Underdogs rise to the top at SuperSectionals
Attica's Luke Pariso wasn't supposed to beat defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association champion Cody Hutcheson of Bath. Pariso has won a couple of sectional titles, but Hutcheson was a monster.
Pariso won the 171-pound title at SuperSectionals Saturday at Rochester Institute of Technology, but that was far from the biggest upset of the day.
Holley's Kyle Steadman has a season record of just 35-10 after the weekend, but he's moving on to states after shocking the thousands of people there to watch the SuperSectionals. He beat Genesee Region League foe Dave Jennings of Attica at 189 pounds, 3-1 in overtime, to move on.
"It feels really good, coming back from sixth place and taking the title," Steadman said.
Steadman wasn't even ranked in the top five by armdrag.com and was seeded sixth in his weight class. It was the second Holley grappler to win the championship on Saturday and could be the fourth to advance to states next weekend.
"I hope Tim (Banks) goes because he has a lot of points," Holley coach John Grillo said. "He should go to states because of his past reputation and history of going to states. Quinton Murphy had an electrifying match, but Kyle Steadman was a surprise. He had a lot of losses, but has wrestled quality kids all year. We knew he had it in him and we just had to get it out of him."
"I wrestled him before and I know he's really strong on top," Steadman said. "I just had to go my hardest and give it all I had - never quit."
Steadman had a pin and a decision in Friday's opening two rounds before winning a 7-2 decision over Caledonia-Mumford's Jon Grann in the semifinals.
The other Holley wrestler to win a championship was Murphy at 119 pounds. The defending state champion at 103 pounds didn't need much time in the finals to get a return ticket to the big show.
After a technical fall and two pins earning him a trip to the championship match, he dropped Palmyra-Macedon's Tyler Marlow in 1:36.
"It felt great," Murphy said. "I'm really known for that move so when I knew it was there, I went for it."
Banks was the other Holley finalist at 130 pounds, but lost to Pal-Mac's Matt Hausbrouck 3-1 in overtime.
Murphy says that he "just wants to re-win" a state title, while it is a different story for Steadman. He will be working with 2004 state champion Andrew Grillo - John's son - over the next week to prepare for another shot at an upset.
"Coach has to get me prepared because I've never been to states before," Steadman said.
Hutcheson will get to states with a wild card, but his loss to Pariso definitely stung.
The Attica senior was ranked second but very few gave him a shot to knock off a state champion because he had never advanced past sectionals. But Pariso scored early and then got defensive to earn the title and a trip to Albany next weekend.
"I knew I had to go hard," Pariso said. "He has really good endurance so I knew I had to push the pace on him. I had that inside trip and put him on his back."
Pariso got that 2-point takedown with just 15 seconds left in the first period and then had an escape midway through the second to make it 3-0. He simply hung on in the third period to get the 3-0 decision.
"I didn't want him to get a reversal and put me on my back," Pariso said. "It could be 4-0, 4-3 or maybe a pin. I just rode him real tight and kept on at his cross-wrists and rode him for the rest of the match."
Pariso had two decisions on Friday and then topped Batavia's Anthony D'Aurizio 3-1 to advance to the finals. Now he looks forward to facing an even bigger challenge than what he's seen in Section 5 next week.
"I can't wait," Pariso said. "There is a real tough kid from Section 4, Kyle Beckwith, who has won a couple of national titles. I'm going to have to push the pace and beat him to, win a state championship."
The Batavia wrestling team had nine grapplers compete in SuperSectionals, but end up with just one champion.
Nick Lazarony was the second ranked wrestler at 112 pounds and won three decisions to make it to the finals, where he was paired up with top-seeded Joe Smaldone of Geneva.
Both were going to get a trip to states via wild card, even if they lost. That was enough reason for Smaldone - who took second at 112 last year - to forfeit his finals match.
Lazarony had a crack at states last year and will have another one this season.
"He's looking good," Stewart said. "There are a couple of good kids we've scouted so far. He is in the top six there for sure. He still has to wrestle, but it's well deserved. He's given us four good years."
Ryan Darch was seeded No. 1 at 160 pounds and three easy decisions en route to the finals, where he was paired up with Brandon Mills of Canisteo-Greenwood, who was the No. 2 seed.
Darch took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Mills was called on a technical violation, then scored another point in the second period on an escape.
But Mills had a takedown at the mid-point of the frame and tied the match at 2. He had an escape in the third period and then kept Darch from making a move the rest of the way. He tried, making a few attempts to lunge and get ahold of Mills, but the Canisteo grappler was too slippery.
"It was a very defensive match," Stewart said. "He got caught in that little scramble there and tried to battle back from it. It is what it is."
Darch should get a wild card trip to states, but we will not know until it is announced Monday night.
Batavia's Troy Ireland lost to Mills in the semifinals, but won his wrestle-back to take third. He won a 7-6 decision over Wellsville's Ethan Lamphier.
After losing to Pariso in the semifinals, D'Aurizio lost his bid for third place against Byron-Bergen's Zack Green. Green won the third-place match with a pin at 3:53.
The highlight match of the Division II card was at 135 pounds, where two three-time defending state champions and NCAA Division I scholarship recipients squared off.
Warsaw's Ian Paddock - who will attend Ohio State next year - won a 3-0 decision over Pal-Mac's Alex Ekstrom - who will attend Oklahoma.
Two other Genesee Region League wrestlers made the finals but lost as Kendall's Jake Requa took second at 96 pounds and Lyndonville's John Brabon was second at 140.