The best championship bout at Saturday’s Section II Division I Class I wrestling tournament at Shaker High School was also one of the shortest of the evening.
Colonie’s Wayne Burt pinned Bethlehem’s Chris Tangora 1:37 into the 220-pound final to become one of four Garnet Raiders to win Class I titles.
`I was happy with (Burt’s) performance,` said Colonie coach Jeremy Eggleston. `Tangora is a tough competitor, and he was undefeated coming in so you knew he was going to be tough.`
`(Tangora) went after him,` said Bethlehem coach Chris Braga. `He just made a little mistake on the bottom, that’s all.`
Burt used whatever Tangora threw at him to his advantage. Burt scored an early takedown when Tangora lunged at his legs, and then he stepped through Tangora’s escape attempt to get the Bethlehem senior on his back for the pin.
`He just tried to step up, and I just stepped over him,` said Burt, who raised his season’s record to 35-5 and his career record against Tangora to 3-0.
`I got caught in a bad position, and he used it to his advantage,` said Tangora, who lost for the first time in 33 bouts this season. `He’s a big, strong kid.`
Burt entered the tournament as the top seed, while Tangora was seeded second. Both wrestlers said they expect to meet again at next weekend’s Sectional championships in Glens Falls, probably with the title on the line again.
`That’s the kid I’m most looking forward to meeting at Sectionals, and he seems to be the one I’ll have the most trouble with — if I even have trouble,` said Burt.
Burt joined Golan Cohen (113 pounds), Isaiah Cooks (182) and Austin Dicerbo (285) as Class I champions from Colonie. Cohen shut out Saratoga’s Richard Schrade 9-0, while Cooks edged Schenectady’s Colin Derboghossian 6-4. Dicerbo pinned Saratoga’s Matt Holton midway through the second period of their championship bout.
Eggleston said he’s hoping his four Class I champs will repeat their success in Glens Falls.
`Cooks is in the mix (at 182 pounds),` said Eggleston. `He’s a sleeper, but winning the (title) gives him a boost. I think if he stays within himself and does what he’s capable of, he has a chance to win Sectionals.`
Colonie’s success in the championship round helped the Garnet Raiders move up from fifth place to third place in the final Class I team standings. Colonie finished with 162 points — a half-point ahead of fourth-place Guilderland, which also had four individual champions. Shenendehowa surged to the team title with 213.5 points, while Columbia placed second with 195 points.
Guilderland wrestlers went 4-for-4 in the finals. David Wolanski defeated Columbia’s Trent Svingala 7-2 for the 99-pound division title, while Josh LoGiudice used a first-period takedown to defeat Columbia’s John Devine 3-0 in the 106-pound final. Mike Lainhart received a forfeit in the 120-pound final when Saratoga’s Dominic Inzanna couldn’t go due to an injury, according to Guilderland coach Don Favro.
Guilderland’s Andy Cummings earned his first title of the season when he pinned Schenectady’s Ditaye Douglas in the third period of the 170-pound championship match.
`He was due,` said Favro. `He made four finals and lost them all. He picked the right one to win.`
Saturday was also good for Blake Retell and the Shaker wrestling team. Retell won his fifth class title by beating Bethlehem’s Tristan Canova 8-0 in the 126-pound final, and the Blue Bison placed fifth in the team standings with 148.5 points.
`I think it’s great to do it in your home gym because we had a lot of our junior and youth wrestlers here today,` said Retell, who will be wrestling for the University of Buffalo next season.
Retell had to be patient against Canova, who earned his 100th career victory in his 5-0 semifinal win over Shen’s Jordan Maynard.
`He’s good at scrambling,` said Retell of Canova. `You’ve got to take the shots hard, or else he’s gonna scramble out of them.`
Kevin Parker (138 pounds), Jesse Porter (152) and Levi Ashley (195) all won their weight divisions for Shen. Columbia’s Kyle Greene (132), Jim Devine (145) and Angelo Kress (160) took home Class I titles.