Cougars edged by Indians at Nokomis
NEWPORT -- Dirigo used its depth in a wrestling tournament, scoring 155 points. However, Skowhegan 175 had more to win the Nokomis Warrior Clash.
Dirigo champions were Griffyn Smith (106 pounds) and Nelson Pepin (182). Mount Blue (91.5) finished third, Oxford Hills (82.5) and Wells (69) rounded out the top five.
Dirigo, defending champions, placed nine in the top four of 14 weight classes, but Skowhegan had six champions.
“This was a total team effort,” said Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert, regarding medalists and wrestlers scoring. “We had a tough semifinal round again, but we got four through. There was surprises like Jesse Hutchinson. We'll wrestle back for third and fourth.
The Cougars held a margin over Skowhegan entering the finales. They trailed 139-125 entering the championship and consolation finals which were held simultaneously on adjoining mats.
Smith started off the finals with a pin against Matt Hankey of OH in the first period. Smith had shot immediately and secured a far-side cradle and tilted the Viking wrestler twice. The third time resulted in a stick. Skowhegan's Tyler Craig won a title by pin at 113. Craig won a Class A state championship as a freshman last year for Mount Blue.
''We are out to improve every match,'' said Skowhegan coach Brooks Thompson. ''It helped (two transfers), but those kids wrestle with us every summer, so we knew what we were getting.''
Skowhegan would win four more before Pepin stuck Levi Haydan in the lone head-to-head finals match between the top teams, in 39 seconds. The senior won his first tournament this season with a fishy-fishy move, double-under hook and pull down on back of neck.
''I wasn't looking for it, but he attempted a throw-by,'' said Pepin. ''His head was down, so I hit it. The fishy-fishy usually doesn't work on a strong wrestler. My strength is an asset, I've been hitting the weight room since a sophomore.''
Hutchinson fell behind Stewart Buzzell of Monmouth, who then held his base in a 4-1 decision in the finals. Buzzell executed the initial takedown and a two-point near fall in the middle period.
“I guess I didn't make the right adjustments,” said Hutchinson, who recently returned from a broken wrist."In wrestling, there's no place to hide, so if you don't work hard in practice, it shows on the mat.''
Dirigo's Zach White trailed by a point in the finals, but got caught and stuck by Travis Stuard of Mount Blue in the third period at 215. The Cougars' Brett Whittemore (152) Thomas Barnett (160), DJ Webber (170) and Lucas McDonald (195) each placed third.
Barnett, who was upset in the quarterfinal, avenged a loss by decisioning Teddy Durfee of Wells by 2-1. Webber, who won the tournament two years ago as a sophomore, won the 100th match of career. Cliff Boynton (285) placed fourth. Misty Steward 113 won a consolation match and was sporting a shiner.