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Falcon wrestlers place seventh
Zack Cross, seen in front at McDonald's, won a quarterfinal match at 195 at Atlantic. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
WELLS -- There are various strategies utilized in wrestling and depending on the performances on the mat, the best defense can be effective by going on offense.
Mountain Valley tried in vain, but it wasn’t enough as they finished seventh, 43.5 points at the Atlantic Invitational held before Christmas.
Mountain Valley entered this year with plenty to prove and the showing was better. The Falcons finished 13th with 16.5 points in the 2011 Atlantic, worst ever in school history and the current results is a step in the right direction. Still, in wrestling, if one doesn’t put the time in, don’t expect much in return.
The Falcons had three medalists, led by Brandon Gill, who placed third at 126 pounds. Mike Provencher and Dakota Jacques each placed fourth at 113 and 132, respectively.
What began on a positive note, with wins by Jake Thornton at 120, Gill, Jacques and Zack Cross at 195 in the quarterfinal, went south when all four lost matches in the next round. They had an opportunity to wrestle back through in the double-elimination tourney.
''It was disappointing,” said Gill, referring to a 12-10 loss to William Bellottie of Marshwood. ''I had him turned over and thought I had pinned and then turned him over again, and this was all in the third period. I need to start faster.''
It was Bellottie who had started out attacking and executed two pinning combinations in the first period. Gill was overwhelmed and trailed 12-2 before getting a reversal and two three-point near falls.
''I've always been a defensive wrestler,'' said Gill, who was a finalist in the Westbrook Tournament and placed third at McDonald's. ''In junior high, I could throw kids around, but in high school it's a different style and I'm finding that you can't afford to hold back. It will come and the good thing is that I still have (over) two years left to wrestle.''
Gill pinned Dylan Lord of Dirigo and in the medal round, stuck Devin Marcou of Noble.
Mike Provencher, who is still adjusting to high school competition, won two consolation matches before losing 7-0 to Carter LeBreque of Oak Hill, while Jacques lost a hard fought 3-0 decision to Zach Stevens of Lisbon.
“I'm still adjusting to the heavier weight,” said Jacques, who placed third at 113 in the Atlantic last year.
The Falcons' Nicole Burgess (106) executed a switch to trail Griffyn Smith of Dirigo by 4-3 in the third period of a quarterfinal match. Burgess alertly let Smith escape (one point), but the eventual champion executed a takedown with 24 seconds left to win 7-3.
Ian Austin (160) and Santos Rodriguez (195) also competed.