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SECTION IV WRESTLING: WAVERLY'S LaFOREST WINS SECOND SECTIONAL TITLE, AND FOUR TEAMMATES PLACE; WAVERLY FINISHES FOURTH (24 PHOTOS) (2024-02-11)

By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
BINGHAMTON — Senior Mackenzie LaForest capped a brilliant career with her second Section IV title, and four of her teammates, including sophomore Elona Holmes, who was a runner-up had top-four finishes to pace Waverly to fourth place Saturday at the Section IV girls wrestling championships at Visions Memorial Arena.

"The girls wrestled great, with five of nine placing," said Waverly coach Devan Witman.

Senior Brenae Tedesco finished third, while sophomore Emma Vanderhoof, and freshman Abigail Reedy placed fourth to help Waverly to 83 team points. Oneonta and Horseheads finished 1-2 with 131 and 123 points, respectively.

LaForest, the second seed at 235 pounds, is a two-time state champ, and was runner-up at this year’s state tournament. She scored two falls to reach the finals Saturday.

In the quarterfinals, LaForest pinned SVEC’s Katelyn VanEtten in 1:20, then pinned Binghamton-Seton Catholic’s Ava Stacy in 4:41 in the semifinals to advance to match-up with top-seeded Alexis Durdon of Windsor.

Durdon, the defending Section IV champ, placed third at States this year, and had beaten LaForest at the STAC Championships and State Qualifier. LaForest won their first meeting of the year at the Southern Tier Memorial.

After seven minutes of scoreless action on their feet, LaForest was able to ride out Durdon in the first 30-second overtime period.

LaForest registered a quick escape in the second 30-second overtime period, then was able to fend off Durdon’s takedown attempts to win her second Section IV title.

"I am incredibly proud of Mackenzie for the tournament and career she has had," said Witman. "She has been a pioneer in the sport and in Waverly wrestling for a long time."

Holmes, the third seed at 165 pounds, pinned Chenango Forks’ Jilliam Howell in 1:50, then pulled out a 9-7 sudden-victory win over second-seeded Kyra Bryant of Binghamton-Seton Catholic in the semifinals.

In the finals, Holmes lost via first-period fall to Tioga 8th-grader Kyah Nelson, who won her second Section IV title.

Elona had a great semi-final match," said Witman. "She picked up win against an opponent she lost to earlier in the year. She wrestled well and stuck to the game plan."

Tedesco, the fourth seed at 126 pounds, wrestled back to third place after losing via first-period fall to top-seeded Taya Beach of SVEC in the semifinals.

Tedesco opened the day with a pin of Deposit-Hancock’s Josephine Young in 5:53 in the quarterfinals.

After her loss to Beach, Tedesco scored an 11-1 major decision over Horseheads’ Lily Vesek in the consolation finals, then forged a 6-0 decision over Young in the third-place match.

"Brenae has brought leadership to our team this entire year," said Witman. "She has improved so much in just a short time. She had an awesome tournament."

Vanderhoof, the fifth seed at 114 pounds, opened with a pin of fourth-seeded Krysten Yadlosky of Windsor in 3:14 in the quarterfinals, then lost via third-period fall to top-seeded Melodie Sutton of Marathon in the semifinals.

Vanderhoof bounced back with a pin of Oxford-Greene’s Ahraya Witt in 4:55 in the consolation semi-finals, then dropped a 7-2 decision to Yadlosky in the third-place match.

Reedy, the fifth seed at 132 pounds, lost via first-period fall to Elmira’s Mackenzie Burnette in the quarterfinals, but bounced back with a pair of wins.

In the blood round, Reedy pinned Horseheads’ Aliyah Teets in 2:18, then received a forfeit from Oxford-Greene’s Brooke Williams in the consolation semifinals.

In the third-place match, Reedy was pinned by Tioga’s Marcy Moniz.

"Emma (Vanderhoof), and Abi Reedy also had great tournaments," said Witman. "They both outpaced their seed, and continue to improve."

Freshman Abby Sickler was 0-2 at 114 points, while freshman Onnah Thompson was 0-2 at 120 pounds, sophomore Sydney Rosenbloom was 0-2 at 126 pounds, and junior Savannah Savercool was 0-2 at 235 pounds.

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IN PHOTO 1: Waverly’s Mackenzie LaForest. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY and TIM TAYLOR>


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