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In state wrestling final, Ballston Spa's Barnes drops stunner

In state wrestling final, Ballston Spa's Barnes drops stunner

Poulin, Anderson, Svingala rise to top
In state wrestling final, Ballston Spa's Barnes drops stunner
Ballston Spa's Tyler Barnes takes on Brewster's Grant Cuomo in the 170-pound final at Times Union Center on Saturday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

ALBANY — Ballston Spa wrestling coach Harvey Staulters said he was stunned.

He wasn't the only one, after star 170-pounder Tyler Barnes lost in the Division I title match Saturday night at the state championship tournament at the Times Union Center.

"Motivation for the future," Staulters said after Grant Cuomo of Brewster outpointed Barnes 13-10. "It's one of those stingers in life. Hopefully you learn and make adjustments."

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Six Section II athletes went after state titles Saturday night, and Stevo Poulin of Shenendehowa, Orion Anderson of Schuylerville and Maple Hill's Trent Svingala prevailed. Anderson was successful for the third time, while Svingala won his second in as many years. Barnes was thwarted in his bid to repeat at the 170-pound level. 

"He [Cuomo] was the runner-up at 160 last year. He's a very good wrestler, and a very smart wrestler," Staulters said of the Princeton-bound 12th-grader. "He analyzed the match very well. He analyzed Tyler very well. He found a weakness in the legs.

"He attacked and didn't allow us to get into our offense."

Barnes was the first state champ from Ballston Spa last year, and was 48 seconds away from clinching another crown when he went up 10-9 in the third period with an escape

Cuomo used a reverse to build an 11-10 advantage with 15 seconds left. With four seconds to go, the senior was awarded two more back points.

Barnes (46-1) tossed his head gear after the match and headed for an exit. The North Carolina State-bound standout returned to the floor later, momentarily, before leaving once again.

"I don't want to talk," Barnes said.

Barnes (47-0) recorded two technical falls Friday, outscoring his foes 35-3, before pinning Matt Rogers of Wantagh in 17 seconds in Saturday's semifinal round.

 Barnes' last loss came during the 2016 state tournament wrestlebacks, when he placed fifth.

"I didn't talk to him much," said Ballston Spa senior Jake Cook, the DI 182-pound fourth-place finisher. "In time, he [Barnes] will be all right."

Barnes led 2-1 at the end of one period, and in the second fell behind 4-2, 6-4 and 7-6. Barnes pulled even at 7-7 in the third, and used a takedown to go up 9-7 before Cuomo tied it with his own takedown.

"Obviously he's good on his feet," Staulters said of Cuomo.

POULIN PREVAILS

Poulin was a points machine in winning the Division I 99-pond title. The freshman beat Chase Liardi of Massapequa 7-1 in the final, after winning 19-3 earlier Saturday against Rocco Camillaci of Hilton, and by a combined 33-2 margin in his two matches Friday.

"My game plan was to get a tech and finish with four techs," Poulin said after completing a 41-1 season. "That will be the same goal next year. I still won. I controlled the match."

Poulin led 2-0 after one period, 4-0 after the second, and was up 6-0 before Liardi got a point back.

"I always tell them, 'Do what you do,'" Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks said. "'Don't worry about your opponent. Do what got you here.'"

A second cousin of Anderson and a transfer from Schuylerville, Poulin joined a Shenendehowa list of state champions that includes brothers Kevin and Greg Parker, Hunter and Austin Meys, Nick Kelley, Tony Fusco and Matt Stein.

"I was nervous at the start of the tournament," said Poulin, who had great success with the Journeymen Wrestling Club before joining the high school ranks this season. "I started to realize it's just another tournament."

THREE STRAIGHT

Anderson made it three straight Division II championships, at three different weight classes, when the senior pinned Vince Miceli of Port Jefferson at 1:33.

"It feels awesome," Anderson said after completing a 40-1 season. "Last match in high school. It means a lot."

Anderson led 4-0 before notching his third pin of the tournament to go with a technical fall in the quarterfinals.

"That was my goal," Anderson said. "To come out in every match and dominate."

Anderson won 106 and 120-pound titles in 2016 and 2017, respectively, after a runner-up showing in 2015 at 99.

"Without that freshman year, I might not be here," Anderson said. "That drove me."

The pin marked the end of Anderson's scholastic career as well as the coaching career of his dad and Schuylerville mentor, Bucky Anderson.

"What a way to go out," Bucky Anderson said. "I couldn't be prouder. I could coach for 30 more years and I'm not going to get another one."

Maple Hill junior Trent Svingala won the Division II 120-pound title with a 3-2 decision against Brady Worthing of Tioga and capped a 42-0 season Svingala captured the DII 106 title last year.

"It means all the hard work, the long hours in the room, were worth it," said Svingala, after his third-period escape broke a 2-2.

Shenendehowa junior Kiernan Shanahan lost to Frankie Gissendanner of Penfield for the second year in a row in the Division I 145-pound final 7-6. It was Gissendanner's fourth state championship.

"I climbed to the top of the mountain and slipped off at the end," Shanahan said.

Shanahan used a takedown to go up 6-4 in the dramatic third period. Grissendanner used an escape to get within go up 6-5, and a late takedown created the final margin in the night's most thrilling match.

"If they get an award for the most exciting match, that was it," Weeks said. "They both left it on the mat."

Shanahan (46-3) banged up his right knee in the semifinals when he decisioned Kyle Mosher of South East 5-3 on a takedown with five seconds left. He showed no signs of injury as he battled a foe he lost to 7-1 a year ago.

"When I took him down that gave me confidence that I could beat this kid," Shanahan said of his 6-4 lead. "I brought it to him."

Shanahan has come a long way since his first state tourney appearance in 2016 when he won in the first round, lost in the quarters, and lost again in the wrestlebacks.

Joe Benedict of South Jefferson/Sandy Creek posted a 3-1 decision over Reggie Poulin of Cohoes in the DII 220 final.

BOUNCING BACK

Duanesburg junior Zack Lawrence bounced back from a semifinal defeat Saturday morning and won twice later on to place third.

Lawrence, the top Division II seed at 152, had two fifths and a fourth at previous state meets before rallying to snare third.

"After I got beat, I had to get my mind-set back," Lawrence said. "My grandmother always said never give up. Coach Bena always said never give up. I thought of those two."

Lawrence's grandmother, Mary Ellen Rogalo, and legendary Niskayuna and Duanesburg wrestling coach Joe Bena, both recently passed away.

"It's been a hard couple of weeks with my grandmother and with coach Bena," Lawrence said. "I can't thank the community enough for the support they've given me the last few weeks."

Lawrence dropped a 4-1 decision to Dempsey Carroll of Copenhagen in the morning semis. He later decisioned Daniel Bogie of Eagle Academy 4-3 in the consolation semis and then pinned John Car Petretti of Shoreham-Wading River in 2:14.

"I was confident, but I wasn't looking ahead," Lawrence said of his semifinal setback. "A tough kid took me out."

With his 4-1 weekend, Lawrence moved to the top of Duanesburg's career (227) and single-season (52) win lists.

Another Western Athletic Concerence wrestler, Galway senior Dillan Palaszewski, also lost his morning semifinal before winning twice by decision to take third in the Division II 160 bracket. Division I semifinal losers Michael Gonyea of Columbia and Jake Cook of Ballston Spa went 1-1 afterward to take fourth in the 126 and 182 brackets.

Warrensburg junior Jack Binder took third in the DII 220 bracket after going 6-1 with four straight wins to cap his appearance. Binder started with preliminary and first-round wins, and his loss came in Friday's quarterfinals.


DIVISION I

Championships

99 — Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa) dec. 7-1 Chase Liardi (Massapequa).

145 — Frankie Gissendanner (Penfield) dec. 7-6 Kiernan Shanahan (Shenendehowa).

170 — Grant Cuomo (Brewster) ded. 13-10 Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa).

Semifinals

99 — Stevo Poulin (Shenendehowa tech fall 4:42 19-3 Rocco Camillaci (Hilton).

126 — Justin McDougald (Niagara Wheatfield) dec. 4-2 Michael Gonyea (Columbia).

145 — Kiernan Shanahan (Shenendehowa) dec. 5-3 Kyle Mosher (South East Cyclones).

170 — Tyler Barnes (Ballston Spa) pin :17 Matt Rogers (Wantagh).

182 — Jake Logan (New Rochelle) pin 5:50 Jake Cook (Ballston Spa).

Third/Fourth

126 — Tyler Kellison Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA) dec. 7-3 Michael Gonyea (Columbia).

182 — Sammy Deprez (Hilton) major dec. 12-0 Jake Cook (Ballston Spa).

DIVISION II

Championships

120 — Trent Svingala (Maple Hill) dec. 3-2 Brady Worthing (Tioga).

126 — Orion Anderson (Schuylerville) pin 1:33 Vince Miceli (Port Jefferson).

220 — Joe Benedict (South Jefferson/Sandy Creek) dec. 3-1 Reggie Poulin (Cohoes).

Semifinals

113 — Chandler Merwin (Walton/Delhi) dec. 3-0. Zac Cummings (Salem/Cambridge).

120 — Trent Svingala (Maple Hill) dec. 7-1 Keith Cassar (Oyster Bay).

126 — Orion Anderson (Schuylerville) pin 3:51 Zach Braddell (Tonawanda).

152 — Dempsey Carroll (Copenhagen) dec. 4-1 Zack Lawrence (Duanesburg).

160 — Jacob Nolan (Saranac) dec. 6-2 Dillan Palaszewski (Galway)

220 — Reggie Poulin (Cohoes) dec. 4-3  Mike Rigeman (Pioneer).

Third/Fourth

113 — Matt Garland (South Jefferson/Sandy Creek) dec. 3-0 Zac Cummings (Salem/Cambridge).

152 — Zack Lawrence (Duanesburg) pin 2:14 John Car Petretti (Shoreham-Wading River)

160 — Dillan Palaszewski (Galway) dec. 4-0 John DeRidder (Carle Place/Wheately).

220 — Jack Binder (Warrensburg) dec. 6-2 Mike Rigerman (Pioneer).

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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