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SECTION IV WRESTLING: NEWARK VALLEY TAKES WINDSOR TO FINAL BOUT (2023-01-19)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — The coin toss was as much a foe to Newark Valley as was a more experienced Windsor team at the Section IV Division II Dual Meet Wrestling Championships Wednesday.

The Black Knights won the toss, enabling them to line up Dominick Weaver, ranked 13th in the state at 172 pounds, against one of NV’s top competitors, Peter Basti. Weaver posted a 13-1 major decision although Basti briefly exposed his back to the mat, but was unable to score points.

“The coin flip went against us,” NV coach Eric D’Arcy said. “Coin flip goes the other way and you know, we get Peter at 89. That makes a big difference in the match, but that's life.

“Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against it. Tonight it went against us, but we still were in the matches. We still had opportunities to win. Got out-hustled a little bit, a couple times near the end, and we've gotta work on that.”

That win in the opening bout highlighted the fourth-seeded Knights’ 5-bout win streak to start the quarterfinals.

Mason McCombs, ranked third at 160, pinned newcomer Titus Callahan in 3:08 to get things going for Windsor.

Jaycob Mann followed Weaver’s win with an 8-2 decision over another NV newcomer, Derek Payne, making it 13-0.

That brought Garrett Bidwell, ranked fourth at 215, to the mat to face Seth Northrop and Bidwell won by fall in 2:44.

Rounding out the upper weights was Newark Valley’s Austin Debolt and Windsor’s Gabe Soundararaj at 285. Like Basti, Debolt briefly put his opponent to his back, but was unable to score. Soundararaj went on to record a fall in 3:36, giving the Knights a 25-0 advantage heading into the lower weights.

Trevor Middendorf gave the Valley its first win of the match in dominating fashion, scoring a dozen near fall points before recording a 17-0 technical fall over Dylan Newman at 102.

Following a forfeit to Travis Newman (110), the Cardinals’ Logan Woodin (118) made quick work of Gabe Taylor, recording a 72-second pin.

NV’s Marcos Escalante and Windsor’s Mason Colgan gave fans the tightest battle of the match, going to overtime before Escalante pulled out a 4-2 sudden victory at 126. Colgan was called for locked hands in the third period, but managed to put Escalante to his back in the final seconds of regulation to make it 2-2. Escalante was the aggressor in the extra session, registering a takedown just 16 seconds in.

Newark Valley had pulled within 25-20 with that win, then Logan Rhodes took advantage of three takedowns and three two-point near falls to pull out a wild 15-14 decision over Trey Swartwout at 132.

Cadin Creeley (138) would put NV on top, 29-25, dispatching Brian Green in 1:20.

The Cardinals needed to win just one of the final two bouts to secure the team triumph, but it was not to be.

NV’s Kaiden Pado (145) and Gabe Merrill (152) faced Tim and Matt Boyce, both of whom are ranked fourth in the section by cnywrestling.com.

Tim Boyce pinned Pado in 1:57 and Matt Boyce decisioned Merrill, 8-4.

“We're still a very young team and sometimes I think they think they're young, then they take advantage of, oh, I'm still young,” D’Arcy said. “At some point we’ve got to stop being young, within the next year.”

Windsor advanced to the semifinals, where it fell to defending state champion Tioga, 51-24. The Tigers went on to win the team title.

NV (10-3) hosts Moravia this evening for senior night, then travels to Waverly Saturday for the IAC championships.

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IN PHOTO 1: NV’s Logan Woodin. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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