ALBANY - For the second straight year, Amsterdam sophomore Brandon Lapi finished on the podium at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships.
However, Lapi finished one step lower, placing fourth this year after posting a third-place finish as a freshman.
"He's pretty close to where he finished last year. He's still got a lot of wrestling ahead of him," Amsterdam coach Ken Benton said. "He works all year long at it. He'll be back and now he's got something to work for."
Amsterdam’s Brandon Lapi, right, battles Kellenberg Memorial’s Pat Skinner during their 113-pound consolation final match at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division I Championships at the Times Union Center in Albany on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
In the consolation finals, Lapi squared off against a familiar foe in Kellenberg Memorial's Pat Skinner of the Catholic High School Athletic Association.
The two met last year in the consolation semifinals with Lapi earning a 7-4 win.
In the rematch, Skinner turned the tables on third-seeded Lapi, posting a 4-2 victory.
Skinner, the No. 4 seed, scored a takedown with 17 seconds left in the first period to register the first points of the match.
After a scoreless second period, Lapi earned an escape to make it 2-1. However, Skinner added a late takedown to make it 4-1 before Lapi added a late escape to make the final score, 4-2.
In the consolation semifinals, Lapi scored the only points of the match on a second-period reversal to post a 2-0 win over Cornwall's T.J. Kreider of Section IX.
"You've got to be confident to work offensively against an opponent," Benton said. "He's got it, but he's young and not always consistent with it."
In the semifinals, Lapi fell behind 2-0 when Somers' Dylan Realbuto scored a takdown with 55 seconds left in the first period.
Lapi used a quick reversal to tie the match at 2-2 with 41 seconds left in the opening period only to have Realbuto escape to take a 3-2 lead after one period.
The disc flip fell Realbuto's way and he chose to start from the down position at the beginning of the second period. Realbuto used an escape to grab a 4-2 advantage, a lead he maintained to the start of the third.
Lapi started from the bottom and earned an escape following a lengthy conversation between both coaches and the officials with 1:06 left in the match.
However, Realbuto hung on to his 4-3 advantage through the final whistle, sending Lapi to the consolation bracket. Somers went on to edge Hilton's Vincent DePrez of Section V, 8-7, in the championship match.
"He's got to get some points on the board at some point," Benton said. "He needed more offense."
After outscoring his two foes by a combined 11-4 margin on Friday, Lapi was outscored 8-7 in his three matches on Saturday.
Lapi finished his season with a 50-4 record, pushing his career win total to 164 and winning his third straight Section II Division I title.
In the Division I tournament, Section II had a total of nine top-six finishers. In addition to Lapi, that group included Shenendehowa's Nick Kelley (132 pounds, third), Shenendehowa's Dave Almaviva (138, third), Columbia's Evan Wallace (145, third), LaSalle's Connor Sutton (160 sixth), South Glens Falls' Stephen Lumley (170, sixth) and Shenenehowa's Cole Lampman (285, third).
Two Section II wrestlers, Shenendehowa's Tony Fusco (195 pounds) and Columbia's El Shaddai Gilmore-VanHoesen (285) reached the Division I finals.
Fusco defeated Johnson City's Reggie Williams of Section IV in the championship match, while Gilmore VanHoesen dropped a 3-2 decision to Syosset's Evan Kappatos of Section VIII.
Other Division I state champs included Chenango Forks' Kyle Kelly (Section IV, 99 pounds), Ward Melville's Nick Piccininni (Section XI, 106), Connetquot's Sean McCabe (Section XI, 120), Eastport-South Manor's Maverick Passero (Section XI, 126), St. Anthony's Jamel Hudson (CHSAA, 132), John Glenn's James DeKrone (Section XI, 138), Iroquois' (Section VI, 145), Somers' Brian Realbuto (Section I, 152), Long Beach's Dylan Palacio (Section VIII, 160), Plainedge's Dan Spurgeon (Section VIII, 170), John Glenn's Nick Bellanza (Section XI, 182) and Fairport's Josh Lackey (Section V, 220).
Section XI won the team title with 250 points, while Section VIII (170.5 points) was second and Section V (166) was third. Section II finished fifth with 143.5 points.
Four Section II wrestlers reached the Division II finals. That group included Duanesburg's Curt Rowley (132), Hudson Falls' Aaron Dudley (160), Whitehall's Zach Diekel (195) and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk's Alex Soutiere (285).
Diekel was the lone winner, posting a 9-3 decision over Avon's Bryce Mazurowski of Section V.
Rowley lost 6-3 to Lansing's Connor Lapresi of Section IV, Dudley lost 8-3 to Letchworth's Chris Nevinger of Section V and Soutiere lost by pinfall to Beekmantown's Hayden Head of Section VII.
Other Division II state champs included Lyndonville's Tony Recco (Section V, 99 pounds), Marathon's Lucas Malmberg (Section IV, 106), Midlakes' Sean Peacock (Section V, 113), Lyndonville's Sam Recco (Section V, 120), Phoenix' s Nick Tighe (Section III, 126), Holley's Quinton Murphy (Section V, 138), Phoenix' s Tyler Button (Section III, 145), Salamanca's Ben Haas (Section VI, 152), Canastota's Zach Zupan (Section III, 170), Pioneer's Tony Lock (Section VI, 182) and Greene's Kyle Stanton (Section IV, 220).
Three other Section II wrestlers placed in the top six in the Division II tourney. Included in that group were Hoosick Falls' Luis Weierbach (99 pounds , fifth), Hoosick Falls' Brad Burns (170, sixth), Salem's Tyler Morris (182, fourth)
Section V won the team title with 255 points, while Section III (236 points) was second and Section IV (213.5) was third. Section II was fifth with 140 points.
Amsterdam's Mike Garrison and Johnstown's Brandyn Ainsworth also qualified for the Division I and Division II tournaments, respectively, but both were eliminated from competition Friday.