Schools: Eagles defend wrestling crown

  • Above, Franklin Tech’s Brody Wood, top, competes against Frontier’s Joey Hildreth in the 182-pound weight class Wednesday night in Turners Falls. Below, Tech’s Jack Fuller, top, competes against Frontier’s Eric Trueswel lat 170 pounds. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Spencer Telega works on a pin against Frontier’s KC Mattson in the 152-pound weight class Wednesday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Franklin Tech’s Jack Fuller, top, competes against Frontier’s Eric Trueswell in the 170-pound weight class Wednesday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier’s Ito McMillan and Franklin Tech’s Noah Fuess compete in the 145-pound weight class Wednesday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier’s Bailey Murray, top, and Franklin Tech’s Peter Saladino compete in the 120-pound weight class Wednesday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier’s Jaden Sadlowski, right, and Franklin Tech’s Connor Pettis compete in the 138-pound weight class Wednesday night in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Frontier’s KC Mattson competes against Franklin Tech’s Spencer Telega in the 152-pound weight class Wednesday in Turners Falls. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Thanks to a late push, a second consecutive league title resides with Franklin County Technical School.

The host Eagles overcame a late deficit, winning four of the final five matches to get past Frontier Regional School, 43-36, in a showdown for the Suburban League North Division wrestling crown Wednesday night in Turners Falls.

The title was the second in a row for Franklin Tech (10-2, 4-0), which won its first league championship last winter.

“Wrestling’s a unique sport,” explained Franklin Tech head coach Joe Gamache. “You start off with several goals, both team and individual. As a team you want to win a league title. The kids can take a lot of pride in that.”

Trailing 30-24 after Frontier (13-5, 3-1) received a pin in just 45 seconds from Miguel Olvera-Aguilera at 160 pounds, the Eagles went to work.

Jack Fuller tied things up with a hard-fought pin at 170 pounds. The senior, wrestling in his first year for Tech, fell behind early but battled back and pinned Frontier’s Eric Trueswell with just 11 seconds remaining in their bout.

“That was a nice win to get,” lauded Gamache of Fuller’s performance.

Brody Wood bumped up to 182 pounds and continued the momentum for the Eagles with a 10-2 major decision over Frontier’s Joe Hildreth.

A forfeit at 195 pounds enabled Chris Ludwig to put Tech on the cusp of victory, and Ayden Stacy edged Frontier’s Nate Austin, 4-1, for the clinching victory at 220 pounds. Jackie Phong of Frontier finished things out with a pin at 285 pounds, defeating Tech’s Cameron Tuttle.

“We had a feeling coming into the match that it was going to be close based on some of their guys and some of our guys and how they stacked up,” Gamache said. “I don’t think either team was really matched up in a spot where they were comfortable going into it. You have to rely on a couple guys that we don’t necessarily have to normally, and we were fortunate to get some of those wins.”

Franklin Tech got off to a strong start at 113 pounds, where Caleb Ellis fell into a quick 5-0 hole but used a reversal to battle back. Ellis eventually earned a pin in 1:28, defeating Frontier’s Tanner Finch.

“That was a huge way for us to start,” said Gamache.

The Eagles also earned pins from Kyle Brunelle at 126 pounds (4:32) and Colin Pettis at 132 pounds (2:42), while Spencer Telega also grabbed a pin at 152 pounds (1:56). Brunelle was competing in his first match since December, when he went out with an injury.

Frontier’s Jake Mattson was a forfeit winner in the first match of the night at 106 pounds.

Bailey Murry won a marathon match at 120 pounds, as the Frontier grappler pinned Tech’s Peter Saladino in 5:19. Connor Pettis was a winner at 138 pounds for the Red Hawks via pinfall (2:32), while Ito McMillan took a win at 145 pounds (pin, 3:34).

Mahar 48, Athol 21 — Visiting Athol High School won four of the six matches contested, but Mahar Regional School nabbed six wins via forfeit and picked up a 48-21 victory in a Suburban League North wrestling match Wednesday night at Grzesik-Bixby Gymnasium in Orange.

Mahar (7-6, 1-3) received wins from Justin deDiego at 132 pounds, as he pinned Athol’s Luke Inniss in 50 seconds, and Cole Emery at 195 pounds, where he pinned Athol’s Dakota Gilman in 4:55.

The Red Raiders took home a 6-0 decision at 182 pounds thanks to Chris Waslaske, who held off Mahar’s Peter Tattan in a solid bout.

Athol (2-5, 1-3) racked up pins from Jonathan Mahony at 106 pounds (1:12), Bryce Shufelt at 120 pounds (3:36) and Caleb Cox at 126 pounds (1:18).

The Senators filled out the weight classes to pick up the team win however. Forfeit wins were attained by Xander Roberts (113), Henry Ndaysiaba (138), Adam Clement (145), Todd Chiasson (152), Ed Bennington (160) and Anurak Jittang (170).


Fitchburg 8, Greenfield 5 — Leading 5-3 entering the third period, Greenfield High School looked in prime shape to nab an impressive road victory Wednesday night.

Host Fitchburg High School had other ideas, however.

The Red Raiders scored five unanswered goals in the final stanza, turning the tides and capturing an 8-5 independent hockey win at the Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg.

“(Fitchburg) has a handful of really good players and they turned it up on us,” admitted Greenfield head coach Adam Bouchard. “We tried to hold them off but we couldn’t do it. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other team for beating you.”

Greenfield (9-4-1) led 2-1 after one period and scored three times in the second to take a 5-3 advantage.

Bryan Baumann scored two goals and assisted on a third for the Green Wave, which also received goals from Sean O’Sullivan, Cassidhe Wozniak and Jacob Bryant. Ethan LaFleur had two assists to help pace the offensive effort.

Fitchburg held a decisive 32-13 advantage in shots on goal. Greenfield goaltender Riley Drew wound up with 25 saves on the night.

Greenfield is right back in action today at 4 p.m. when it plays Belchertown High School at the Mullins Center Practice Rink in Amherst.

Girls’ basketball

Pioneer 40, Mohawk 27 — Don’t look now, but Pioneer Valley Regional School is making its case for a postseason berth.

The Panthers won their third straight game Wednesday night, as freshman Paige Loughman poured in a game-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to go with three steals and three assists. Pioneer built a sizable lead and held on for a 40-27 win over Mohawk Trail Regional High School in an independent girls’ basketball game in Buckland.

Pioneer (6-8) led 23-12 at halftime, and used a 9-4 edge in the third frame to take a 32-16 lead into the final quarter.

Steph Scoville added 7 points for the Panthers, while Olivia Rowe registered 5 points. Liz Lambert scored 3 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the win.

Grace Poplawski went for double figures to pace Mohawk (5-10), scoring 10 points. Emma Poplawski added 6 and Ashley Walker tossed in 4.

Boys’ basketball

Belchertown 87, Mohawk 55 — Belchertown High School scored at least 20 points in all four quarters, and the host Orioles rolled to an 89-55 win over Mohawk in an independent boys’ basketball game Wednesday night in Belchertown.

Belchertown (11-5) jumped out to a 23-13 lead after one quarter and made it a 46-22 advantage at intermission.

Mohawk (1-14) played a solid second half, as the Warriors were outscored by just a 43-33 margin.

Mitch Medina paced Belchertown with 22 points. Nolan Vogel tossed in 18 points.

Jon Scheutze scored a career-high 16 points for the Warriors. Jackson Hicks also finished in double figures with 13. Kaleb Fitzgerald and Shawn Davenport had 9 apiece, while Anthony Moffatt contributed 6.