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Contenders emerge for conference title runs

Avon’s Ryan Bagnadassarian got a takedown with 1.2 seconds left in regulation to earn a 7-5 victory over Christian Rodriguez of Wethersfield on Wednesday night.

With two weekends left in the regular season, teams across the state are getting ready for a run at their respective league championships and are getting ready for the upcoming state tournaments.

It was a busy Wednesday night on the mats across Connecticut.

In the Southern Connecticut Conference, it looks like the race for the Division I title will come down to No. 6 Xavier (8-1, 3-0 SCC Div. I) and No. 9 Foran (26-2, 3-0 SCC Div. I). Xavier handed East Haven (15-4) their first loss in SCC Division I this year with a 62-15 victory on Wednesday night while Foran easily handed Fairfield Prep, 69-9.

Xavier and Foran, who are both favored to win their respective SCC Division I matches on Wednesday, will meet on the final day of the regular season – Wednesday, February 6 in Middletown with the winner taking home the Division I crown.

Notre Dame-West Haven can win their first divisional crown if they win their final two SCC Division II matches against Amity and Branford.

The Green Knights (10-10, 4-0 SCC DIv. II) went on the road Wednesday night to beat Shelton, 45-33. Shelton cut the lead to three points, 33-30, but Notre Dame won two of the final three matches. A pin by Kevin Sevigny clinched the match for Notre Dame.

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 23

No. 10 Avon (18-0, 4-0 CCC North) raced out to a 21-point lead after six matches and beat Wethersfield, 45-18, Wednesday night to remain undefeated.

Wethersfield (8-5, 4-1 CCC North) could have won the title since 2007 with a victory. Now, Avon will have that chance when they host Manchester (8-8, 2-1 CCC North) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

“It was a well-fought match,” Avon High coach John McLaughlin said. “There were seven matches that could have gone either way. We won five of them and they won two.”

Avon has won 22 in a row and their 18-0 start is the best in school history.

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 23

No. 3 Southington (9-1, 4-0 CCC West) and No. 5 Simsbury (9-1, 4-0) each easily picked up victories to set up next Wednesday’s huge match that should determine the CCC West champion. Southington had 10 pins in a 77-6 win over Conard while Simsbury rolled in a 61-12 rout over Newington.

The match begins on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Southington.

Enfield (10-4, 4-0 CCC East) remains on track to claim a second straight CCC East championship after a 63-3 win over Windsor. The league will probably come down to the match against RHAM-Hebron (14-8, 3-0) on the final day of the regular season – Wednesday, February 6.

RHAM will host Enfield on that evening at 6 p.m. The Sachems are favored to beat Windsor this Wednesday to set up the winner-take-all match.

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 23

Canton (15-3, 5-0 NCCC) continues on their match toward their first North Central Connecticut Conference championship since 2002. The Warriors rolled over undermanned Coventry on Wednesday night, 65-3. Canton can bring home the title with a win over East Windsor on Wednesday and a victory over Granby on Saturday, February 2.

Bristol Eastern coach Bryant Lishness earned his 200th career victory on Wednesday as the Lancers improved to 12-0 with a 73-6 win over Platt-Meriden. The Lancers (12-0, 4-0 CCC South) have won a school record 48 consecutive dual meets dating back to the 2016 season.

It is the sixth longest winning streak in state history. Farmington sits at No. 5 with 50 consecutive victories from 2012-14. The state record is 96 by Danbury from 1996 through 2001.

Lishness’ career record is 200-40. He took over the team in 2007.

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 23

Trumbull’s Jack Ryan (120) joined his brothers with more than 100 career wins on the wrestling mat. Ryan earned his 100th win with a pin in 15 seconds against Fairfield Ludlowe. His older brother Joey, now graduated, won more than 100 matches along with senior Matt Ryan.

No. 8 Trumbull (21-5) rolled to a 56-12 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe.

In Norwalk, the Bears won their first City Championship in years with a thrilling 39-34 victory over cross-town rival Brien McMahon. With the match on the line and the Bears trailing by a point, Lensendro Laguerre (145) won with a pin to give Norwalk the title. Chase Larkin (132) also picked up a key pin for Norwalk (7-3), which had pins in three of the final six matches to earn the win.

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 23

NFA will host the first Carl Snitkin Duals on Saturday in honor of their late Hall of Fame wrestling coach, who died last spring. Ledyard, St. Bernard/Norwich Tech, Jonathan Law and Shepherd Hill-Dudley, Mass., will participate in the tournament with the Wildcats.

Snitkin was 72 when he passed away in May. He led NFA to 13 Eastern Connecticut Conference titles and nine Class LL state championships, including six straight from 1983-88, a state record at the time. When he retired in 1999, his 471 dual meet victories (471-80-7) were the most in state history.

He was part of the first class to be inducted in the Connecticut chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002.

Results and boxscores: Wednesday, January 23

Plainville (11-9) beat Berlin for the first time since 2005 with a 39-30 victory. The Blue Devils led 24-4 after five matches. Jayden Barton (120) picked up a key 6-5 victory for Plainville and Dominic Pedrolini (126) clinched the victory with a 6-0 decision.

Timberlane Regional in Plaistow, New Hampshire will host a pair of top 10 teams on Saturday when No. 1 Danbury and No. 6 Xavier come visit. Nashoba Valley Tech from Westford, Mass., is also scheduled to compete.

No. 2 Bristol Eastern and No. 3 Southington will be the headline teams along with defending New England champion Ponagansett, R.I., at the Connecticut Challenge in Southington.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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