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Fairfield Ludlowe beats No. 6 Warde for first time to win FCIAC East

With six pins, Fairfield Ludlowe beat No. 6 Fairfield Warde Tuesday night to win the FCIAC East Division title for the first time. (Photo courtesy Matt Garoffolo / Matted Pictures LLC)

Fairfield Ludlowe won three of the final four matches including a four-point victory by Dylan Sherman at 132 pounds as Ludlowe beat cross-town rival Fairfield Warde for the first time with a 36-33 victory Tuesday to win the FCIAC Eastern Division championship.

“I’m not going to sleep tonight,” Ludlowe’s third-year coach Jeremy Kelly exclaimed. “This place was electric.”

The Falcons (18-3, 7-0 FCIAC East) had never beaten the Mustangs in 16 previous meetings, dating back to 2006. Prior to that season, there was just one high school in Fairfield.

No. 6 Fairfield Warde (16-2, 6-1), which had won 16 straight matches after losing to Danbury on opening day, took a 27-24 lead with four matches remaining after Boone Henry’s pin at 106 pounds.

Ludlowe’s Ekijah Kelly (113) tied the match up at 27-27 by with a 6-3 win over Warde’s Damien Gonzalez before Ludlowe’s Micah Kelly (120) pinned Warde’s Owen Sheiman in 1:20 to give the Falcons a 33-27 lead with two matches remaining.

Warde’s Dominick Spadaro (126) tied the match for a third time at 33-33 with a pin, setting up the winner take all match at 132. Sherman beat Warde’s Jack Dean, 8-4.

James Dean (138), Austin Rasmussen (145) and Nehemias Pettway (220) had pins for Warde while Donnell Young (152), Luke Raisanen (170) and Joe Toro (285) pinned for Ludlowe.

The victory gives Ludlowe their first FCIAC divisional championship. The two teams will meet again this weekend at the FCIAC championship tournament at New Canaan.

Tuesday’s results and boxscores

Wrestlers from Fairfield Ludlowe celebrate after the final match as the Falcons beat No. 6 Fairfield Warde for the first time. (Photo courtesy Ludlowe Athletics)

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No. 2 New Milford, which won four tournaments this season, finished undefeated for the fourth time in team history with a 58-19 win over New Fairfield in a battle of top teams from the Southwest Conference. The Green Wave had nine pins and won 11 of 14 matches to beat the Rebels.

New Milford (7-0) was unbeaten for the first time since 2011. They also excelled in tournaments, winning the Chaves Invitational in Simsbury, the Bristol Central Invitational, the New Milford tournament and the Gary Tiger Challenge in Ridgefield.

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No. 3 Danbury (12-1, 6-0 FCIAC West) had seven pins and a win by technical fall as the Hatters closed out the regular season with a dominating 68-12 win over Greenwich. The win gave the Hatters another FCIAC West divisional title.

Tuesday’s results and boxscores

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With five pins, Stafford (10-4, 6-1 NCCC) positioned themselves for a run at the North Central Connecticut Conference championship with a 45-31 win over Rockville (10-10, 5-2 NCCC).

Teams in the NCCC get one point for each regular season dual meet win against a league opponent and a half point for each league opponent they beat the league championship meet on Saturday in Somers. Defending league champion Portland (15-6, 6-0 NCCC) closes out the regular season with a match against Suffield/Windsor Locks.

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No. 9 Trumbull (24-3, 5-1 FCIAC West) had five pins to finish second in the FCIAC West division with a 42-30 win over Norwalk, which finished the regular season with a fine 13-3 mark and 4-2 in the FCIAC West.

Tuesday’s results and boxscores

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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