WATKINS GLEN – The 152-pound championship match in the Section 4 Division II wrestling tournment went as predicted Saturday night as the top two seeds squared off at Watkins Glen High School.
Marathon Central senior Shvunte Searcy entered the weekend as the number two seed and he emerged as champion with a 3-2 decision over top-seed Cole Rifanburg from Norwich to cap a perfect 4-0 run. Searcy was the runner-up at 160 pounds one year ago, but came back to get his championship this season.
Searcy pinned Odessa-Montour’s Daniel Minnier at the 2:52 mark of his first round match. In the quarterfinals, he scored a 10-4 decision over Dylan Breed from Oneonta. Searcy posted an 8-4 decision over Grady Alpert from Spencer-Van Etten/Candor in the semifinals.
Searcy will now return to the New York State Division II Championships in the Times Union Center in Albany Feb, 24-25. Searcy placed fourth in the 2016 tournament.
Groton’s Reese Lockwood took third place at 132 pounds after going 4-1 in the tournament. Lockwood pinned Derek Gage from Chenango Valley in 4:39 during the consolation final.
Matt Gombas earned a fourth place finish at 195 pounds for the Indians. He was pinned in the consolation finals to finish 3-2 in the tournament.
For Dryden, Sam Dow placed fourth at 126 pounds while Cody Senecal was sixth at 160 pounds
CORTLAND HIGH SENIORS Kiegan Brown and Dakoatah Miller both finished third and Homer Central senior Reno Gaffney fifth in their respective weight classes Saturday in the Section 3 Division II wrestling tournament at Onondaga CC’s SRC Arena.
Brown, the third seed at 138 pounds, major decisioned Matt Goetzmann of Skaneateles 10-2 and beat Hannibal’s Zach Williams 5-2 before losing 6-2 to eventual runner-up Hunter Shaut of Central Valley Academy in the semifinals. He then beat Matt McLaughlin of Cazenovia 7-3 and, in the third-place match, outscored Williams again, this time 6-3. Brown finished the season 40-4 with 13 pins and for his career went 151-51 with 59 pins. He ended up facing Shaut three times during the season, and they had exchanged 6-4 wins prior to Saturday. Brown won in the 138-pound finals of the Leo J. Sammon Memorial Tournament on Shaut’s home mat at CVA on Jan. 7 and Shaut won the Section 3 Class B title at 138 one week before the Division II sectionals.
Miller, the fourth seed at 182, started by pinning Dolgeville’s Riley Beaulieu in 2:13. An 11-6 decision over Josh O’Reilly from Mexico gave him a berth in the semis, where he was pinned in 1:32 by top seed Doug Simmons of Canastota, the eventual champion. Miller then pinned Nathan Liscio from Little Falls in 1:30 and, in the third-place bout, scored a 4-0 win over McCaffrey Carroll from Copenhagen/Beaver River. Miller was 28-8 (17) this season and wound up with a career record of 125-41 (65).
Gaffney, the first alternate at 285, needed 35 seconds to pin Nate Saunders of Canastota in his first match. He then got pinned in 19 seconds by top seed Andrew Tanner from Adirondack, who went on to win the championship, before pinning Nick Schmitt from Cato-Meridian in 17 seconds. He finished sixth after consecutive pinfall losses to Nate Briggs of Onondaga (55 seconds) and Jacob Friot of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown/Pulaski (1:30). Gaffney wound up 24-12 this season.
Two Purple Tigers and three Trojans were beaten in their only matches.
CHS junior Aaron Kelchner lost a 14-0 major decision to Skaneateles’s Joe Brillo at 132 to finish the season 31-13 with 18 pins and junior Brandon McClendon was pinned by Josh Greenwood of Beaver River/Copenhagen in 1:09 to close out a 7-14 (5) campaign.
Homer freshman Matt McCumber was pinned by Adirondack’s Keagan Case in 1:52 at 120 and finished the year at 18-14. Trojans junior Noah Thomas lost to Cazenovia’s Will Khalil at 126 and wound up the season at 24-14. Another Trojans junior, Anthony Parker, lost a 12-4 decision to Copenhagen/Beaver River’s Cody Zubrzycki at 220 and finished the season at 9-15.