By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WINDSOR - Waverly junior Ethan Stotler's march through the 145-pound weight class came to an abrupt end in the finals, but his second-place finish and a third-place finish by freshman Garrett Skeens paced Waverly's efforts this weekend here at the Section IV Division II wrestling championships.
The Wolverines finished 11th in the standings with 68 points, well off the pace set by Tioga, which racked up its third consecutive title with 218 points. Windsor was second with 162.5 points, Norwich was third with 158.5, BGAH was fourth with 140.5, and Walton-Delhi was fifth with 111.
Stotler, the second seed who had pins of 65 and 56 seconds Friday night, kept it rolling Saturday in the semifinals with a pin of sixth-seed Langdon Sibley of Windsor in 1:14 to advance to a title match-up against top seed Austin Lamb of Tioga.
In the finals, Lamb scored an early takedown, then cinched Stotler in a cradle for a fall at 1:08.
"It's just one of those things," said Waverly coach Devan Witman. "(Stotler) came out trying to fire his offense, but (Lamb) hit him with a counter. He fought it for a while, then (Lamb) slapped a cradle on him.
"Ethan has been getting a lot of quick pins for the past three weeks now," noted Witman. "He's ben dominating the weight class, other than Lamb. It's really been a two-horse race.
"Unfortunately, today wasn't his day," Witman added. :Hopefully, he'll get lucky enough to see him again at States."
To wrestle Lamb again at States, Stotler, who finished third in Division 2 as a junior and fourth as a sophomore, will have to be awarded an at-large wild card.
"I'll cross my fingers," said Witman. "There are a lot of good athletes around the state at 145 with some pretty good records ... it's just so hard to tell.
"I think he has a great chance," added Witman.
Skeens, the fourth seed at 120 pounds, registered a pair of pins Friday night to advance to a semi-final match-up against top-seed Caleb Robinson of Walton-Delhi.
Robinson pinned Skeens in the first period, but Skeens bounced back with a pair of wins - a 9-2 decision over Tioga's Justin Hopkins in the consolation finals, and an 11-2 major decision over Windsor's Ryan Kennedy in the third-place match.
"Garrett Skeens had a great weekend," said Witman. "He set up the rest of his career this weekend. He'll be looking to not only make the finals next year, but possibly win it."
None of Waverly seven other wrestlers in action placed, but senior Colby Sindoni and 8th-grader Gage Tedesco both lost one round shy of making the podium.
"Out other guys fought hard," said Witman. "Eight out of our nine guys won at least one match.
"We're still young, we had just one senior here this weekend," added Witman. "The other eight will come back next year more experienced and better for having been here."
Also at 120 pounds, junior Rylan Laforest, who lost his opening-round match Friday, bounced back in his first wrestleback match Saturday morning with a pin of Sidney's Keagan Bacon in 1:32.
In his next match, Laforest dropped a wild 15-12 decision to Hopkins.
At 126 pounds, senior Colby Sindoni, who lost in the quarterfinals Friday, pinned Dryden's R.J. Belanger in 1:38 in his first wrestleback bout of the day, but dropped a 7-6 decision to Whitney Point's Brennan Roe in the "blood round."
At 152 pounds, sophomore Austin Kimble, who lost in the quarterfinals Friday night, dropped a 10-2 major decision to Owego's Austin Culver in his first wrestleback bout of the morning.
At 160 pounds, sophomore Trevor Meyers, who lost his opening-round match Friday, forged an 8-0 major decision over sixth-seed Dan Calkins of Sidney in his wrestleback bout. Meyers was eliminated by Newark Valley's Connor Jacobson via a 12-3 major decision.
At 182 pounds, 8th-grader Gage Tedesco bounced back from his opening-round loss Friday night to pin Sidney's Trevor Harrington in 5:24 in the opening-round of wrestlebacks.
Tedesco followed that with a pin of Norwich's Dakota Hall in 3:15, but dropped a 4-3 decision to Owego's James Bundy in the "blood round."
At 220 pounds, junior Trent Skeens won his first wrestleback match via pin Sidney's Justin Santiago in 2:54, but lost via fall in 1:53 to SVEC's Jacob Campolito.
At 285 pounds, sophomore Hunter Rando was Waverly's lone grappler to go 0-2 on the weekend.
IN PHOTO: Waverly's Ethan Stotler. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY
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