SIMSBURY, January 29 – Southington High wrestling coach Derek Dion knew his lineup was missing two starters. Luke DeAngelis (195) had an undisclosed injury and Dawsen Welch (145) was ill and unable to wrestle.
Still, he thought his Blue Knights had a chance against No. 2 Simsbury on Wednesday in a crucial CCC West match. “I thought we could win nine matches. We won five,” Dion said.
Simsbury took advantage of the two forfeits and won a pair of one-point decisions as they looked strong in a 46-18 victory in a darkened Simsbury High gym. The win doesn’t give Simsbury (6-0, 4-0 CCC West) the league championship but puts them in firm command of the race with two more league bouts remaining against New Britain and Farmington.
“They’re tough. They came to wrestle,” Dion said. “We didn’t wrestle badly but there are some technical mistakes we are still making and you can’t do that against a good team.”
Simsbury coach T.J. Silva said, “I thought we wrestled well. We got up for this match and had it circled on the calendar.”
It was another step in the growth of the program that lost three straight matches to the Blue Knights before Simsbury finally beat Southington a year ago with a win in the final match of the evening, 38-31 to capture their first CCC West pennant since 2015.
Simsbury’s. Noah Pryzbek (152) picked up a forfeit to begin the match before teammate Carter Sirois (160) beat Southington’s Caleb Brick, 4-3. Sirois’ takedown with 20 seconds left in the second period stood up as the difference in the match.
Wins by Southington’s Josh Vitti (170) and Billy Carr (182) cut the Simsbury lead to 9-6. Simsbury’s Jack Cunningham (195) picked up a 9-0 decision while Southington’s Jacob Vecchio outlasted Tommy Guilfoyle, 3-1 to cut the Trojan lead to 13-9.
But Simsbury’s D’Sean Martin picked up a forfeit at 285 and victories from Simsbury’s Cael Finn (106) and Ryan Finn (113) put Simsbury firmly in control, 28-9. Cael Finn’s second period reversal was enough to secure a 2-1 win over Southington’s Colton Thorpe. Ryan Finn had a two-point lead in the third period before getting a pin to help cement the victory.
Ty Finn (132) and John Mairano (138) each had pins for Simsbury, which has a challenging quad-meet on Saturday.
Simsbury will be in Danbury to take on the top-ranked Hatters, Timberlane Regional, who is ranked No. 1 in New Hampshire, and Nashoba Regional in Bolton, Mass., which is ranked No. 13 in the Bay State. It will be broadcast over the internet.
“The pressure is on everyone else,” Silva said. “Danbury is supposed to win. They’ve been winning for 30 years. We’re going to go in there and wrestle hard. We have an opportunity to do something great. If you want to take it, you have to go get it. No one is going to give it to you.”
In other key matches around the state on Wednesday:
No. 8 Bristol Central (18-0, 5-0 CCC South) remained undefeated with a 36-35 win over criteria over Platt. The Rams won because they had fewer forfeits (none) than the Panthers (one). Platt (18-8, 1-3 CCC South) got a big 11-0 win from James Rodini in the final bout of the evening at 138 that tied the match at 35-35
It looks like the traditional season-ending match between Central and Eastern on Wednesday, February 12 at Central will be for the CCC South championship if both schools win their remaining league bouts. Eastern (7-0, 4-0 CCC South) rolled past Berlin on Wednesday, 64-9.
Eastern has beaten Central nine straight times — the longest winning streak in the series that began in 1963. Eastern has won eight of the last nine CCC South titles. Central’s last CCC South championship came in 2010.
Wethersfield (9-3, 3-0 CCC North) and Manchester (16-3, 3-0 CCC North) remain on course for a showdown for the CCC North title.
Wethersfield had five pins and nine victories in a 46-26 victory over East Hartford. Manchester had a tougher time with Hall, squeaking out a 36-35 victory. The Red Hawks got four pins and crucial one-point victory by Marco Sveltstad (120) to earn the win. Manchester hosts Wethersfield on Wednesday night. Manchester shared the CCC North title with Windsor in 2014 while Wethersfield is looking for their first title since taking the CCC West crown in 2007.
No. 10 Killingly survived in a battle with No. 11 Ledyard taking the match 35-34 on criteria – most pins (3-2). Killingly (17-2, 3-0 ECC Div. II) got pins from Kaden Ware (106), David Charron (132) and Ben Richardson (145) but they got a crucial win by Isaac Bean at 138 pounds. Bean beat Ledyard’s Walker Lenz, 12-4, to pick up an extra point for an eight-point victory. Killingly’s Owen Turner (220) earned a pressure-packed 4-2 win over Ledyard’s Justin Kinney to give Killingly a six-point lead with one match to go. Ledyard (15-5, 2-1 ECC Div. II) had their 10-match winning streak snapped.
In the ECC, teams earn one point for each team they beat in their division during the dual meet portion of the schedule and at the ECC championship meet.
In ECC Division I, NFA finished the dual meet portion of the league schedule undefeated with a 48-31 win over East Lyme/Norwich Tech. NFA is 12-8 overall and 3-0 in ECC Division I.
Foran’s Ethan Edmonson earned his 100th career victory on Wednesday with a win against Branford, which prevailed in the dual meet 43-28. Before the match, Foran raised $2,000 for the Milford Prevention Council’s anti-vaping campaign.
Simsbury 46, Southington 18
152 Noah Pryzbek (Sims) forfeit; 160 Carter Sirois (Sims) dec. Caleb Brick 4-3; 170 Josh Vitti (South) dec. Tyler Coiro 8-5; 182 Billy Carr (South) dec. Ryan Guilfoyle, 12-5; 195 Jack Cunningham (Sims) dec. Jackson Resheski, 9-0; 220 Jacob Vecchio (South) dec. Tommy Guilfoyle, 3-1; 285 D’Sean Martin (Sims) forfeit; 106 Cael Finn (Sims) dec. Colton Thorpe 2-1; 113 Ryan Finn (Sims) pin Anthony Deldebbio 5:15; 120 Ben Gorr (South) pin Matt Putnam 2:22; 126 Darius Mangiafico (South) dec. Nate Hotchkiss 7-2 ; 132 Ty Finn (Sims) pin Emmett Vitti 1:01; 138 John Mairano (Sims) pin Jared Guida 5:47; 145 Saul Pera (Sims) forfeit
Records: Simsbury 6-0, 4-0 CCC West; Southington 8-2, 3-1 CCC West