Camden – Saturday’s Center State Conference Wrestling Tournament featured a runaway victory for Adirondack. As for the individual title matches, well, that was a different story.
Starting from Mason Bush’s 4-2 overtime win at 99 pounds to Owen Albanese’s 3-1 conquest in the 285-pound final, most matches kept fans on the edge of their seats to the final whistle. The first five matches were decided by one point or in OT and four more were that close as the day wound down and another was decided in the last 13 seconds.
“I knew I could do it,” Adirondack 106-pounder Kevin Spann said after he rallied with a reversal in the last 24 seconds to edge Central Valley Academy’s Jon Charles 3-2.
That Spann won was a big enough story as Charles pinned him in last year’s finals and added a 4-0 win after that as well in 2014-15. But this season featured a closer match and Spann got the upper hand with a reversal just second after a fresh start with 24 seconds to go. The lightweights went out of bounds with eight seconds left and Spann was able to barely hang on for the title at the end.
“I work hard in practice and I got stronger,” Spann said of the main reason he closed the gap on Charles.
Spann’s win was the first for the Wildcats in the finals and four of his teammates including older brother Derek also won. “I was confident we’d be in the mix,” co-coach Joe Galligan said.
“Tonight the guys wrestled well and the guys in the wrestlebacks were key. They placed and we pinned a lot.”
The Wildcats defended their title with 258.5 points, well ahead of runner-up CVA’s 190.5, Camden’s 180, HP’s 134 and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill’s 129.
After the younger Spann’s win came a 4-3 victory by Shawn Banks at 113 against New Hartford’s Dan Taurony. Banks rallied from a 3-2 deficit after two periods to prevail.
Derek Spann, a former state champ and multiple state placewinner, won by technical fall at 132 against Camden’s Ty Harter for Adirondack’s third victory. Fellow state meet veteran Ryan O’Rourke followed at 138 with a 6-0 win against rugged Noah Handy of Dolgeville then Joe Hennessey ended the Wildcats’ run of winners with an 8-0 victory at 182 against NH’s Kyle Kuty.
Holland Patent also had state tourney veterans in the finals and both won as expected. Hunter Richard won the state crown last winter and showed that type of toughness against Tanner Cook of CVA, one of the section’s other contenders at 145. The key to breaking open the close match was Richard getting back points as time expired in the second period. The junior had just gone out of bounds with six seconds to go and somehow turned Cook to take a 4-1 lead.
Richard then showed superb quickness and conditioning with a quick takedown to start the third period and he cruised from there for a 6-2 win. “The third period I’ve got to take it to them,” Richard said of his opponents in 2015-16. “I love the speed I have. It defines me. It’s how I won a state title last year.”
Alex Herringshaw, a two-time state champ, capped HP’s run of winners with a 10-2 victory against Morrisville-Eaton’s Josh Farrar.
Farrar was a formidable foe, and he trailed just 4-2 after two minutes. But Herringshaw had a great counter for a takedown then a good tilt for back points to stretch the lead in the second period and was not threatened after that.
Of the other winners, Owen Albanese was the only one to prevail and reach a milestone at the same time. The senior earned his 100th career win with a 3-1 conquest of Adirondack’s Andrew Tanner at 285.
“I’m pretty happy about it,” Albanese said. “It’s something my (older) brother didn’t do, so I’m one up on him.”
Albanese lost two of the three meetings he had with Tanner last winter, so it was impressive for that reason as well. “I got stronger and I’m more focused,” Albanese said. “It’s my senior year. I want to be.”
Bush started the finals with a great battle against Oneida’s Devin Coleman at 99. A reversal in the second period gave him a lead but Coleman battled back with an escape soon after and another in the third period to force OT. Once there, Bush earned a takedown quickly for the crown.
CVA’s C.J. Walz won 7-5 in OT at 120 to earn a share of the MOW honors. He trailed Adirondack’s Brandon Gaylord 4-0 entering the last period and still trailed 4-0 with 50 seconds to go when he earned an escape. A takedown got him within a point with 15 seconds to go and he gambled by letting Gaylord escape to try for a tying takedown. He did that with eight seconds to go then earned a quick takedown in OT to win 7-5.
M-E’s Zack Burke beat NH’s highly touted Ian McKenna 2-1 for the title at 126. The state tourney veteran was happy to claim his first CSC title. “I’ve always been third or fourth,” the senior said. “I’ve never wrestled him except in practice on travel team. It’s always a battle.”
CVA’s Collin Treen edged Camden’s Mike Bristol 6-4 in OT to win at 152, Canastota’s Doug Simmons beat Camden’s J.P. Musachio 9-7 for the crown at 170, Sherburne-Earlville’s Jack Buell nipped Camden’s Mike Bristol 6-5 at 195 for first and M-E’s Anthony Moffo beat HP’s Jordan Reinhardt 9-4 for the title at 220 in a match much closer than the score indicates. Down by a point, Reinhardt tried a desperation throw in the final 10 seconds and gave up a four-point move.
2015 CSC Wrestling Tournament at Camden Team Scores
Adirondack 258.5, CVA 190.5, Camden 180, HP 134, V-V-S 129, M-E 121.5, S-E 94.5, Canastota 90, NH 88.5, Dolgeville 88, Whitesboro 82, RFA 67.5, Oneida 60, Poland 48, MM 40.5, Cooperstown 23, LF 19.
99: Mason Bush (CVA) d. Devin Coleman (Oneida) 4-2 OT
106: Kevin Spann (A) d. Jon Charles (CVA) 3-2
113: Sean Banks (A) d. Dan Taurony (NH) 4-3
120: C.J. Walz (CVA) d. Brandon Gaylord (A) 7-5 OT
126: Zack Burke (M-E) d. Ian McKenna (NH) 2-1
132: Derek Spann (A) tf. Ty Harter (Camd) 5:00
138: Ryan O’Rourke (A) d. Noah Handy (Dolg) 6-0
145: Hunter Richard (HP) d. Tanner Cook (CVA) 6-2
152: Collin Treen (CVA) d. Mike Bristol (Camd) 6-4 OT
160: Alex Herringshaw (HP) md. Josh Farrar (M-E) 10-2
170: Doug Simmons (Canas) d. J.P. Musachio (Camd) 9-7
182: Joe Hennessey (A) md. Kyle Kuty (NH) 8-0
195: Jack Buell (S-E) d. Brett Finch (Camd) 6-5
220: Anthony Moffo (M-E) d. Jordan Reinhardt (HP) 9-4
285: Owen Albanese (Canas) d. Andrew Tanner (A) 3-1
Co-MVPs: CJ Walz – CVA and Hunter Richard – Holland Patent