ALBANY - The fifth time proved to be the charm for Amsterdam's Brandon Lapi.
Coming off a close loss in last year's championship finals, Lapi finally made it to the top step of the podium Saturday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships at the Times Union Center.
Lapi did it in dramatic fashion, outlasting MacArthur's Justin Cooksey in double overtime, 6-3, in the 138-pound Division I (large-school) championship match.
Amsterdam’s Brandon Lapi celebrates after winning the 138-pound Division championship at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships on Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
Dolgeville’s Triston Engle, top, controls the action during his 170-pound Division II consolation quarterfinal match with Clarke’s Joe Turono at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships on Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
Amsterdam’s Brandon Lapi, top, controls the action during his 138-pound Division I championship match with MacArthur’s Justin Cooksey at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships on Saturday at the Times Union Center in Albany. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
It was the final high school match for Lapi, who is the first Amsterdam wrestler to win a state title since Giuseppi Lanzi in 2010.
"It's definitely the greatest feeling in the world," Lapi said. "I wanted to be a state champion."
Not only was it Lapi's final shot, it was the final match for Amsterdam coach Ken Benton who is retiring after the season.
"I've been pretty fortunate to have some great people helping me out," Benton said. "It's been a good run."
For Lapi, the title marks the end of a long climb to the top of the podium.
In his previous trips to Albany, Lapi finished third (2011), fourth (2012) and second (2013).
"There was a lot of pressure for the match," Benton said. "It was his second year in the finals, and we did our best to make sure he stayed focused."
To earn the title, Lapi, the No. 1 seed, had to get past third-seeded Cooksey. The two had met earlier this season with Lapi posting a 5-2 win over Cooksey at the Eastern States Classic in January.
The familiarity resulted in a tight match that saw the two go scoreless in the first period before Lapi opened the scoring with a second-period reversal.
"They train in the offseason together. They know each other well," Benton said. "There's a great deal of respect between the two of them."
Cooksey earned an escape with 16 seconds left in the second period to trail 2-1 heading into the final period.
In the final period, Cooksey tied the match at 2-2, escaping with 1:08 left in the match after choosing to start from the bottom position.
The match remained knotted at 2-2 through a scoreless 1-minute overtime.
Lapi opted to start from the bottom position to start the second overtime session, and he earned an escape with 12 seconds left in the 30-second overtime session.
"It was tough to get a shot. They studied me and knew what I wanted to do," Lapi said. "I stuck it out to the end."
Cooksey also chose down to start the final portion of the second overtime, and Lapi was awarded a penalty point when Cooksey received his third caution of the match. With a 4-2 lead, Lapi also added two back points before a late escape by Cooksey made the final score, 6-3.
"I'm happy for Brandon. He's been wanting this accomplishment for a long time," Benton said.
To get to the finals, Lapi posted a 3-0 win in the semifinals over Bethpage's Jake Einbinder of Section VIII.
Lapi, who went 48-1 this season, ended his career with a 264-41 record, setting a new Section II and Amsterdam mark for career wins.
"I'm pretty happy with that too," Lapi said of setting the section record.
In the Division II tourney, Dolgeville's Triston Engle avenged his one-point quarterfinal loss to Mexico's Jacob Woolson of Section III in the consolation finals, posting a 6-4 victory. Engle won the season series between the two, 3-2.
In the consolation quarterfinals, Engle pinned Clarke's Joe Turono of Section VIII in 2:31 and in the consolation semifinals, he pinned Hudson Falls' Geno Brancati in 2:03.
"I think the way he attacked in those two matches before the consolation finals set up the last match," Calkins said. "He had a little more gas in the tank because he didn't go the distance in those matches. He wrestled a smart match."
Engle, who was the No. 4 seed, ended his junior season with a 42-3 record.
"It's been a great year for him," Calkins said. "He worked so hard and wanted it so bad."
Columbia's Angelo Kress was the only other Section II wrestler to reach the Division I finals. Kress lost 140 to Longwood's Shakur Rasheed of Section XI.
A total of five Section II wrestlers posted top-six finishes in the Division I Tournament.
Saratoga Springs' Dominic Inzana (sixth, 120 pounds), Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake's Joey Butler (third, 145 pounds) and Shenendehowa's Jesse Porter (fourth, 152) all finished in the top six.
In the Division I sectional team standings, Section XI won the team title with 247.5 points. Section VIII was second with 205 points and Section I was third with 182.5 points. Section III was fifth with 108 points.
In the Division II Tournament, a total of 13 wrestlers finished in the top six.
Hoosick Falls' Luis Weierbach (120 pounds), Duanesburg's Connor Lawrence (160) and Cohoes' Nick Scott (285) reached the finals, and all three finished second.
In addition to the finalists, Duanesburg's Zach Lawrence (fifth, 99 pounds), Albany Academy's Matt Morris (sixth, 120), Salem's Dan VanDyk (sixth, 126), Salem's Carter Merecki (third, 132), Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George's Jason Hoffman (third, 145), Albany Academy's Cam Milliken (fourth, 152), Hudson Falls' Geno Brancati (sixth, 170), Schalmont's Nick Gallo (fourth, 182), Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk's Logan Kunkle (sixth, 220) and Schalmont's Marcus Ramundo (fifth, 285) also finished on the podium.
In the Division II sectional team standings, Section III won the title with 266 points. Section V was second with 236 points and Section IV was third with 206 points. Section II was fifth with 163 points.
99: Jacori Teemer (Long Beach - VIII) pinned Adam Busiello (Eastport - XI), 4:36
106: Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton - V) major dec. Peter Pappas (Plainview JFK - VIII), 11-2
113: Vito Arujau (Syosset - VIII) dec. Kyle Quinn (Wantagh - VIII), 4-1
120: Nick Piccininni (Ward Melville - XI) dec. Jesse Dellavecchia (East Islip - XI), 3-0
126: Travis Passaro (Eastport - XI) dec. Alex Delacruz (Ossining - I), 3-2
132: Chris Mauriello (Hauppague - XI) dec. Said Kakhramonov (New Utrecht - P), 6-3
138: Brandon Lapi (Amsterdam - II) dec. Justin Cooksey (MacArthur - VIII), 6-3 (2 OT)
145: Vincent Deprez (Hilton - V) dec. Jakob Restrepo (Sachem East - XI), 3-1
152: Louis Hernandez (Mepham - VIII) dec. Anthony Deprez (Hilton - V), 8-4
160: Shakur Rasheed (Longwood - XI) major dec. Angelo Kress (Columbia - II), 14-0
170: Steven Schneider (MacArthur - VIII) dec. Erik Adon (East Islip - XI), 3-1
182: Mark Tracy (Sachem East - XI) dec. Brett Perry (John Jay-East Fishkill - I), 8-2
195: Reggie WIlliams (Johnson City - IV) dec. Andrew Grella (Beacon - I), 5-1
220: Richard Sisti (Monsignor Farrell - C) dec. Vin Feola (Walt Whitman - XI), 10-4
285: James O'Hagan (Seaford - VIII) pinned, Michael Manni (Tappan Zee - I), 2:33
99: Kellan McKenna (New Hartford - III) dec. Anthony Sparacio (North Babylon - XI), 3-0
106: Vinny Vespa (Monroe Woodbury - IX) dec. Parker Kropman (Penfield - V), 5-3
113: Joe Calderone (Walt Whitman - XI) pinned Jay Albis (John Jay-East Fishkill - I), 4:19
120: Benjamin Lamantia (St. Anthony's - C) dec. Jon Errico (Byram Hills - I), 8-2
126: Mike D'Angelo (Commack - XI) dec. Richie Burke (Ithaca - IV), 5-0
132: Brad Wade (Islip - XI) dec. Frankie Gissendanner (Penfield - V), 3-2
138: Louie Deprez (Hilton - V) dec. Rocco Russo (Frontier - VI), 4-2 (OT)
145: Joey Butler (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) dec. Trevor Hoffmeir (Newark Valley - IV), 6-0
152: Blaise Benderoth (North Rockland - I) dec. Jesse Porter (Shenendehowa - II), 3-2
160: Daniel DeCarlo (Port Jervis - IX) dec. Derek Holcomb (Newark Valley - IV), 6-1
170: Gino Gioielli (Brewster - I) dec. Jake Weber (Clarence - VI), 9-5
182: Robert Ng (Plainedge - VIII) dec. Collin Pittman (Spencerport - V), 7-1
195: Ben Honis (Jamesville-DeWitt - III) dec. Robert Oliver (Plainedge - VIII), 8-2
220: James Bethel (Saugerties - IX) dec. Rob Kelly (Monroe Woodbury), 4-2
285: Trevor Gibbons (Carthage - III) dec. Ian James (Greece Schools - V), 4-3 (3 OT)
Fifth- and Sixth-Place Matches
99: Alfredo Olmedo (Arlington - I) dec. Bennie Baker (Newark Valley - IV), 2-1
106: Matt Stallone (Sachem North - XI) dec. Jemone Carter (Niagara Falls - VI), 4-2
113: John Twomey (St. Anthony's - C) dec. Jonathan Haas (Penfield - V), 3-2
120: Mitchell Woodworth (Fulton - III) pinned Dominic Inzana (Saratoga Springs - II), 1:49
126: Da'Mani Burns (Newburgh Free Academy - XI) def. Joseph Russ (St. Anthony's - C), default
132: John Muldoon (Pearl River - I) dec. Sean O'Hagan (Sachem North - XI), 9-2
138: Danny Graham (West Seneca East - VI) dec. Jake Einbinder (Bethpage - VIII)
145: Tommy Dutton (Rocky Point - XI) pinned Ben Ettlinger (Fox Lane - I), 1:40
152: Dennis Ferro (East Islip - XI) dec. Zach Lugo (Deer Park - XI), 6-2
160: Zach Colgan (Johnson City - IV) pinned Julius Diaz (Freeport - VIII), 4:57
170: Joe Russo (Rocky Point - XI) major dec. Quinn Zsido (Cornwall - IX), 12-1
182: David Hamil (Deer Park - XI) dec. John Lauretti (Seaford - VIII), 5-1
195: Trent Egenlauf (Spencerport - V) pinned Erik Jessell (Cornwall - IX), 2:42
220: John Hartnett (Tappan Zee - I) dec. Tyler Schaefer (Pittsford - V), 7-4
285: Sam Weinger (Washingtonville - IX) dec. Vincent Manna (Island Trees - VIII), 8-3
99: Dane Heberlein (Alexander -V) dec. Jonathan Gomez (Locust Valley - VIII), 7-0
106: Matteo DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson - XI) dec. Luke Yankloski (Wayne - V), 9-4
113: Hunter Dusold (Locust Valley - VIII) dec. Derek Spann (Adirondack - III), 3-1
120: Bryan Lantry (Wayne - V) dec. Luis Weierbach (Hoosick Falls - II), 5-4
126: Kellen Devlin (Amherst - VI) dec. Ryan Snow (General Brown - III), 4-2
132: William Koll (Lansing - IV) dec. Sean Peacock (Midlakes - V), 6-3
138: Tristan Rifenburg (Norwich - IV) dec. Laken Cook (Central Valley - III), 7-1
145: Alex Herringshaw (Holland Patent - III) pinned Andrew Shomers (Lewiston Porter - VI), 4:56
152: Frank Garcia (Norwich - IV) dec. Tyler Silverthorn (General Brown - III), 4-0
160: Trevor Allard (Mexico - III) dec. Connor Lawrence (Duanesburg - II), 3-1 (OT)
170: Burke Paddock (Warsaw - V) major dec. Ryan Marszal (Unatego - IV), 9-1
182: Christian Dietrich (Greene - IV) dec. Daniel Smith (South Jefferson - III), 3-0
195: Nathanael Rose (Eagle Academy - P) dec. Lane Frost (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill - III), 9-4
220: Ryan Wolcott (Waverly - IV) dec. Jake Benedict (Sandy Creek - III), 3-1
285: Connor Calkins (Alfred-Almond - V) dec. Nick Scott (Cohoes - II), 10-5
99: Dean Raymond (Deposit-Hancock - IV) major dec. Joe Sliwoski (Wayne - V), 14-5
106: Theo Powers (Mexico - III) dec. Tanner Cook (Central Valley - III), 6-4
113: Anthony Recco (Lyndonville - V) dec. Tito Colom (Dunkirk - VI), 6-0
120: Abdul-Fatah Alshawai (Lackawanna - VI) dec. Bradley Bihler (Maple Grove - VI), 6-1
126: Hunter Richard (Holland Patent - III) dec. Rafael Mateo III (Midlakes - V), 4-2
132: Carter Merecki (Salem - II) dec. Cody McGregor (Tonawanda - VI), 2-0
138: Sam Ward (Locust Valley - VIII) dec. Dakota Gardner (Fredonia - VI), 4-3
145: Nate Martin (Newfane - VI) dec. Jason Hoffman (Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George - II), 3-1 (2 OT)
152: Ryan Kromer (Lewiston Porter - VI) dec. Cam Milliken (Albany Academy - II), 2-1
160: Alex Smythe (Eden - VI) dec. Nik Hansen (Oxford - IV), 5-0
170: Triston Engle (Dolgeville - III) dec. Jacob Woolson (Mexico - III), 6-4
182: Trey Duvall (Addison - V) dec. Nick Gallo (Schalmont - II), 4-3
195: Ward Hively (Addison - V) dec. Trevor Spicer - VI), 7-3
220: Garrett Duvall (Sherburne-Earlville - III) pinned Rafal Rokosz (Southampton - XI), 3:53
285: Tyler Havener (Oneida - III) pinned Kyle Fiske (Port Jefferson - XI), 1:38
Fifth- and Sixth-Place Matches
99: Zach Lawrence (Duanesburg - II) def. Jacob Nolan (Saranac- VII), inj default
106: Hector Colom (Dunkirk - VI) dec. Kyle Aslanian (Edgemont - I), 5-2 (OT)
113: Ryan O'Rourke (Adirondack - III) dec. Ryan Hetrick (Southwestern - VI), 3-2
120: Nick Cassella (Locust Valley - VIII) dec. Matt Morris (Albany Academy - II), 2-0
126: Tristin DeVincenzo (Port Jefferson - XI) dec. Dan VanDyk (Salem - II), 5-2
132: Austin Acquard (Pioneer - VI) dec. Cormac Green (Port Byron - III), 4-3 (2 OT)
138: Codi Gillette (Saranac - VII) pinned Colin Royce (Warsaw - V), 4:07
145: Jay Oakes (Peru - VII) dec. Corey Farrell (Warsaw - V), 4-0
152: Simon Breckinridge (Veron-Verona-Sherrill - III) dec. Dan Woughter (Alfred-Almond - V), 7-4
160: Jordan Bushey (Peru - VII) tech. fall Howie Nolan (Maple Grove - VI), 15-0
170: Kyle Ross (Falconer - VI) dec. Geno Brancati (Hudson Falls - II), 4-2
182: William Hilliard (Phoenix - III) def. Chris Pinckney (Port Byron - III), forfeit
195: Logan Laflamme (South Jefferson - III) pinned Jeryd Graham (Midlakes - V), 1:16
220: Miguel Perez (Eagle Academy - P) def. Logan Kunkle (Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk - II), forfeit
285: Marcus Ramundo (Schalmont - II) def. Austin Dean (Sidney - IV), disqualification