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Simsbury uses its depth to win second CCC title in three years

Southinton’s Josh Howard controls Glastonbury’s Kyle Amirault during the finals at 150 pounds in Saturday’s CCC championships.

GLASTONBURY, Feb. 3, 2024 – Simsbury had 11 of 14 wrestlers win medals to win the Central Connecticut Conference championship on Saturday at Glastonbury High with a 58-point win over Platt. Four Trojan wrestlers made it to the finals but not one came away victorious.

But Simsbury, ranked No. 8 in the latest Connecticut Wrestling Online top 10 poll, still had more than enough to win the CCC title for the second time in three years.

“We won this tournament with no individual champions. We got contributions from people up and down the lineup,” Simsbury coach T.J. Silva said. Gavin Leite (165) was seeded 17th in his weight class but he won five of his matches in the consolation bracket to finish fifth.

“This tournament can be a grind but kids learn about wrestling back after a loss and to keep going,” Silva said. Leite had three pins in the consolation round and four overall in the tournament, picking up bonus points that could be critical in a tight tournament.

With two individual champions, Platt finished second for their best-ever performance in the tournament. Cesar Rodriguez (113) and Caiden Talento (157) came up with individual victories.

With three finalists and one individual champion, Berlin finished third with 166 points.

No. 3 East Hartford (14-0) is expected to be a contender in the CIAC Class LL championship meet in two weeks. The Hornets, who won four tournaments this season, finished fifth with 147 points.

Undefeated junior Jaeckez Mendez (138) and senior Sammy Montovani (215) each won their second straight CCC championship. But East Hartford was short a few wrestlers. Issac Quiles (126) and Drayvn Roberts (175), who won CCC titles a year ago, didn’t wrestle along with starter Jesean Lewis (150).

“We had a couple of bumps and bruises. We have two weeks before the (Class) LLs and we’re focusing on that big time right now. We’re trying to get everyone healthy and safe. We’re doing a lot of drilling so we can walk in there and do well,” East Hartford head coach Todd Albert said.

East Hartford’s Jaeckez Mendez has a tight cradle on RHAM’s Gavin Plourde in the finals at 138 in Saturday’s CCC championships.

Mendez had four pins in 5:25 to win the tournament’s fast fall award while Montovani had three pins. Yaxier Rivera (157) finished third while Usman Akhtar (132) was fifth and Jose DeJesus (120) finished sixth.

Simsbury’s Coleman Finn (126), John Granger (144), Chad Mairano (157) and Tyler Rebick (215) each finished second. Rebick dropped a 10-0 decision to Montovani but it was close losses for other three.

Enfield’s Ethan Buonanducci got a takedown over Finn in the 126 final midway through the third period to turn a two-point lead to a four-point advantage on the way to an 8-2 victory.

In the 144-pound final, Conard freshman Harry Marino got a takedown midway through the second period to take a commanding 6-3 lead in his win over Granger. At 157, Platt’s Caiden Talento outlasted Mairano, 4-3.

Griffin Devivo (139) finished third with Giuliano Sirianni (132) and Andrew Diviney (150) each finishing fourth. Simsbury’s Ethan Quinn (113) and Gavin Leife (165) were fifth with Griffin Humes (175) and Max Konopka (190) each finishing sixth.

Freshman Chase Kastner of Southington won the outstanding wrestler award after beating three-time finalist Ben Fournier of RHAM in the title bout at 106 pounds by a score of 13-7.

Fournier (31-2) had won a CCC title as a sophomore and dropped a two-point decision to Jack Gedney of Lewis Mills a year ago. This year, Kastner, who won an individual title at the George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament in December, built up an early lead and was able to hold Fournier at bay.

Rodriguez beat Plainville’s Zaphyr Musshorn, 5-1 to win the title at 113 pounds.

Berlin’s Mason Arborio, right, takes South Windsor’s Kyden Merlin to the mat in the finals of the Central Connecticut Conference tournament Saturday in Glastonrbury. Arboroio won the 120 pound final.

At 120 pounds, undefeated Mason Arborio of Berlin won his first CCC championship with a 12-2 win over South Windsor’s Kyden Merlin. Arborio lost in the CCC finals as a sophomore to Fournier and missed last year’s tournament due to an injury.

Arborio (31-0) got a bit revenge as well against Merlin, who beat Arborio at last year’s State Open tournament.

“I can’t even describe it (winning the title). It is fantastic,” Arborio said. “All of that work I put in during the offseason, I was ready to let it all go. I was smiling out there on the mat.

“It’s just wrestling to now. I used to take (losing) hard all of the time. I was afraid to wrestle kids who were ranked higher,” he said. “Now, it is just a match to me. I want to have fun and enjoy my last few times on the mat. I just love it (competing on the mat).”

At 132 pounds, Avon’s Elijah Fagin (29-4) had a big 13-3 lead in the second period after successfully picking up several near falls by exposing the back of Bristo Eastern’s Luke Viens with cradles. But one of the cradles was too loose and Viens reversed Fagin and put him on his back, nearly pinning him.

But Fagin got off his back and survived to earn a 15-8 victory and his first CCC title.

Avon’s Gavin Fallon control’s Berlin’s Tim Mrachek in Saturday’s CCC final at 190 pounds.

Southington’s Josh Howard (150) picked up a second individual title for the Blue Knights with his pin of Glastonbury’s Kyle Amirault in 1:02.

Manchester’s Noah Colon (165) outlasted Plainville’s Cooper Theriault-Dinelli, 12-9 to win a title before Bristol Eastern’s Owen Broyles (175) pinned Berlin’s Conlan Simard in 3:25.

Avon’s Gavin Fallon remained undefeated at 28-0 after pinning Berlin’s Tim Mrachek in 5:27 in the final at 190 pounds and Enfield’s Keonta Crawford won a CCC crown by pinning Berlin’s Nicholas Ebrahimi in 4:42.

2024 Central Connecticut Conference championships
At Glastonbury
Team results – 1. Simsbury 226½, 2. Platt 168½, 3. Berlin 166, 4. Avon 152, 5. East Hartford 147, 6. Bristol Eastern and Enfield 142, 8. Bristol Central 120½, 9. Southington 118½, 10. Plainville 111, 11. Glastonbury 107½, 12. South Windsor 100½, 13. RHAM 97, 14. Conard 86, 15. Middletown 70, 16. Windsor 69, 17. Hall 68, 18. Maloney 65, 19. Farmington and Manchester 49, 21. New Britain, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield 35, 24. Newington 29, 25. Bloomfield/Weaver 7, 26. E.O. Smith 1
2024 CCC Championships

Championship finals
106 Chase Kastner (Southington) dec. Ben Fournier (RHAM), 13-7
113 Cesar Rodriguez (Platt) dec. Zaphyr Musshorn (Plainville), 5-1
120 Mason Arborio (Berlin) dec. Kyden Merlin (South Windsor), 12-2
126 Ethan Buonanducci (Enfield) dec. Coleman Finn (Simsbury), 8-2
132 Elijah Fagin (Avon) dec. Luke Viens (Bristol Eastern), 15-8
138 Jaeckez Mendez (East Hartford) pin Gavin Plourde (RHAM), 1:06
144 Harry Marino (Conard) dec. John Granger (Simsbury), 6-3
150 Josh Howard (Southington) pin Kyle Amirault (Glastonbury), 1:02
157 Caiden Talento (Platt) dec. Chad Mairano West (Simsbury), 4-3
165 Noah Colon (Manchester) dec. Cooper Theriault-Dinielli (Plainville), 12-9
175 Owen Broyles (Bristol Eastern) pin Conlan Simard (Berlin), 3:25
190 Gavin Fallon (Avon) pin Tim Mrachek (Berlin), 5:27
215 Sammy Montovani (East Hartford) dec. Tyler Rebick (Simsbury), 10-0
285 Keonta Crawford (Enfield) pin Nicholas Ebrahimi (Berlin), 4:42
Consolation final (third place)
106 Isaiah McDaniel (Middletown) pin Yussuf Bah (Bristol Eastern), 3:22
113 Ryan Ouelette (Glastonbury) pin Armen Arakelian (Conard), 4:04
120 Marlon Andino (Enfield) dec. Owen White (Avon), 8-4
126 Alex Lamarre (Bristol Central) dec. Kyle Currier (RHAM), 13-6
132 Jereck Echevarria castro (Platt) dec. Giuliano Sirianni (Simsbury), 7-5
138 Griffin Devivo (Simsbury) dec. Jacob Gordon (South Windsor), 7-5
144 Alex Rivard (Farmington) dec. Aiden Lamarre (Bristol Central), 6-5
150 Brayden Rathbun (Enfield) dec. Andrew Diviney (Simsbury), 6-2
157 Yaxier Rivera (East Hartford) pin John Murphy (Avon), 1:38
165 Lincoln Archibald (Bristol Central) dec. Devonte Ryans (Windsor), 5-1
175 Jacob Beiler (Enfield) pin Jayshaun Barrett (South Windsor), 2:13
190 Troy Giaccone (Glastonbury) pin Aidyn Davies (Bristol Eastern), 2:29
215 Michael Melendez (Platt) pin Rio Fernandez (Bristol Eastern), 4:22
285 Bobby Wright (Plainville) pin Luc Abbatemarco (Hall), 2:05
Fifth place
106 Justin Bunnell (Platt) dec. Ares Bourque (Enfield), 9-7
113 Ethan Quinn (Simsbury) dec. Chad Reed (Southington), 2-1
120 Kaden Dragon (Bristol Central) medical forfeit over Jose Dejesus (East Hartford)
126 Emiliano Kasma (Rocky Hill) pin David Jacobs (Avon), 5:04
132 Usman Akhtar (East Hartford) pin Jed Dubuc (Berlin), 3:18
138 Donato Laurie (Wethersfield) dec. Aki Bhabad (Avon), 8-1
144 Angel Aceedo (Hall) dec. Hiram Sepulveda (Berlin), 7-3
150 Derek Mcmahon (Middletown) tech fall Anthony Lara (Platt), 15-0
157 Justin Dittmar (South Windsor) dec. Michael Norman (Glastonbury), 7-4
165 Gavin Leite (Simsbury) pin Emmanuel Lugo (Platt), 0:40
175 Aaron Borkowski (Southington) dec. Griffin Humes (Simsbury), 7-3
190 Isaiah Smith (Platt) medical forfeit over Maximus Konopka (Simsbury)
215 Michael Zapor (New Britain) dec. Maxwell Janes (Avon), 3-2
285 Jaxon Yang (Windsor) pin Semih Selimoglu (Farmington), 3:14
Outstanding wrestler: Chase Kastner, Southington (103)
Fast fall: Jaeckez Mendez, East Hartford (138), 4 pins in 5:25
2024 CCC Championships results and brackets

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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