February 25, 2008


Clarke remains perfect, captures Division I title

BINGHAMTON — The perfectseason continues for Tony Clarke.
The Dryden High senior completed his domination in Section 4 with two more wins Saturday and was crowned the Division I 215-pound champion at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.
With the title safely tucked away, Clarke (26-0) will be the lone local Section 4 wrestler guaranteed a spot at the New York State Championships March 8-9 in Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena. He is the fourth Section 4 champion in Dryden wrestling history.
After winning in the quarterfinals Friday, Clark pinned Jeremy Sinclair of Union-Endicott at the 2:44 mark in the semifinals. It was then a long day of waiting for the championship finals to roll around.
In the finals, Clarke had his toughest battle before posting an 11-6 decision over Colin Berry of Johnson City to earn his second trip to the state tournament.
Marathon standout Devon Brown reached the finals at 125 pounds, but was denied a guaranteed trip to Rochester after losing a tough 3-1 decision to Derek Heyman of Tioga. Being a defending state champion could earn Brown a wild-card entry and a possible third trip to states.
Tyler Hall of Marathon and Bryon Pyle from Dryden lost in the semifinals, but battled back to claim third-place honors.
Hall lost an 8-3 decision to Maine-Endwell’s Josh Garrehy in the 96-pound semifinals, but rolled to an 11-2 major decision over Sam Carpenter of Elmira in the consolation finals.
Pyle (31-7) was manhandled by eventual 171-pound champion Tom Voorhis of Chenango Forks by an 18-5 superior decision, but the senior regrouped. He claimed third-place by pinning Vestal’s Ryan Carden at the 1:53 mark in the consolation final. It was the third pinfall by Pyle who was 4-1 in the two-day tournament.
“Both Bryon and Tony were in the zone this weekend,” said Dryden coach Baldo Bustamante. “Tony dominated his weight class and, other than losing to the top-seeded kid at 171, there was not another wrestler close the Byron.”
Marathon’s Kasey Bush had reached the semifinal round at 140 pounds as well, but he lost an 8-1 decision to Chris Robertson of Tioga. Bush did not reach the consolation finals.
In addition to the 15 Section 4 champions from Division I, there will be wild-card entries. Those will be announced later this week.
IN SECTION 3, Phoenix ran off with the Division II title Saturday night at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

The Firebirds got championship efforts from Mark Crisafulli at 135 pounds and Chad Dahlin at 189 pounds while leading the team standings with 153 points. Watertown IHC was second with 126.5.




Four Dragons return to nationals

ONEONTA – Four SUNY Cortland wrestlers earned trips to the NCAA Division III national meet – three by virtue of winning their weight classes – at the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference Championships on Saturday.
All four Red Dragon NCAA qualifiers will be making return trips to nationals, which will be held March 7-8 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Sophomore Dave Colagiovanni finished first at 133 pounds, junior Paul LeBlanc won at 149 pounds and junior Treavor LeBlanc won at 184 pounds. Senior Zack Bogardus earned a “wild card” berth in a vote of the league’s coaches after placing second at 165 pounds.
Last year, the LeBlanc brothers out of Morrisville-Eaton High School each won a league title at a weight class one notch lighter than this season — Paul at 141 pounds and Treavor at 174 pounds. Colagiovanni (at 125 pounds) and Bogardus were wild card selections a year ago.
Cortland head coach Brad Bruhn was named the ECWC Coach of the Year for the second time in the last three seasons. He led the Red Dragons to their first undefeated dual season at 11-0.
In this meet, Cortland tied for first place with rival Ithaca College — both with 76.5 points. As co-champions, Cortland grabbed its second straight league title.
Colagiovanni, seeded first at 133 pounds, opened the day with a 16-5 major decision and a pin before edging Ithaca’s Chad Winowich, 6-5, in the title bout. The native of Mahopac will bring a 24-5 record into nationals.
Paul LeBlanc, seeded first at 149 pounds, cruised through his first two matches by a 15-0 technical fall and a pin in 2:03. He won his third consecutive ECWC title with a 7-3 victory in the finals over Ithaca’s Blaine Woszcak. LeBlanc is 25-1 this season and is 96-9 in three years at Cortland.
Treavor LeBlanc, also a number-one seed at 184 pounds, earned 4-0 and 6-2 decisions in his first two matches and pinned second-seeded Josh Lancaster of Brockport in 5:51 in the finals. He is 15-6 this winter.
Bogardus, wrestling in arguably the toughest weight class in the league at 165 pounds, won his first match as the second seed before losing to third-seeded and eventual Most Outstanding Wrestler recipient Chris Dahlheimer of Lycoming by a 4-3 count.
Bogardus then won his final three matches, including a ‘true second-place’ victory over top-seeded Shaheim Bradshaw of Brockport. Three of the coaches’ eight wild card selections came from the 165-pound weight class. Bogardus, out of Fulton, is 26-5 entering nationals.
Senior Brett Giehl was the league’s third alternate for a wild card berth after finishing second at 197 pounds. A national qualifier while at Brockport last year, Giehl opened with a bye as the second seed and pinned his first opponent.
He lost 7-2 to top-seeded Matt Miller of Lycoming before beating Ithaca’s David Sbriscia in the ‘true second’ match.




Key Coston trey boost to Dragons

With sophomore Will Coston coming up with the go-ahead 3-point shot in the final minute of play, SUNY Cortland men will lug a bit of momentum into the upcoming conference playoffs.
Coston finished off a 14-point performance with his decisive 3-pointer with 23 seconds left as the Red Dragons nipped visiting Potsdam 66-63 in the final regular season game for both teams.
Cortland finishes 12-4 in the SUNY Athletic Conference and 19-6 overall, good for a fourth seed for the upcoming playoffs. The Red Dragons will host fifth-seed Geneseo in the SUNYAC quarterfinals on Tuesday, an 8 p.m. start at Corey Gymnasium.
Meanwhile, defending champion Cortland women were nipped 62-60 by Potsdam to get Saturday’s doubleheader underway.
Cortland finishes 12-4 in the conference and 20-5 overall, and will also be quarterfinal round hosts on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The second-seeded Red Dragons will take on seventh-seed Oswego in a rematch of last year’s title game.
Cortland Men 66, Potsdam 63: Coston’s crucial 3-pointer, off a feed from Juan Miolan, gave Cortland a 64-63 lead in the waning moments.
Potsdam (7-9 SUNYAC, 11-14 overall) missed a jumper on its next possession, but a held ball on the rebound kept the ball with the Bears. Potsdam missed another shot with seven seconds remaining and Mark Schaller grabbed the defensive rebound.
Schaller made two free throws with five seconds left to put the Red Dragons up three, and a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Potsdam’s Serge Clement at the buzzer was short.
Cortland led 57-51 after a Carson Niehoff lay-up with 4:44 left, but Potsdam scored nine of the next 11 points and took a 60-59 lead on Brendan Graney’s 3-pointer with 1:57 left. Coston made two foul shots with 1:35 left, but Alvin Dike’s driving lay-up with 1:13 left put the Bears up one. Dike also made the first of two free throws with 48 seconds left to push the lead to two.
Forward Niehoff totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Dragons and freshman Ron Evans scored 10 points, all in the first half.
Dike led Potsdam with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Damon Brown and Graney scored 11 points each, with Brown also finishing with 10 rebounds and five assists.
Cortland heads into the post-season having won four of its last five games, the lone loss a 56-53 setback against top seed and two-time defending playoff champion Plattsburgh Friday night. Plattsburgh finished off a perfect 16-0 conference regular season campaign with an 86-75 win in Utica over SUNYIT Saturday.
Potsdam 62, Cortland Women 60: Rachel Graf scored 19 points and Courtney Poirier made four free throws in the final minute to give Potsdam the lead for good as the Bears — coached by former Cortland captain Tara Ruckh — nipped the Red Dragons.
Junior forward Jessica Laing led Cortland with 27 points and 10 rebounds. Sara Cavanaugh, the Red Dragons’ lone senior, added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Cortland rallied from an eight-point deficit with less than 12 minutes left and eventually took a 57-56 lead on Cavanaugh’s free throw with 1:19 left. Poirier, however, made two foul shots with 59 seconds left and two more with 27 seconds remaining to give the Bears (11-5 SUNYAC, 15-10 overall) a three-point lead. A pair of Maureen Curley free throws iced the win with six seconds left.
Cortland led 24-15 with 5:50 left in the first half, but Potsdam went on a 12-2 run and took a 27-26 lead on two Graf free throws with six seconds left. Laing answered with two foul shots with two seconds left and Cortland led by one at the break.
Potsdam held Cortland to 29 percent shooting from the field, including 2-of-15 (13 percent) from 3-point range. The Red Dragons scored half of their points on the foul line, making 30-of-37 attempts. Laing was 13-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Potsdam went 17-of-22 from the foul line, with Graf finishing 8-of-8.