Hockomock Wrestling Championships 2016

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Canton’s Brendan Lewis (right) goes for a pin in the semifinals at the Hockomock League Wrestling Championships (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
TAUNTON, Mass. – For the second straight year, North Attleboro picked up a dominating win at the Hockomock League Championships, topping the tournament with an impressive 254 points.
Oliver Ames finished second with 183, Franklin was third with 171, Sharon had 161 to finish fourth and Foxboro rounded out the top five with 155 points.
Well before the finals even began, Big Red had a big lead but continued to add to it. The Rocketeers had a wrestler in half of the finals and finished with six champions on the day.
“It was a great senior moment for a lot of the kids, especially the boys that finished first,” North Attleboro head coach Wayne Griffin said. “It’s a great opportunity for the rest of our team as a learning tool too. That’s what today was really about for us, we still have some issues that we have to keep working on and keeping working on and keep working on. We’ve still got another month of wrestling or so, it’s one day at a time.”
It took less than two minutes in the 120 bout for North Attleboro to crown its first champion. Devin Spratt, who is climbing the all-time wins ladder for the Rocketeers, pinned Phil Dure at 1:45 of the first round to earn his second straight Hock title.
Starting at 145, the Rocketeers picked four wins in five bouts. Nick Gould came away with ta last second win to get the title. He trailed 8-3 after two periods but a takedown from Stoughton’s Devlin Carroll pushed the lead to 8-2. In the final 30 seconds, Gould had an escape, near fall and a takedown to complete the comeback. Colin Fiske followed that up at 152 with a 4-0 decision – a takedown in the first and a reversal late in the second – avenging an earlier season loss to King Philip’s Anthony Fruci.
“Colin Fiske had a big one,” Griffin said. “He had lost to Fruci earlier in the season so we’re very excited for him. That was probably the biggest standout of the day for us. I’m really happy for Colin. We worked on changing his style a little bit coming into today. We keep trying to fine tune things and all try to can do a better job. I don’t want to to be the coach who didn’t try his darndest to help our kids be successful.”
The Rocketeers didn’t have anyone in 160 but in the 170 match, Big Red got another win. Jack Donahue built a 7-2 lead after one and then after a reversal in the second period, the senior was able to get the pin. Senior Nick Morrison then got a 6-4 win at 182 – his second straight league title in the weight class. A takedown in the first and a pair of escapes in the third helped Morrison edge Milford’s Ryan Gray.
Brennan Sankey then capped North’s day with a first round pin in the heavyweight division.
Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
“Success is a nice thing, but it’s a lot of work,” Griffin said. “We have of great moms and dads and we’ve got some really good administrators that support our efforts. As much as I like the winning piece, it’s all about taking things one day at a time.”
Other placements for North included a third place finish for Jordan Tillinghast at 160, fourth place finishes from Brady Folan (106), Brandon Graveline (132) and Leo Thibeault (220). Coming in fifth place for Big Red were Jake Direnzo (113) and Alex Devitto (126).
The Rocketeers, who are 19-1 on the season and now have three tournament wins, knew that teams would be coming to try and score the upset.
“It’s only a target if you believe it is,” Griffin said. “We talked about it this morning. I told the kids that there will be a target on our backs but we can’t worry about it. We just have to focus on today, focus on wrestling today and get through each match one at a time. I think it’s helped the kids keep perspective as each day goes by. We can’t worry about other things, we had to focus on getting through today first.”
Oliver Ames finished second and recorded the most points in program history at the Hockomock League Championships with 183. The total was nearly 40 more points than their previous high, which was recorded back in 2013 at Franklin.
“This was beyond expectations for us,” OA head coach Kahn Lima said. “Especially in a tournament, I did not see this coming. Our goal was to get somewhere in the top four or five. This was the highest total points we’ve scored at this tournament. The depth of the lineup really showed through today because we had 11 of our 14 kids place. The kids wrestled tough and bounced back from that tough dual loss against Foxboro and instead of quitting, they wrestled awesome today.”
Depth was key for the Tigers as they didn’t have a single champion but had two runner ups and nine other placements.
Luke Cullen made it to the 220 final but was edged out 3-2 but Franklin’s John Miller. Pat Mills had a pair of wins in the heavyweight class but was pinned by Sankey in the finals.
Casey Bellevue helped the Tigers cause with a third place finish at 106 and Jacob Murphy finished in the same spot at 170. Freshman Anthony Berksza continued to shine in his rookie year with a fourth place finish at 183 and Shea O’Connor (145), Ryan Lehane (152) and Carter Wood (195) all finished fourth as well. John Quilla (120) and Brendan Mills (182) both finished fifth.
“I think the guys were really angry that it happened,” Lima said of OA’s two point loss to Foxboro last week. “We had split with seven matches each and we lost by bonus points, but that’s wrestling. Instead of pouting about it, they grinded it out today. We had a great practice Thursday and a great practice yesterday and the spirits were real high. Now they’re celebrating, it’s awesome to see. The kids did all the work so they deserve it.”
Sharon had the most efficient success in the finals as the Eagles sent a trio of wrestlers in and got three wins. Yosef Ellis-Rech had a pair of takedowns in the second period, sandwiched by a first period takedown and a third period reversal to earn the title at 113. It was a bit of revenge for Ells-Rech, who lost in the finals at 106 last season. Luke Stillman picked up a 4-0 decision over Milford’s Brett Kimball at 132, getting a takedown in the first and a near fall in the third for the win.
David Ellis-Rech completed the strong showing for the Eagles with a 3-2 win over North’s Mike Gould. After a scoreless first, Ellis-Rech had a pair of escapes in the second but a takedown by Gould had things tied 2-2 going into the final period. At 1:19, Ellis-Rech had an escape to get the winning point. Ellis-Rech was selected as the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the meet.
Franklin finished third overall, sent four wrestlers to the finals and had two overall champions. Jordan Carlucci started things off with a second period pin at 106 for the Panthers and John Miller had a 3-2 win at 220. Mike Racca finished second at 113 and Nick Narducci was runner up at 126. The Panthers were helped along by their depth as well with TJ Remillard (120) and Evan Hernandez (195) getting third place finishes and Ed Cropper (160) finishing fourth at 160.
Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.
Foxboro’s Matt Kelley reached the finals for the third straight year and won for the second straight year. After winning 8-0 at 120 last year, he won 8-0 at 126 this year. The Warriors also got a win at 160 via Matt Mullally and a 10-1 decision. Phil Dure (120) and Sean Smalley (195) had second place finishes.
Milford’s Nick Johnson was the lone winner for the Scarlet Hawks, racing out to a 6-0 lead through two periods and holding on for a 8-1 win at 195. Nick Marcolini (106), Brett Kimball (132), Ryan Nesta (170) and Ryan Gray (182) each finished second for Milford.

Team Results

1. North Attleboro – 254
2. Oliver Ames – 183
3. Franklin – 171
4. Sharon – 161
5. Foxboro – 155
6. Milford – 153.5
7. Canton – 91.5
8. King Philip – 90
9. Stoughton – 83
10. Taunton – 64.5
11. Mansfield – 62

Finals

WeightMatchupResult
106Nick Marcolini (Milford) vs. Jordan Carlucci (Franklin)Carlucci (pin)
113Yosef Ellis-Rech (Sharon) vs. Mike Racca (Franklin)Ellis-Rech (8-1)
120Devin Spratt (North Attleboro) vs. Phil Dure (Foxboro) Spratt (pin)
126Matt Kelley (Foxboro) vs. Nick Narducci (Franklin)Kelley (8-0)
132Luke Stillman (Sharon) vs. Brett Kimball (Milford)Stillman (4-0)
138David Ellis-Rech (Sharon) vs. Mike Gould (North Attleboro)Ellis-Rech (3-2)
145Devlin Carroll (Stoughton) vs. Nick Gould (North Attleboro)Gould (9-8)
152Anthony Fruci (King Philip) vs. Colin Fiske (North Attleboro)Fiske (4-0)
160Matt Medina (Stoughton) vs. Matt Mullally (Foxboro)Mullally (10-1)
170Jack Donahue (North Attleboro) vs. Ryan Nesta (Milford)Donahue (pin)
182Nick Morrison (North Attleboro) vs. Ryan Gray (Milford)Morrison (6-4)
195Nick Johnson (Milford) vs. Sean Smalley (Foxboro)Johnson (8-1)
220John Miller (Franklin) vs. Luke Cullen (Oliver Ames)Miller (3-2)
285Brennan Sankey (North Attleboro) vs. Pat Mills (Oliver Ames) Sankey (pin)

Click here for over 100 photos from the tournament.

North Clinches Share of Title With Win Against Franklin

Devin Spratt
Devin Spratt (red) closed out the victory for North Attleboro with a 10-3 win at 120 pounds. Spratt is closing in on 110 career wins for the Rocketeers. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It seems that every season when North Attleboro and Franklin meet on the mats that a league title is on the line. This year’s meeting took on added significance because this will be the last time (at least until divisional breakdowns are reassessed) that the two programs will be fighting for the league championship.

With North switching to the Davenport next year, the matchup will still pit two of the Hockomock’s top programs but there will not be a trophy on the line.

North Attleboro took the bragging rights and clinched at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title on Wednesday night in the Kenneth Pickering Gym. The Rocketeers got off to a fast start, leading at one point 30-0, and closed out a 42-21 win over the Panthers.

“I’ll say the same thing I alway say, beating Franklin is a good thing,” said North coach Wayne Griffin with a smile.

He added, “Being prepared for Franklin is always the toughest match of the year regardless of the quality level of either team. Not that I’m a football guy, but I always think of the Patriots and the Jets. It doesn’t matter how bad the Jets are you know it’s going to be a really tough game.”

The Rocketeers started with back-to-back wins by brothers Mike and Nick Gould. Mike, who was wrestling on senior night, got North in front with a 7-2 victory over Dylan MacLean and Nick, a junior, followed that up with a pin of Seamus Cogavin with 59 seconds left in the first period.

Griffin said, “They’re a special family of kids, all three (Zach is a sophomore wrestler) of them. Our team captain stepped up to the plate and did  the things he was supposed to do.”

North had the early momentum and started to roll. Collin Fiske added three points with a 9-2 win at 152 pounds, then three straight pins gave the Rocketeers a commanding 30-0 lead. Jordan Tillinghast (160) and Jack Donohue (170) both picked up pins in the third period and senior Nick Morrison (182) grabbed a pin with 1:01 left in the second.

Franklin coach Carmine Colace knew that his young squad would be tested on Wednesdsay, but was pleased with the effort of his wrestlers to make North work for its points.

He explained, “We had a 182 (Myles Polito) that fought really hard, he’s a freshman, a first-year kid and he fought really hard. The kid we had at 160 (Tom Smith) has been a backup all season. They battled for two of three periods and I didn’t expect that.”

Although North had a big lead, nothing had been decided, as Franklin had potential points waiting in the lower weight classes.

“Wrestling is a little more complicated than just what you see on the scoreboard,” said Griffin. “It’s all about match-ups and it’s about where you start.”

“We started in the strongest part of our lineup. It would’ve been a different feel to the evening had we started at 106 pounds because that’s where the strongest part of Franklin’s lineup is.”

Evan Herandez got the Panthers on the board at 195 pounds, pinning Brad White with 43 seconds left in the second period. John Miller cut the lead to 30-9 with a 5-0 win over Leo Thibault at 220, but North was handed six more points with no Panther to wrestle at heavyweight.

The meet was not over as it headed to 106 and Jordan Carlucci gave the Panthers a little hope of a comeback when he picked up a quick pin just 35 seconds into his match. Mike Rocca followed up with a 4-0 win at 113, but Jake Direnzo did a solid job of avoiding a big loss or a pin guaranteeing North at least a tie.

At 120, North turned to senior Devin Spratt and he came through with a fairly comfortable 10-3 victory over T.J. Remillard  to secure the win for his team. Earlier this season, Spratt became the 11th Rocketeer to reach the 100-win plateau and is now closing in on 110 for his career, which would move him into the top five all-time.

“It feels good,” said Spratt after the meet. “They’re always a tough match. We’ve lost pretty bad to them before, so it feels pretty good.”

When asked how it felt to get to 100 wins, he replied, “It feels like my hard work is paying off.” He continued, “Right now I think we’re on course to win the D2 state title, if everyone wrestles to their full capabilities.”

Nick Narducci beat Alex Devitto 6-2 at 126 and in the final match of the night at 132, North’s Anthony Biaungo and Franklin’s Amir Zamani saved the best for last.

Zamani led 4-0 after two periods and was ahead 5-2 in the third, but Biaungo got a point for an escape and then as time was winding down he took a chance to go for the takedown. Biaungo managed to get the two points with mere seconds to spare, although the Franklin coaches insisted that the wrestlers were out of bounds. In overtime, Biaungo wasted no time to get a reversal for a 7-5 win.

“Anthony Biaungo, he had that momentum going into his match and it helped in his overtime,” said Griffin. “Those things kind of came our way.”

Colace said, “I knew what we were getting into. We just got out-muscled tonight. They’re really well drilled and it’s the best team I’ve seen out of here in a long, long time…maybe they’ll finally win the big one.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/20/16

Today’s games are listed below.
Hockey
King Philip, 7 @ Attleboro, 6 – FinalJacob Kelly had a hat trick for the Warriors in the victory. Sam Larkin scored a goal and had two assists for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 0 @ Medway, 2 – Final – Justin Slocum made 25 saves in net for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 2 @ Milford, 1 – Final

North Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin senior Jake Downie scored a pair of goals in the first period while Joey Blaise added another in the first and Adam Assad scored once in the third period. Zach McGowan scored North Attleboro’s lone goal and freshman goalie Ryan Warren had 37 saves. 
Mansfield, 6 @ Taunton, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Freshmen Brett Williams and Max Ward each scored a pair of goals for the Tigers. 
Wrestling
Canton, 33 @ Sharon, 48 – Final

Stoughton, 22 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final

Franklin, 21 @ North Attleboro, 42 – FinalNorth jumped out to a 30-0 lead. Nick Gould (145), Jordan Tillinghast (160), Jack Donohue (170), and Nick Morrison (182) each had pins for the Rocketeers. Evan Herandez (195) and Jordan Carlucci (106) had pins for Franklin, which cut the lead to 36-18 with three matches left. Devin Spratt (120) clinched the win for North and Anthony Biaungo (132) finished the match for the hosts with an overtime win. North clinches a share of the league title.
King Philip, 48 @ Taunton, 31 – Final – Taunton got wins from Josh Grasso (126), Justin Bradley (132), Alex Rodriguez (138), Nuno Camara (182), Elijah Simmons (195) and Santiago Lopez (220).

Mansfield, 48 @ Middleboro, 24 – Final

Milford, 26 @ Oliver Ames, 42 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Shea O’Connor (145) got a pin for his 100th career win.
Swimming
Boys
King Philip, 59 @ Taunton, 33 – Final
Girls
King Philip, 51 @ Taunton, 43 – Final
Girls Hockey
Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 0 – Final
Franklin, 4 vs. Medway/Ashland, 2 – FinalCassi Ronan scored a pair of unassisted goals to break a 2-2 tie for the Panthers. Elizabeth Quinn (assisted by Maddie Hinckley) and Jackie Connelly (from Marlee Paterson) had the other Franklin goals.
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 @ Cohasset/Hanover, 3 – Final – Cat Luciano scored a pair of goals and Lilly Feeney and Emily Ierardo each scored once for the Warriors.