Riley and Bradshaw Lead Huntington to Windsor
Winning makes Huntington wrestling coach
Lou Giani happy. So the legendary coach had a smile on his face after
his Blue Devils faced down an extremely strong 21-team field in the 47th
Windsor Christmas Tournament outside of Binghamton last weekend. But,
while winning is always a welcome event in this storied program, Giani
was even more pleased with the individual performance of his wrestlers,
some of whom failed to place, yet still earned praise from the Hall of
Seniors Shawn Riley (130 lbs.) and
Shaheim Bradshaw (145) did what they were expected to do in winning
weight class championships, but it was some of the younger wrestlers,
including eighth grader Francisco Periera, who had four pins and scored
17 team points, that quietly helped lift the Blue Devils to narrow 9.5
point victory over Canandaigua, coached by Huntington graduate Rich
Riley (12-0) was so impressive in
winning four matches that he became only the third Huntington wrestling
in history to be named Windsor’s Most Outstanding Wrestler (MOW) at the
conclusion of the competition.
“Shawn had a really great tournament,”
Giani said. “He looked very strong and didn’t make many mistakes.”
Riley wasn’t gloating after the impressive performance, though. “I’m
wrestling a lot sharper than I was at the beginning of the season, but I
want to get better from every position,” he said. “I’m not where I want
to be yet.”
After two easy early round wins, Riley
edged Toby Reese of Homer, 4-2 in the semifinals and then pinned Kyle
Ingraham of Canandaigua in 5:10 in the finals. Ingraham finished fourth
in New York State last March.
Bradshaw (12-0) was equally impressive,
with three of his four matches ending in pins. On the year, he has
pinned all but one of his opponents. The senior steamrolled through
four foes at Windsor, including Norwich’s Matt Adamow, who he pinned in
5:18 in the finals.
Jack Sullivan (12-1) lost a tough 8-7
decision in the 189 lb. finals to top seeded Matt Riddle of Saratoga
Springs after winning a hard-fought 8-5 semifinal bout over Jon Jones of
Union-Endictott. The junior had two earlier round wins, including a
12-2 major decision over Joe Depersis of Susquehanna Valley.
Jeremy Pellot looked strong in finishing
second at 275 lbs. The junior nipped Allen Shellenberg of J.M.
Robinson, 2-1 in the opening round and followed with 7-4 and 4-2
decisions before losing by pin to state champion Arthur Jones of
Huntington was boosted by fine efforts
from junior Charlie Paar (11-1), who went 3-1 at 171 lbs. to grab third
place and seniors Frank Sangiovanni (140 – 4th) and Pierre
Delva (215 – 4th).
Sangiovanni (8-3) won a pair of matches,
including a nifty 5:45 quarterfinal pin of Scott Web of
Bainbridge-Guilford Afton. Delva (10-2) won a close 3-1 decision in the
quarterfinals over Chris McLaughlin of Waverly before losing to Zack
Stratton of Norwich, 4-1 in the semifinals.
Junior Brian Lifson (10-2) won three
matches, including a pair of pins and a technical fall, en route to a
fifth place finish at 96 lbs. Periera (4-2) went 4-1 in the tournament,
including four pins. “Francisco did a super job,” said Kieran Mock,
assistant coach. “He really came through for us. He’s going to be a
Justin Giani (9-4), Tom Feldman (11-4),
Jon Dolan (6-3), Manny Santiago (10-4) and Chris Holland (7-5) didn’t
place in their weight classes, but they all won matches, earning points
that were crucial in beating Canandaigua Academy for the team title.
“It was a really tough tournament,” said
Travis Smith, assistant coach. “I think there were four returning state
champs and a bunch of other state place winners. Wrestling in a tough
tournament like this helped get us ready for our dual meet schedule and
for the county and state tournaments.”
Final team scores:
1. Huntington - 189 2. Canandaigua – 179.5 3. Chenango Forks – 146 4.
Bainbridge-Guilford Afton – 131.5 5. Waverly – 128 6. Homer – 109.5
7. Union-Endicott – 100 8. Wallkill – 95.5 9. Saratoga Springs – 88
10. Norwich – 86 11. Harpursville – 82 12. Windsor – 71 13. J.M.
Robinson (NC) – 69.5 14. Colonie – 61.5 15. Ithaca – 54.5 16. S-VE –
53 17. Susquehanna Valley – 43.5 18. Horseheads – 27.5 19. Chenango
Valley – 25 20. Dryden – 20.5 21. Owego – 11
Riley is only the third Blue Devil wrestler, along with Adrian
Bonilla (1995) and Pat Flynn (2001) to win the Windsor
Tournament’s MOW award . . . The championship was the 102nd
tournament title of Giani’s career . . . Freshman Justin Giani
lost 10-9 in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Dan Blaine of
Union-Endicott, who lost to state champion Tyler Mumbulo of
Bainbridge-Guildford Afton in the finals . . The field included state
ranked powers Huntington, Canandaigua, Chenango Forks and
Bainbridge-Guilford Afton. . . Riley’s pin in the finals over
Canandaigua’s Ingraham was crucial, coming when the two teams were
locked in a tight battle for the team title.
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