GLENS FALLS - Six area wrestlers reached the semifinals Saturday at the Section II Wrestling Championships at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Amsterdam's Chris Velazquez, Brandon Lapi, John Rivera and Marcus Torres advanced to the semifinals of the Division I (large-school) tournament, while Canajoharie-Fort Plain's Jon Payack and Fonda-Fultonville's Zak Shaw reached the semis of the Division II (small-school) tourney.
Fonda-Fultonville’s Zak Shaw, right, battles Johnstown’s Austin Brand during their 182-pound quarterfinal match Saturday at the Section II Division II Championships at the Glens Falls Civic Center. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
Velazquez won his lone match of the day Saturday, posting a 7-0 decision over Colonie's Talah Hafeez in the 106-pound quarterfinals. Velazquez, who is 20-13 this season, will face Columbia's John Devine in today's semifinal contest.
Brandon Lapi advanced to the 138-pound semifinals, pinning Shaker's Jack Sheppeck in 1:51 in his lone match of the day.
Lapi, who placed second at last year's state tournament, is two wins away from his fifth straight Section II Division I title. Lapi, a senior, has 258 career wins and is 42-1 on the season. He will face Ballston Spa's Tyler Barnes in the semifinals.
Rivera also reached the semifinals for the Rams, advancing to the 152-pound semifinals by disqualification over Guilderland's Elijah Clemente. However, Rivera suffered a concussion and will forfeit his semifinal match with Queensbury's Dillon Deckert.
Torres, who is 32-8 this season, blanked Queensbury's Bryce Breault in the 182-pound quarterfinals. He will face Columbia's Dylan Dubuque in today's semifinals.
"It was good to see those three [Lapi, Velazquez and Torres] get to the semifinals," Amsterdam coach Ken Benton said. "I'm not overtly surprised though."
In addition to its four semifinalists, Amsterdam also had Chris Garrison advance to the 195-pound consolation semifinals.
Garrison lost his first match to Ballston Spa's Gerrick Golish in the quarterfinals.
He rebounded with a pinfall victory over Columbia's Rob Merrill in his first wrestleback match before pinning Albany's Lamar Grady in the consolation quarterfinals.
"I was pretty happy to see Chris [Garrison] bounce back after losing his first match," Benton said.
Brailin Santana went 1-2 for the Rams, while Adam Tatun (126), Monty Carmona (132) and Joe Kelly (220) also competed for Amsterdam, but went 0-2 on the day.
In the Division I team standings, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake leads with 87 points. Shenendehowa (82 points) is second and Columbia (81) is third. Amsterdam is 10th with 39 points.
Payack and Shaw each wrestled once Saturday to reach the Division II semifinals.
Payack rolled to a 14-2 major decision over Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George's Rich Conte in the 106-pound quarterfinals. He will face Schalmont's Paul Lambert in the semifinals today.
Shaw posted an 8-2 win over Johnstown's Austin Brand in the 182-pound quarterfinals. He will face Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George's Forrest Kubricky in today's semifinals. Kubricky pinned Shaw in the Class C finals last weekend to hand Shaw in only loss of the season. Shaw, a senior, is 29-1 this season.
In addition to the two semifinals, four other area wrestlers remain alive in the wrestlebacks.
Johnstown's Austin Brand (182 pounds), and Canajoharie-Fort Plain's T.J. Hazzard (99), Troy DeBlock (132) and Gordon Trahan (138) all reached the consolation semifinals.
"It went pretty much as expected," Canajoharie-Fort Plain coach Todd Jones said. "Anything can happen at this tournament, so we're happy to have four guys still going after the first day."
Brand opened the tournament with a win over Tamarac's Bob Bogan before losing 8-2 to Fonda-Fultonville's Shaw in the quarterfinals.
Brand rebounded with a 5-0 win over Berne-Knox-Westerlo's Sam Gerardi and advanced to the consolation semifinals with a 6-0 win over Duanesburg's Jason St. John.
"Austin [Brand] is wrestling well," Johnstown coach Joe Morrison said. "He got off to a slow start, but he picked it up."
Hazzard won his first match over Lansingburgh's Brenden Finch before droppiing a 4-0 decision to Hudson Falls' Connor Paige in the quarterfinals.
In his first consolation match, Hazzard pinned Salem's Garrett Cummings before outlasting Mechanicville's Dan Motta, 14-13, in the consolation quarterfinals.
DeBlock pinned Lansingburgh's Pat Fleming in his first match of the day before losing 8-4 in the quarterfinals to Albany Academy's Zach Zebrowski.
In his first wrestleback match, DeBlock pinned Watervliet's Derek Gleason before reaching the consolation semifinals with a 5-3 win over Greenville's Isaiah Papol.
Trahan won his first match over Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George's Todd Woodcock before dropping an 8-0 decision to Salem's Luke Fronhofer in the quarterfinals.
Trahan bounced back with a win over Johnstown's Anthony Mowrey in his first wrestleback match before pinning Warrensburg's Lane Oehler in 2:26 in the consolation quarterfinals.
"We've still go four in the hunt," Jones said."At this point, all of our guys have placed in the top six. We'll see where they finish tomorrow."
Kyle Gray (113) and Dom Mancini each went 1-2 on the day for Fonda-Fultonville, reaching the consolation quarterfinals before being eliminated.
Fonda-Fultonville's Clane Newcomer (106) and Kelsey Gray (120) also competed Saturday, but went 0-2 on the day.
"We did alright," Fonda-Fultonville coach Brent Becker said. "At the beginning of the season, we set a goal of bringing five to the Civic Center, and we accomplished that. We're building toward the future."
Also going 0-2 in their two matches Saturday were Johnstown's Anthony Mowrey (138), Canajoharie-Fort Plain's Jordan Griswold (170), Johnstown's Marshall Manchester (195), Canajoharie-Fort Plain's Gene Ryan (220) and Johnstown's Ethan Hale (220).
"Everyone is here for a reason," Morrison said. "These are the best wrestlers in the section. Every match is a tough as the last."
In the Division II team standings, Hudson Falls leads with 75.5 points. Salem (63 points) is second and Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George (60) is third. Canajoharie-Fort Plain (39.5) is ninth, Fonda-Fultonville (13) is 26th and Johnstown (7) is 29th.
Section II Tournament
99: Christian Gramuglia (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) vs. Trent Svingala (Columbia); David Wolanski (Guilderland) vs. Anthony Sgorrano (South Glens Falls)
106: John LoGuidice (Guilderland) vs. Shiva Bhoge (Mohonasen); John Devine (Columbia) vs. Chris Velazquez (Amsterdam)
113: Golan Cohen (Colonie) vs. Rowen Braga (Bethlehem); Mahesh Bhoge (Mohonasen) vs. Max Tempel (LaSalle)
120: Mike Lainhart (Guilderland) vs. Josh Reed (Schenectady); Dominic Inzana (Saratoga Springs) vs. Nick Robbins (Queensbury)
126: Blake Retell (Shaker) vs. Eoghan Sweeny (Niskayuna); Jordan Maynard (Shenendehowa) vs. Tristan Canova (Bethlehem)
132: Kyle Greene (Columbia) vs. Ryan Moore (LaSalle); Eric St. John (Queensbury) vs. Mason Robideau (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)
138: Brandon Lapi (Amsterdam) vs. Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa); John McHugh (Columbia) vs. Levin Parker (Shenendehowa)
145: Joey Butler (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) vs. Kody Bruno (Queensbury); Joseph Clemente (LaSalle) vs. Jim Devine (Columbia)
152: Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa) vs. Matt McHugh (Columbia); John Rivera (Amsterdam) vs. Dillon Deckert (Queensbury)
160: Angelo Kress (Columbia) vs. Paul Citone (Colonie); Ryan Betts (Shenendehowa) vs. Nathan Sisler (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)
170: Franky Nassivera (Queensbury) vs. Ditaye Douglas (Schenectady); Andy Cummings (Guilderland) vs. Jake Ashcraft (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)
182: Marcus Torres (Amsterdam) vs. Dylan Dubuque (Columbia); Isaiah Cooks (Colonie) vs. Anthony Papa (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)
195: Levi Ashley (Shenendehowa) vs. Gerrick Golish (Ballston Spa); Taylor Russell (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) vs. Chris Goudy (Queensbury)
220: Wayne Burt (Colonie) vs. Kevin Leonard (Shenendehowa); Chris Tanora (Bethlehem) vs. Nicol Fragale (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake)
285: Austin DiCerbo (Colonie) vs. Jake Groesbeck (Bethlehem); Roz Warren (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) vs. Matt Holton (Saratoga Springs)
99: Zack Lawrence (Duanesburg) vs. Connor Paige (Hudson Falls); Dillan Palazewski (Galway) vs. Orion Anderson (Schuylerville)
106: Arsilan Zahid (Lansingburgh) vs. Anthony Cardinuto (Schuylerville); Jon Payack (Canajoharie-Fort Plain) vs. Alex Lambert (Schalmont)
113: Nolan Foster (Hoosick Falls) vs. Gideon Jardine (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George); Win Myint (Rensselaer) vs. Luke Pondillo (Lansingburgh)
120: Matt Morris (Albany Academy) vs. Dalton Weils (Hudson Falls); Jordan Sartin (Galway) vs. Luis Weierbach (Hoosick Falls)
126: Dan VanDyk (Salem) vs. Kyle Jasenski (Albany Academy); Brandon Merchant (Cobleskill-Richmondville) vs. Garon LeClair (Corinth)
132: Carter Merecki (Salem) vs. Zach Zebrowski (Albany Academy); Denver Berry (Warrensburg) vs. Tyler Mulcahy (Corinth)
138: Sam DeLarge (Albany Academy) vs. Luke Fronhofer (Salem); Ridge Sulkey (Cairo-Durham) vs. Mike Matatt (Hoosick Falls)
145: Jason Hoffman (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George) vs. Zeke Thomas (Albany Academy); Steven Culbert (Galway) vs. Andy Mollevik (Duanesburg)
152: Nathaniel Palmer (Granville) vs. Cam Milliken (Albany Academy); Colby Davendonis (Hoosick Falls) vs. Logan Brunick (Tamarac)
160: Connor Lawrence (Duanesburg) vs. Jake Gregory (Whitehall-Fort Ann); Joshua McIlhenny (Greenville) vs. Connor Tuttle (Tamarac)
170: Geno Brancati (Hudson Falls) vs. Kevin Paskevich (Schalmont); George Pooters (Cairo-Durham) vs. Brad Perry (Granville
182: Nick Gallo (Schalmont) vs. Brandon Steves (Whitehall-Fort Ann); Zak Shaw (Fonda-Fultonville) vs. Forrest Kubricky (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George)
195: Tim Flower (Schalmont) vs. Dan Ackley (Warrensburg); Tom Clark (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George) vs. Nate Millington (Hudson Falls)
220: Logan Kunkle (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk) vs. Nathan Winchester (Cambridge); Brandon Farrell (Mechanicville) vs. Patrick Barber (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George)
285: Nick Scott (Cohoes) vs. Tyler VandenBoogard (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George); Jordan Keys (Salem) vs. Marcus Ramundo (Schalmont)