By DAN TOMASELLO
NORTH READING — The Lynnfield-North Reading co-operative wrestling team won the Division 3 North Sectional Tournament for the third straight year on Saturday, Feb. 14 at North Reading High School.
The Black and Gold concluded the tournament with 206.5 points. Melrose finished a close second with 197.5 points and Danvers finished third with 172.5 points. There were 10 grapplers who place during the tournament.
Junior Max Whyman finished first in the 126 lbs. weight class. He pinned Marblehead–Swampscott’s Brett Resnick in one minute during the first round of the tournament. He defeated Triton’s Jared Durkin, who had previously defeated Whyman in the CAL/NEC Tournament, by a 3-2 decision in the semifinals. Whyman defeated Wilmington’s Fox Maxwell, a returning state place finisher who defeated Whyman earlier this season, by a 4-3 decision in overtime during the finals.
Senior captain Dominic Monzione won his second straight tournament after he was crowned champion of the 145 lbs. weight class. He pinned Wilmington’s Darren LeBlanc in 35 seconds. He defeated Tyngsboro’s Jason Wojcik by a 22-7 decision in the semifinals. Dominic, who finished third in last year’s Division 3 North Sectional Tournament, pinned Triton’s Lewi L’Heureux at 4:26 during the finals.
Senior Brandon Troisi, who finished third in the 195 lbs. weight class last year, won the 285 lbs. weight class during this year’s sectional tournament. He pinned a Wilmington wrestler in 1:23 during the quarterfinals. He defeated Wakefield’s Mike Lima by fall in 4:36 during the semifinals. Troisi defeated Saugus’ Nick Vokey by a 6-5 decision in the finals. Troisi has won his last four tournaments.
Senior captain Joe Morse, who was a sectional runner-up last year in the 106 lbs. weight class, finished second in the 113 lbs. weight class. He pinned Wakefield’s Shannon Drager in 2:33 during the quarterfinals. He defeated a Tyngsboro wrestler by a 4-2 decision in the semifinals. Morse fell to Danvers’ Colby Holland by a 7-0 decision in the finals. Morse’s second place finish enabled him to become a three-time sectional place finisher.
Senior Jake Mullin-Bernstein placed third in the 132 lbs. weight class in his first year being a varsity starter.
Senior Austin Bradley took home his first sectional place medal after he finished third in the 182 lbs. weight class.
Senior captain Lucas Pascucci became a three-time state place finisher after finishing fourth in the 138 lbs. weight class. After re-injuring his knee during the quarterfinals, Pascucci managed to push his way through the consolation rounds but injury defaulted to fourth place in order to risk further injury. According to Black and Gold head coach Craig Stone, Pascucci’s injury “will be reevaluated this week to see if he can continue next weekend.”
Senior Garrett Anderson placed fifth in the 152 lbs. weight class despite weighing only 139 lbs. Anderson, who has been a spot starter this year, has been wrestling at 138, 145 and 152 lbs. this season.
Sophomore Vitaliy Andrusyshyn placed fifth in his first sectional tournament in the 195 lbs. weight class.
Junior Zack Monzione placed sixth in the 160 lbs. weight class after suffering a concussion during the semifinals.
Freshman Andrew DiPietro (120 lbs.), junior Max Robert (170 lbs.) and senior Nick Wilkinson (220 lbs.) all won matches during the tournament and picked up team points but were unable to place. Sophomore Will Glover (106 lbs.) was unable to compete during the tournament after breaking his thumb during the State Dual Meet Tournament the previous weekend.
Stone praised the Black and Gold’s performance during sectionals. He also thanked everyone who helped make sure the tournament went off without a hitch.
“I can’t say enough about the wrestlers that competed,” said Stone. “The wrestlers that help run the tournament, the parents that contributed valuable time, energy and resources to run the concession stand and NRHS for offering their impressive new facility to host the event. Being able to showcase our team, our parent support group and the high school was exciting enough. Winning the tournament was icing on the cake.”
The Black and Gold (21-4) defeated Danvers 40-36 on Feb. 11. The grapplers were able to soar past the Falcons after winning three matches by decision.
Whyman (132 lbs.) pinned his opponent in 48 seconds. Dominic Monzione defeated his opponent by fall in 41 seconds. Zack Monzione defeated his counterpart by a 6-1 decision. Bradley defeated his opponent by a 14-4 major decision.
Andrusyshyn defeated his opponent by a 5-3 decision. Troisi pinned his counterpart in 14 seconds. Sophomore Adam Rossetti (126 lbs.) and senior Victor Buonfiglio (170 lbs.) won their respective matches by forfeit.
The 2014-2015 season was the fourth straight year the Black and Gold finished with 20 or more victories. The wrestlers who concluded the season with 20 or more dual meet wins were Troisi (21-1), Whyman (20-3), Morse (20-4) and Dominic Monzione (20-4).
The Black and Gold will be competing in the Division 3 State Tournament on Feb. 19 and 20 at Wakefield Memorial High School. The top six finishers will advance to the All-State Tournament the following weekend.