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Cougars third, Falcons fifth at invitational
Freshman Griffyn Smith (top) of Dirigo won the 103-pound division with a 15-2 major decision against Joe Langley of Noble. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
Jake Thornton (top) of Mountain Valley won the 120-pound division by pinning Dillon Pelletier of Winslow. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
Thomas Barnett of Dirigo finished in second place in the 160-pound division after getting pinned by Malik Geiger of Oxford Hills. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
In a high-energy final at 182, Nelson Pepin (left) battled it out with Jacob Guimond of Noble, which concluded with a pin by Guimond. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD -- There has always been a great emphasis placed on individuals in wrestling, but Noble definitely proved that depth paid off with 10 medalists,led by Bill Gagner (113) and Jacob Guimond (182), to score 148 points at the 28th annual McDonalds-Mountain Valley Invitational.
Foxcroft Academy held on second place with 115 to edge out Dirigo 113.
Dirigo had 10 medalists to score 162 points in winning their first-ever championship last year. This time it was a two-team race with Foxcroft leading Noble 92 to 89 after the point-rich semifinal round.
“The team performed well,” said Noble coach Kip DeVoll. “I've got eight sophomores and freshmen, but they are so willing to learn. Even today, after every match, it was a learning experience. They are not afraid and are getting the job done."
The championship and consolation finals were held simultaneously on two mats.
There were plenty of surprises throughout the event and Dirigo's Griffyn Smith shined by winning an individual championship at 103. The Cougar freshman went on attack early and executed pinning combinations to build a 9-0 lead, en route to a 15-2 major decision against Joe Langley of Noble.
"I really didn't know what to expect today," said Smith, who had two pins. "I just wanted to go out and do my best. I just needed to be mentally tougher today."
Noble gained revenge when Guimond stuck Nelson Pepin of Dirigo in the finals. The Cougars found the going rough, winning one of five consolation finals, with Zack White placing third at 220. Reilly Lombardi (132), Brett Whittemore (152), DJ Webber (170) and Cliff Boynton (285) each placed fourth.
Host Mountain Valley finished fifth 64.5, with Jake Thornton winning the lone crown. Thornton came out of a reversal and stuck Dillon Pelletier in a spadle.
"I knew that I needed to stay on top because of his strength," said Thornton. "I had a merkle (leg hold) and he bucked up and spadle was there. I'm known for it."
The Falcons' Brandon Gill (126) and Zack Cross (195) each placed third and Ian Austin, who had upset the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinal, was fourth at 160.
Fryeburg had Ian McFawn win a championship at 195 by injury default over David Moore of Lisbon. The semifinal round is big (potential 14 points by a wrestler) but in a tournament teams also need kids to wrestle back for thirds and fourth.
Oxford Hills sophomore Malik Geiger pulled off a stunner by pinning Thomas Barnett of Dirigo at 160. Viking Cordell Brooks was third with a 3-2 decision against Carter Lebrecque of Oak Hill at 113.
“Malik is a hard worker and really showed some good balance,” said Oxford Hills coach Tony Stevens.