FALCONER - Midway through the wrestling season Falconer is looking like one of the best Section 6 teams in recent memory.
On Saturday night, the Golden Falcons improved to a perfect 15-0 on the year by winning the 14th Annual Patrick J. Morales Tournament for the second consecutive year with 236.5 points and first-place finishes by two individual wrestlers.
Jamestown was second with 158 points and Westfield-Ripley-Chautauqua Lake was third with 131. Dunkirk was fourth with 127 followed by Southwestern with 122.5, Maple Grove 118, Randolph 116.5, Harbor Creek 113.5, Pine Valley/Cattaraugus-Little Valley 104, Cassadaga Valley 94, Eisenhower 93, Corry 90.5, Sheffield 90.5, Union City 46, Salamanca 36 and Frewsburg with 34.
Photo by Jay Young
Dunkirk’s Hector Colom, top, wrestles during 106-pound action at the 14th Annual Patrick J. Morales Tournament, on Saturday, at Falconer High School.
Jacob Peru lead the way for Falconer and was honored as the tournament's most outstanding wrestler after winning his 126-pound bout against Nick Hudson of Westfield-Ripley-Chautauqua Lake with an 11-6 decision.
After an early throw by Peru, the underclassmen picked up a 6-4 lead, but an escape by Hudson brought the match back to even at 6-6.
In the third period Peru was able to gain back-control over his opponent, and push through to victory.
"Jake is a freshman and he is wrestling outstanding right now," noted Falconer coach Drew Wilcox. "He is a one of those kids that always wants to score points, he could be up by 10 and he still wants to score."
Kyle Ross was brilliant once again at 160 pounds, picking up a narrow 4-3 decision over Randolph's Chris Doubek for Falconer's other first-place finish.
The bout featured outstanding defense by both wrestlers, but a swift move over the back by Ross gave him an early 2-0 lead.
From then on, the stout 160-pound senior was able to weather a storm of offensive attempts by Doubek and run out the clock on his way to the podium.
Ross now stands at an impressive 30-1 on the year while Doubek fell to 13-2.
"He's a senior now and realizes that this is his last shot on the mat," Wilcox said. "As focused as he is and as hard-nosed a kid as he is, I think things are going to work out for him."
While the Golden Falcons had Ross and Peru finish with individual championships, their real damage was done with four second-place finishes, twice as many as the next closest squad.
Cameron Page was pinned by Dunkirk's Hector Colom at 106, Dylan Ingrao fell by major decision to Maple Grove's Brad Bihler at 120, Mike Raynor was pinned by Jamestown's Kyle Liuzzo at 132 and Jimmy Schwab lost fell to Alex Kelly of Pine Valley/Cattaraugus-Little Valley, 4-2, in extra time.
"I thought our kids came out wanting to score points, we were a little over-aggressive in some of our matches and might have lost because of that, but that will pay off in the long run," Wilcox said.
While Falconer came away with a comfortable victory, there were several intense matches featuring wrestlers from around the area.
Tanner Hoose of Southwestern was able to pull off a miraculous come-from-behind victory over Eben Torres of Cassadaga Valley at 182 pounds.
After nearly pinning Torres with one minute left, Hoose found himself down by a point with seconds ticking off the clock. Luckily, aggressive play in the closing moments of the match pushed Hoose over the top to victory, earning a narrow 8-7 decision.
Hoose was one of three Trojans to take home first-place finishes, the most of any team in the field.
Shane Hetrick continued his successful year with a gold-medal performance at 99 pounds, pinning Kole Holden of Sheffield in 3:35.
Perhaps the match of the night took place at 113 pounds between Ryan Hetrick and Dunkirk's Tito Colom.
Colom began the bout with a 1-0 lead after solid defensive grappling, but Hetrick's conditioning proved decisive as the stalemate continued into a fourth overtime period.
Hetrick was able to wear his opponent down with arm control in the final seconds on his way to a 2-1 win.
Another phenomenal effort took place at 145 pounds as Jed Micek, of Maple Grove, won an 11-5 decision over Casey Krotoszynski of Harbor Creek.
Midway through the match, Micek suffered an injury to his nose and was forced to take a medical timeout. Only 30 seconds remained of medical time before the Maple Grove coaches were able to stop the bleeding.
Following the timeout, Micek was able to ride his lead into the third period for a win.
"I wasn't even that involved in the match because I was so worried about stopping the bleeding," Red Dragons assistant Josh Micek said after the win. "He got a nice lead in the first period, but we used up over four of our five medical minutes trying to get his nose right so he could finish the match, I was nervous."
The Jamestown Red Raiders were able to post a second-place finish with 158 team points in the tournament, behind two first place finishes.
Dylan Lundmark notched a defensive 2-0 decision victory over Dustin Tomcho of Union City at 138 while teammate Kyle Liuzzo was able to pin Falconer's Mike Raynor in 2:44.
Westfield-Ripley-Chautauqua Lake was able to finish in third place despite not recording any individual championships, but two second-place finishes by Nick Hudson and Tyler Furlow at 195 were enough for the bronze.
Dunkirk's pair of wins by Hector Colom and Nick Jones helped the Marauders finish in fourth with 127 points.
Colom picked up a win by fall over Page of Falconer in 4:19, while Jones was the heavyweight winner by 6-2 decision over Tyson Gugino of Cassadaga Valley.
Brad Bihler added to his stellar year with an individual title at 120 pounds with a major decision over Dylan Ingrao of Falconer.
Trevor Spicer was the bright spot for Frewsburg with a championship win over Tyler Furlow of Westfield-Ripley-Chautauqua Lake by 5-1 decision at 195 pounds.
The Golden Falcons took home another award for the tournament in addition to Peru's MOW honor. Jake Penhollow rolled over his opponents with three pins in the first period and earned the aggregate pin award for the weekend while Cameron Weaver of Jamestown was given the Gregg Munksgard Memorial Award after pinning Bill Seiders of Dunkirk at 120 pounds in his third-place finish.