PROVIDENCE — Gardiner senior Peter Del Gallo won a New England wrestling title as a precocious freshman in 2013, and Saturday night he bookended his superb scholastic career with a New England title in the 120-pound class.

Del Gallo didn’t allow a point in his first three matches and Saturday night he used a four-point move in the first period to defeat highly regarded Timberlane (Plaistow, New Hampshire) freshman Connor McGonagle, 7-2, to earn Maine’s only New England title.

“Today I dominated. The first time I won it was a close match,” said Del Gallo, who won the 106-pound title as a freshman. “In this match I showed I was the best 120-pounder in New England. You always have to have the mentality that no one is better than you. I didn’t see much from him because all of his matches were one-point wins or overtime matches.

This feels amazing, just amazing. I won it here as a freshman and won it here as a senior. I made a sandwich.”

Del Gallo’s victory came just two title matches after fellow Maine state champion Cody Craig, of Skowhegan, came up just short of finishing his sterling season with a New England title. Craig, who dominated his first three opponents to reach the 106-pound final, led Jake Ferri, of Shawsheen Tech (Billerica, Massachusetts), by a point after the second period on the strength of two takedowns.

Craig, however, made one mistake and Ferri took advantage by securing a takedown and turning Craig for three near-fall points in the final minute of the match to earn an 8-5 victory.


“On my end it was a tactical error where I tried to fight the takedown and maybe try to get a reversal right off the bat,” Craig said. “I wanted to try and get the points back quickly and obviously that didn’t happen. I’m happy with my career, but I’m not really satisfied with how the match went.”

Craig, a three-time Maine state champion with a 161-5 record, thought he had the advantage on the Massachusetts All-State champion and he recorded takedowns early in the first period and midway through the second. Ferri’s three points all came from escapes.

“I figured because he doesn’t move a whole lot, but he’s very strong, tying up would be a bad decision,” Craig said. “I decided to wrestle the outside and from neutral I just stayed with that arm drag and use what works.”

Del Gallo, who hadn’t made a New England final since wining three years ago in Providence, didn’t allow a point in his first three matches, including an impressive 4-0 win over Connecticut Open champion Alec Opsal of New Milford in the semifinals.

The Gardiner senior took complete control of his title bout with McGonagle with a takedown and a tilt in the opening period to grab a 4-0 advantage.

“The key was definitely getting the opening takedown,” said Del Gallo, who was voted the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. “I got the takedown and went right into a tilt to get two backs.”


McGonagle, who is originally from Maine, earned a reversal 47 seconds into the second period to cut his deficit in half. After attempting to turn Del Gallo for the first minute of the third, McGonagle cut Del Gallo loose, but the Maine wrestler finished the match with a takedown to win the title.

“I just told Peter going into the tournament that this is what he’s worked for,” Gardiner coach Matt Hanley said. “He’s worked awful hard. He goes to two practices a night — my practice and then another practice — and he’s wrestled all over the countryside. He puts the work and time in and you do that to win this one match right here.”

Craig’s performance, along with Kameron Doucette’s fourth-place effort at 160 pounds, helped Skowhegan finish in seventh place with 48 points. Bishop Hendricken, from Warwick, Rhode Island, ran way with the team title, scoring 89 points and placing four wrestlers in the top 3.

Noble’s Austin Shorey placed third at 120 pounds and 195-pound Maine state champion Chris Wilson, of Nokomis, finished third. Mt. Ararat/Brunswick 170-pound state champion Robert Hetherman dropped a 6-4 decision in the consolation finals to Newtown’s Joe Accousti.

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