BALLSTON SPA — The big boys pushed Ballston Spa over the top, but it was the little ones who stole the show at the end of another a championship performance for the Scotties on Wednesday night.
Nick Palso’s pin at 106 pounds clinched Ballston Spa’s team triumph over Shenendehowa after a string of victories beforehand by the host team, and fellow freshman Chris Grace avoided a pin at 120 with a gritty effort to finish off the Scotties’ perfect run through the Suburban Council.
By a 37-35 score, Ballston Spa clinched the league’s North Division title with a 6-0 mark and left Shenendehowa (5-1) second again. The Scotties also beat the Plainsmen last year to secure the division flag 34-31 when Tyler Barnes pinned his opponent to close out that showdown.
“Wrestling is such a great sport, because it can be anyone in your lineup that comes through,” Ballston Spa coach Harry Staulters. “Last year it was a big guy. This year a little guy sealed it.”
Ballston Spa wrapped up the match when Palso pinned Brice Anderson in 3:43, that result giving the Scotties a 37-25 lead with two matches remaining. Even if Shenendehowa got 12 points in those, Ballston Spa would have won the match on criteria with its eight individual victories, the last one notched by Palso.
“I felt a lot of pressure,” Palso said. “I knew I had to get a pin. Get a pin, win the match.”
Stevo Poulin of Shenendehowa scored a 23-second pin at 99 pounds to pull Shenendehowa to within 31-25, setting the stage for Palso, who upped his season record to 19-6.
“I’m not one to say something like that, but the guys told him, ‘You pin, we win,'” Staulters said. “He’s a scrappy wrestler, and a good wrestler. He was third in Section II [Division 1] last year. He’s a guy who does not like to lose.”
Shenendehowa picked up a forfeit win at 113 before Grace and Mike Dimonda met for the second time in less than a week.
“I was scared out of my mind,” Grace said. “At Saratoga [Saratoga Invitational] he pinned me in the first period, and the guys were telling me, ‘Don’t get pinned.’ It’s probably the best loss of my career. I just wanted to get the least amount of points.”
Grace came close, giving up four points with his 8-0 setback by major decision.
“Mike tried as hard as he could to pin him,” Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks said.
Grace nearly got pinned with 18 seconds left, but got off his back to avoid what would have resulted in a team points tie.
“Chris did that for pride. He did it for himself,” Staulters said. “It was nice to see him fight that way.”
“Our last kid, Chris, everyone was on edge for that,” Ballston Spa senior Nate Rurycz said. “We didn’t want to end up with the same score, and the kid he was going against was a great wrestler.”
Ballston Spa trailed 19-10 when Jake Cook won by decision at 182, Barnes scored a pin in 48 seconds at 195, Rurycz recorded a pin in 3:46 at 220, and Jake Stangle won by fall in 1:56 at 285.
“They’ve got some reliables in their lineup,” Weeks said of the Scotties.
Rurycz’s pin of Izsiah Vyent broke a 19-19 tie.
“I was thinking, ‘This is a huge match and I need to do what I am capable of doing,'” Rurycz said. “‘ I can’t lose no matter what.'”
Barnes, a defending state champion, extended his win streak to 70 matches while contributing to Ballston Spa’s run with a pin of Matt Moran.
“Once you start getting on a roll like that, it’s great,” Barnes said.
Wyatt Gorman (Ballston Spa) vs Nick Lampman (Shen) wrestling match at Ballston Spa @ShenAthletics @ShenWrestling1 @B_Spa_Athletics pic.twitter.com/BO9iGdxMXJ
— Erica Miller (@EricaPhotog) January 11, 2018
Brothers Will and Wyatt Gorman, and Andrew Reynolds also picked up wins for Ballston Spa, the defending Section II Class A champ.
“This is so nice,” Staulters said. “We struggled for years. We were on the down side of things. We’re moving in the right direction.”
Aside from Poulin, Cody Deuel and Kiernan Shanahan had pins for the Plainsmen. Jacob McGrail and Louis Donate also earned victories.
Ballston Spa 37, Shenendehowa 35
126 — Will Gorman (BS) dec. Seamus Leavey, 10-4; 132 — Cody Deuel (S) pinned Quincy Harrison, 2:36; 138 — Wyatt Gorman (BS) major dec. Nick Lampman, 15-3; 145 — Kiernan Shanahan (S) pinned Ramel Brooks, 2:56; 152 — Andrew Reynolds (BS) dec. Matt Timpanaro, 18-9; 160 — Jacob McGrail (S) major dec. James Prastio, 20-5; 170 — Louis Donatelli (S) dec. Peter Hansen, 12-10; 182 — Jake Cook (BS) dec. Parker Brooks, 5-2; 195 — Tyler Barnes (BS) pinned Matt Moran, :48; 220 — Nate Rurycz (BS) pinned Izsiah Vyent, 3:46; 285 — Jake Stangle (BS) pinned Kevin Fobare, 1:56; 99 — Stevo Poulin (S) pinned Connor Gregory, :23; 106 — Nick Palso (BS) pinned Brice Anderson, 3:43; 113 — Brandon Baranowski (S) by forfeit; 120 — Mike Dimonda (S) major dec. Chris Grace, 8-0.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.
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Categories: High School Sports, Sports