ALBANY Three area wrestlers capped off their respective high school careers in the best way imaginable on Saturday night at the Times Union Center as state champions.
Senior Shayne Brady became the first state champion in the history of Carthages program, while Gouverneur seniors Hunter Ayen and Dillon Stowell cemented their respective places among the best in the programs storied history.
Ive dreamed of it since I was four years old to become a state champ and it happened, Stowell said.
Brady claimed the Division I 182-pound championship with a 5-3 victory over Wantaghs James Corbett in overtime. He jumped out to a 2-0 lead at the start of the second round before falling into a 3-2 hole.
Brady gained a point with an escape in the closing seconds of round two, and the score remained tied at three apiece heading into the one-minute overtime period.
Brady took a quick shot at Corbetts legs to start the period, and almost scored a takedown, but the whistle blew, ruling Corbett out of bounds.
The two squared off in the middle of the mat again and Brady took another shot at the legs, this time scoring the two points to secure the victory and state title that had eluded him.
He was hard to hold down so I didnt want to go back on the mat with him, because I wasnt real confident there, said Brady, the Frontier Leagues first state champion since Sandy Creeks Derek Pfluger won in 2010. But I knew I could shoot in on him; he was flat-footed and I was able to pull it off.
Brady, the runner-up at 170 last year, also ended his career as the schools all-time wins leader with 209 career victories.
Im just really excited, my senior year to accomplish what Ive wanted all along through my high school career, Brady said.
Ayen fell behind 6-0 to his opponent, Bryce Mazurowski of Avon, midway through the second round of the Division II 195-pound championship bout, but he closed the deficit in an instant.
Ayen put Mazurowski on his back and looked to have the pin in his sights, and by the time the two were seperated, the score was tied at six apiece.
The match was tied and then its really just who has more guts in the last period, Ayen said.
Ayen scored a quick escape point to start the third, and later secured a 9-6 lead with a takedown. He then held on to the lead to join his teammate, Stowell, as a state champ.
Pure excitement, Ayen said. I really had to gut-check in that match and it feels really good, coming back like that.
In the 113-pound Division II final, Stowell defeated Locust Valley sophomore Nick Casella with a 6-3 decision.
Stowell and Casella wrestled an even bout all the way through. The match went into the second period as a scoreless tie, and both wrestlers scored two points in an quick exchange of reversals.
Stowell broke the 2-2 tie with a takedown 30 seconds into the third period, and was able to hold Casella off for the victory and a state title.
Stowell placed fourth at states last year and had two third-place finishes prior to that.
Three other area wrestlers lost in the semifinals on Saturday.
IHC junior Nick Koelmel, who entered undefeated, lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision in the Division II 145-pound semifinal to Frank Garcia of Norwich, who scored with just less than a minute remaining in the bout.
Lowville senior Brandon Fayles 2-1 triple-overtime loss to Medinas Matt Montesanti in the Division II 285 semifinal was just as crushing.
Montesantis nose was busted open in the first period, and the match featured a total of seven blood stoppages. The last, and by far the longest, delay of the match came at the very end of the second overtime.
Fayle paced back and forth on the side of the mat waiting for coaches and trainers to tape a facemask to Montesantis head gear. Moments later, Montesanti scored an escape point on a visibly frustrated Fayle to deny him the chance to wrestle for a state title.
Ogdensburg Free Academy eighth-grader, Tanner Lapiene, dropped a 3-2 decision in the 99-pound Division II semifinals to Matteo Devincenzo after fighting back from a quick 2-0 deficit.
nNOTES: Prior to the finals, South Jefferson was honored as the Division II co-dual meet champions with Midlakes of Section 5. The Spartans went a perfect 28-0 in dual meets to claim their share of the title, while Midlakes finished with a 26-0 record. ... Neal Aubel, the Lowville wrestling coach of 37 years, was also honored before the finals with his induction into the state wrestling Hall of Fame. Aubel flew up from Florida to accept the induction, presented by his son, Mike.