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Roundup: New Milford slips past East Hartford to win Bristol Central Invitational

Canton’s Reese Titus tries to turn Nonnewaug’s Aiden Cooper in the finals at 120 pounds in the first Warrior Invitational in Canton. Titus won the match but Nonnewaug won the tournament.

New Milford’s Khalil Bourjelli won an individual title with a pin while four teammates finished third to lift the No. 3 Green Wave to a two-point win over No. 5 East Hartford at the 40th annual Bristol Central Invitational. New Milford outlasted East Hartford, 197-195, to win their third BC Invitational title and their first since 2015.

Four New Milford wrestlers finished third – Alec Oberc (113), Ryder Langlois (145), Angelo Fernandez (170) and Chayten Prashant (182) – with Oberc, Fernandez and Prashant picking up extra points with pins.

Those points were valuable for the Green Wave, who had three wrestlers in the finals. Two New Milford wrestlers lost but Bourjelli got a pin and the extra points that come with it.

It was the second-closest finish in tournament history. The only tournament that was closer was in 2022 when New Fairfield edged New Milford by a half point for the championship.

East Hartford had its best-ever finish in the tournament with Jaeckez Mendez (138), Drayvn Roberts (170) and Sammy Montovani (195) winning championships. Mendez got a takedown with 23 seconds left to cement a 3-0 victory over Bristol Central’s Landon Dionne.

Avon, which had four finalists, finished third for the second time in the last four tournaments. Isaiah Adams (113) was named outstanding wrestler. 

Saturday, January 7 results and boxscores

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No. 2 Xavier went 2-4 at the National High School Wrestling Duals in LaCrosse, Wiconsin, also known as The Clash tournament. The Falcons got eight pins in a 42-38 win over Williard, Missouri and outlasted Oak Park and River Forest from Illinois, 50-20. Holmen, Wisconsin won the final three bouts of the match with two pins to edge Xavier, 39-37.

Xavier also fell to Caledonia Houston from Minnesota, 45-21, New Prague, Minnesota, 34-28 and Staley, Missouri, 48-28. There were 32 teams from across the country in the tournament.

Xavier’s Raekwon Shabazz (106) and Charles Weidman (182) each went 6-0 in the tournament and Weidman was named to the All-Tournament team.

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No. 1 Danbury won the 53rd Spartan Annual Wrestling Tournament (SWAT) in Sanford, Maine for the fourth time with a 226-171 win over Wells, Maine. It was the most points for a Maine team in the tournament since 2015 when Marshfield scored 190½ points.

The Hatters won the tournament in 2019 and 2020 before the tournament took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Danbury’s Christian Pote (106) and Jesse Defonce (132) each had three pins and won their respective weight classes. Hatter teammates Deyton Soto (113), Dom Iaquinto (182) and Daniel Craig (195) each finished second with Soto dropping a 4-3 decision in the finals.

Victor Velez (120) and Nuh Adjndoski (285) each finished third for Danbury.

Saturday, January 7 results and boxscores

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No. 10 Southington finished second in their own Ray Southland Memorial Duals tournament with a 50-27 loss to Melrose, Mass. Melrose had seven pins in the finals to capture the 16th annual event for the first time. Southington (5-2) beat Fairfield Prep and NFA on criteria, 41-40 in the pool round. The Blue Knights advanced to the final with a 48-30 win over Branford.

Melrose got a pin in the final match at 120 pounds to outlast No. 8 Newtown, 40-37, in the other semifinal bout. The Nighthawks trailed 18-0 before pins from Marc Maurath (145) and Luca Manfredi (152), Fisher Stites (170) and Acea Shaham (182) tied the match at 24-24. Newtown finished third with a 51-27 win over Branford.

The Boston Globe reported that Melrose’s semifinal win over Newtown was the 800th career win for long-time Red Hawks coach Larry Tremblay.

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At the Warde Invitational in Fairfield, host Fairfield Warde had 10 finalists and four individual champions as the Mustangs won the tournament for a record 11th time in 12 seasons. Warde earned 286 points, one shy of the tournament record they set in 2011. Fairfield Ludlowe was second with 232 points.

Saturday, January 7 results and boxscores

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At the first Warrior Invitational in Canton, Montville’s James Linder, Jr. (138) was named outstanding wrestler after winning his weight class with three pins. Nonnewaug won the tournament beating Windsor, 199-175. Joel Barlow finished third.

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With three individual champions and five finalists, RHAM won the Casey Dane Yates Invitational at Lyman Memorial in Lebanon. The Raptors won with 196 points with No. 6 Killingly finishing second with 186 points.

Saturday, January 7 results and boxscores

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New London’s Kaiden Smith won an individual championship at 220 pounds to help the Whalers finish fifth at the Chad Antoch Memorial Tournament in Westerly, R.I. … At the Mount Anthony Union tournament in Bennington, Vt., Gilbert’s Evan Schibi finished second at 132 pounds as the Yellowjackets finished tenth.

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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