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SECTION IV GIRLS WRESTLING: TIOGA'S NELSON WINS SECOND SECTIONAL TITLE; THREE TEAMMATES PLACE IN TOP THREE (17 PHOTOS) (2024-02-11)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
BINGHAMTON — Eighth-grader Kyah Nelson won her second Section IV title, and all three of her teammates finished in the top three to lead the Tigers to a fifth-place finish Saturday at the Section IV Girls Wrestling Championships here at the Visions Memorial Arena.

“The girls capped off a remarkable season with a very solid team and individual performance,” said Tioga coach Jim Walsh. “Four total girls: one first, two seconds, one third, quite possibly the best showing percentage-wise for any team here.

“I have to mention Brandon MacWhinnie as the architect of the girls' success … he has worked closely with the girls now for close to a year,” added Walsh.

Junior Kali Bailey, and freshman Amelia Toomey each wrestled to runner-up finishes, and freshman Marcy Moniz placed third to help Tioga to 79 points. Oneonta and Horseheads, both fielding a full compliment of grapplers finished 1-2 with 131 and 123 points, respectively.

Nelson needed just 81 seconds to win her second Section IV gold.

After receiving a quarter-final bye, she decked Johnson City’s Kiara Davidson in 29 seconds in the semifinals, then pinned third-seeded Elona Holmes of Waverly in 52 seconds in the finals.

“Kyah (Nelson) had two pins, and rolled through her section IV competition this year,” said Walsh.

“She was a small 165-pounder, and that hurt her at states,” he noted. “Next year as a 9th-grader, and already a veteran, she will be very tough to beat.

“Speaking of the state tourney, it was our one hiccup this season. but next year we aim to fix it,” added Walsh.

Bailey, the second seeded at 120 pounds, scored a pair of first-period falls to reach the finals, decking Chenango Forks’ Lydia Pokorak in 49 seconds, and pinning Schuyler’s Jackie Mace in 1:53.

In the finals, Bailey lost via second-period fall to Owego standout and top-seeded RaeAnn Craft, who placed third at States recently.

“Team captain Kali Bailey had two pins, and wrestled a very solid match in the finals against Owego star Raeann Craft, but got caught in second period with RaeAnn's specialty — the cradle,” said Walsh. “She had a very good season.”

Toomey, the second seed at 126 pounds, also scored a pair of first-period falls to reach the finals.

She decked U-UV’s Peyton Coleman in 1:10 in the quarterfinals, then pinned Vestal’s Sea Yosanankatanyu in 1:54 in the semifinals.

After a scoreless first period against top-seeded Tayah Beach of SVEC, Toomey succumbed by fall in 3:48.

“Amelia Toomey had two pins and also a very solid match in the finals, but lost again to her nemesis Tayah Beach,” said Walsh. “She had opportunities to score big, but she’s not quite there yet. Next year will be a different story.”

Moniz, the seventh seed at 132 pounds, lost her quarter-final match via fall to second-seeded Isabella Silvestri, but bounced back to win three consecutive matches.

In the first round of wrestlebacks, Moniz won a 10-4 decision over Oneonta’s Valentina Carotenuto, then in the consolation semifinals pinned Elmira’s Mackenna Burnette in 4:51.

In the third-place match, Moniz pinned Waverly’s Abigail Reedy in 1:31.

“Marcy Moniz got the ‘game ball’ tonight,” said Walsh. “She destroyed her seed (seventh out of eight) finished third.  

“She was tied or behind every match she won,” noted Walsh.  “A great closing to her rookie wrestling season.

——————

IN PHOTO 1: Tioga’s Kyah Nelson. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY and TIM TAYLOR.


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