Cole Dunham of Oxford Hills competes with Ihsan Myers of Morse for the 182-pound title at the New England qualifier tournament Saturday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Sun Journal photo by Adam Robinson

PARIS — Saturday’s New England qualifying wrestling meet featured a milestone, pin-downs, one-point wins and so much more.

Cole Dunham of Oxford Hills competes with Ihsan Myers of Morse for the 182-pound title at the New England qualifier tournament Saturday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Sun Journal photo by Adam Robinson

Noble High School had two winners on the afternoon, with Joshua Cote winning the 126-pound title match over Travis Foster of Wells by pin, and Sam Martel defeating Ellsworth’s Logan Lord in the 138-pound championship.

For Cote, the pin came late in the second round. He already had a 10-3 lead in points, but the opportunity arose and Cote took advantage.

“Leading up to (the pin) I tried to get as many points as I could,” Cote said. “I got him on his feet, took him down again, so in case anything happened I would have a good lead then I used a simple stack that I’ve been doing. I felt like I was in control.”

Martel, however, was in a totally different kind of title match. Through two rounds, Martel and Lord were tied at four points a piece. They went back and forth trying to gain positioning, which proved difficult.

“It was tough,” Martel said. “It was tough when I was on top because he was pretty sweaty and pretty flexible shoulders so it was hard to work my wings in and stuff.”

In the third round, Martel outscored his opponent by seven.

“I think I kept just going the whole match,” Martel said. “My coach kept yelling, ‘Pace.’ So I just kept moving, kept wrestling until the end, and that’s what put me on top of that.”

The meet, taking place at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, was a chance for Cole Dunham to perform in front of his home fans one last time this season.

Dunham won the 182-pound championship over Ihsan Myers of Morse, 7-3. Dunham only had a 3-2 lead after the first round and Myers never quit.

“I’ve had trouble with him all year because he’s really good at defending me, he spars pretty good,” Dunham said. “I know he doesn’t really shoot so it did surprise me when he shot that one time. Other than making sure I controlled the match, it was just don’t let him get on top of me.”

In one of the most exciting matches of the day, Jackson Sutherland of Mattanawcook scored two points in the final 10 seconds to come from behind and defeat Brycen Kowalski of Mt. Ararat, 6-5, for the 113-pound title.

Sutherland made a move at the end of the third round that caught Kowalski off guard to the point that Sutherland was able to earn two points and the victory.

“I wasn’t going to lose,” Sutherland said. “I didn’t care what was happening, I wasn’t going to lose that match. I shook him off his legs, I knew he was high. I had no energy but I had to push through it because I don’t like losing. I did what was necessary to win the match.”

Mountain Valley’s Darin Buono engaged in an epic match with Brady Mitchell Damms of Mt. Ararat for the 195-pound crown in which Buono came out on top 16-8.

The win was also Buono’s 150th of his career. He was surprised by the milestone when told about it after the match.

“It feels great,” Buono said. “I thought I was at like 140. Last year I got my 100th and I didn’t even know and this year it was even more thrilling.”

There were three total stoppages throughout the three-round bout because of different reasons, one was a cut on Buono’s arm. The breaks helped Buono catch his breath and refocus himself, while the crowd helped him finish on top.

“I think it’s more of it gives me a little break, but I like to keep it going sometimes,” Buono said. “It breaks up the mood in my head. … Once you get the takedown and hear the crowd going and everybody yelling, it really gets you going.”

Zach Elowitch of Portland/South Portland grapples with Medomak’s Elias Miller during the 160-pound title bout of the New England qualifier tournament Saturday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Sun Journal photo by Adam Robinson

Portland’s Zachary Elowitch of the Portland/South Portland team earned the 160-pound title with a win over Elias Miller of Medomak Valley. After finishing fourth, third and then second at the New England qualifiers the previous three years, Elowitch was able to enter the New England meet as the top seed from Maine.

Elowitch never pulled away from Miller, which made it imperative that his focus never wavered.

“I just wanted to wrestle my match,” Elowitch said. “I didn’t want to force anything because I knew I could score some points. I didn’t want to put myself in a bad situation.

“If it’s a low-scoring match you have to stay on the attack the whole match because if you relax for a second and he makes a big move then you’re behind.”

Matthew Pooler of Massabesic avenged his loss at the Class A state meet with a win in the 170-pound championship, defeating Wells’ Nathan Curtis via pin.

“I just went for the headlock that was right there and I just squeezed hoping for a pin,” Pooler said. “It felt great because it was really my only goal to win states and when I lost there, this was my next goal, so it was great.”

The Dennis Bishop Award for the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament went to Dexter’s Gage Stone, who won the 152-pound title. 

The top three in each weight class from the qualifier tournament advance to the New England championships.

 

Dexter’s Gage Stone brings down Marshwood’s David Spinney during the 152-pound championship at the New England qualifier tournament Saturday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Sun Journal photo by Adam Robinson

Mattanawcook’s Jackson Sutherland attempts to pin Bryen Kowalski of Mt. Ararat during the 138-pound championship at the New England qualifier tournament Saturday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Sun Journal photo by Adam Robinson

Jackson Sutherland of Mattanawcook celebrates his victory over Brycen Kowalski of Mt. Ararat at the New England qualifier tournament Saturday at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. Sun Journal photo by Adam Robinson

 

 


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