speechless. What a great round,” said Colonie coach Jeremy Eggleston. “It’s great for them, the team and the program.”
Guilderland senior Mike Lainhart also got his first title by beating Saratoga’s Dominic Inzana in the DI 120 final, joining teammate Josh LoGiudice, a two-time winner.
Lainhart has been battling a shoulder injury that cost him a season.
“It’s something that is always there,” he said of the injury. “But it’s all worth it.”
Shenendehowa had a pair of champs in two-time winner Levi Ashley (195) and Jesse Porter (152), who missed last postseason with a hand injury.
“It’s definitely my comeback year,” said the 11th-grader. “I’m just trying to get ready for states.”
Other DI champs were BH’s Christian Gramuglia (99), four-time winner Blake Retell of Shaker (126) and three-time champ Angelo Kress (160) of Columbia.
Kress has had a bad ankle all year, but fought through it.
“You just have to deal with it,” he said.
Seventh-grader Zack Lawrence (99) joined older brother Connor (160) and Andy Mollevik (145) as Duanesburg champions.
“This is nice for coach,” said Connor Lawrence.
All 30 individual winners advance to the state tournament the Times Union Center. Wild card entries will be announced later in the week.
Team scores (top 10): Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 177, Shenendehowa 163, Columbi 156, Colonie 142, Queensbury 139.5, Guilderland 97.5, Shaker 95, Amsterdam 80, Bethlehem 80, South Glens Falls 73.5
99 — Christian Granuglia (BH) dec Anthony Sgorrano (SGF), 5-2; 106 — Josh LoGiuduce (Guild) dec. John Devine (Columbia), 4-1; 113 — Golan Cohen (Colonie) dec. Max Tempel (LaSalle), 8-0; 120 — Mike Lainhart (Guild) dec. Dominic Inzana (Saratoga), 6-3; 126 — Blake Retell (Shaker) dec. Jordan Maynard (Shen), 3-0; 132 — Eric St. John (Queensbury) dec. Ryan Moore (LaSalle), 2-1 (ot); 138 — Brandon Lapi (Amsterdam) dec. Kevin Parker (Shen), 6-0; 145 — Joey Butler (BH) dec. John Devine (Columbia), 6-0; 152 — Jesse Porter (Shen) pinned Dillon Deckert (Queensbury), 1:11; 160 — Angelo Kress (Columbia) dec. Nate Sisler (BH), 14-2; 170 — Jake Ashcraft (BH) pinned Franky Nassivera (Queensbury), 3:34; 182 — Isaiah Cooks (Colonie) dec. Dylan Dubuque (Columbia), 6-3; 195 — Levi Ashley (Shen) dec. Chris Goudy (Queensbury), 18-4; 220 — Wayne Burt (Colonie) pinned Chris Tangoura (Bethlehem), :41; 285 — Austin DiCerbo (Colonie) tech fall Matt Holton (Saratoga), 15-0.
99 — David Wolanski (Guilderland) dec. Trent Svingala (Columbia), 8-3; 106 — Chris Velazquez (Amsterdam) dec. Talah Hafeez (Colonie), 8-5; 113 — Mahesh Bhoge (Mohonasen) dec. Rowan Braga (Bethlehem), 2-0 (ot); 120 — Nick Robbins (Queensbury) dec. Josh Reed (Schenectady), 4-0; 126 — Tristan Canova (Bethlehem) dec. Eoghan Sweeney (Niskayuna), 13-0; 132 — Kyle Greene (Columbia) dec. Mason Rabideau (Burnt Hills), 4-2; 138 — Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa) forfeit over Anthony Laniewski (Niskayuna); 145 — Kody Bruno (Queensbury) dec. Joseph Clemente (LaSalle), 7-5; 152 — Matt McHugh (Columbia) dec. Brandon Bruttomesso (South Glens Falls), 8-5; 160 — Paul Citone (Colonie) dec. Ryan Betts (Shenendehowa), 2-1; 170 — Ditaye Douglas (Schenectady) pinned Andy Cummings (Guilderland), 4:02; 182 — Marcus Torres (Amsterdam) dec. Collin Derboghossian (Schenectady), 4-2 (OT); 195 — Taylor Russell (Burnt Hills) dec. Gerrick Gholish (Ballston Spa), 4-3; 220 — Kevin Leonard (Shenendehowa) dec. Omar Abdoun (Niskayuna), 4-3; 285 — Jake Groesbeck (Bethlehem) injury default over Ryan Eustace (Shaker).
Team scores (top 10): Hudson Falls 122.5, Schalmont 122, Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George 122, Salem 118, Hoosick Falls 112.5, Albany Academy 108.5, Duanesburg 90.5, Canajoharie/Fort Plain 62.5, Galway 58.5, Ravena 55.5
99 —Zack Lawrence (Duanesburg) dec. Dillan Palaszewski (Galway), 4-3; 106 — Anthony Cardinuto (Schuylerville) dec. Jon Payack (Canajoharie/Fort Plain), 11-6; 113 — Nolan Foster (Hoosick Falls) dec. Win Myint (Rensselaer), 11-1; 120 — Matt Morris (Albany Academy) dec. Luis Weierbach (Hoosick Falls), 4-3; 126 — Dan VanDyk (Salem) pinned Garon LeClair (Corinth), 5:48; 132 — Carter Merecki (Salem) dec. Tyler Mulcahy (Corinth), 9-5; 138 — Sam Delarge (Albany Academy) dec. Mike Matatt (Hoosick Falls), 5-0; 145 — Andy Mollevik (Duanesburg) dec. Jason Hoffman (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 4-1; 152 — Cam Milliken (Albany Academy) pinned Logan Brunick (Tamarac), 5:22; 160 — Connor Lawrence (Duanesburg) dec. Connor Tuttle (Tamarac), 3-0; 170 — Geno Brancati (Hudson Falls) dec.Brad Perry (Granville), 6-1 (ot); 182 — Nick Gallo (Schalmont) dec. Forrest Kubricky (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 12-1; 195 — Tim Flower (Schalmont)dec. Tom Clark (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 8-2; 220 — Logan Kunkle (Ravena) dec. Patrick Barber (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 4-2; 285 — Marcus Ramundo (Schalmont) dec. Nick Scott (Cohoes), 4-2 (ot).
99 — Orion Anderson (Schuylerville) dec. Ryan Allman (Ravena), 6-1; 106 — Alex Lambert (Schalmont) dec. Arsilan Zahid (Lansinburgh), 9-2; 113 — Luke Pondillo (Lansingburgh) dec. Gideon Jardine (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George), 12-8; 120 — Dalton Weils (Hudson Falls) dec. Jordan Sartin (Galway), 5-3; 126 — Brandon Merchant (Cobleskill-Richmondville) dec. Mike Kelly (Hudson Falls), 4-1; 132 — Denver Berry (Warrensburg) dec. Tom Peabody (Hoosick Falls), 3-1; 138 — Luke Fronhofer (Salem) dec. Gordon Trahan (Canajoharie/Fort Plain), 6-1; 145 — Steven Culbert (Galway) pinned Zeke Thomas (Albany Academy), 4:37; 152 — Nathaniel Palmer (Granville) dec. Colby Davendonis (Hoosick Falls), 5-1; 160 — Mike Parker (Ravena) dec. Joshua McIlhenny (Greenville), 7-2; 170 — George Pooters (Cairo-Durham) pinned Kevin Paskevich (Schalmont), :57; 182 — Zak Shaw (Fonda) dec. Brandon Steves (Whitehall/Fort Ann), 5-3; 195 — Dan Ackley (Warrensburg) pinned Nate Millington (Hudson Falls), 2:35; 220 — Nathan Winchester (Cambridge) dec. Brandon Farrell (Mechanicville), 4-1; 285 — Jordan Keys (Salem) forfeit over Tyler VandenBogaard (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George).