WINDHAM, Feb. 18 – Granby sophomore Ben Kibby became just the fourth wrestler in school history to win a state championship Saturday night with a 9-3 decision over No. 2 seed Collin Creader of Ledyard at 170 pounds at the Class S wrestling championships.
Junior Cooper Fleming (145) fell one point shy of winning a second straight state title with a 5-4 loss to Montville’s Samuel Kury in the championship bout. Kury was the only wrestler to beat Fleming in a match this season.
Kibby and Fleming’s performance helped spark Granby to an eighth place finish in the Class S championships – their third straight top 10 finish. The Bears, who won the NCCC championship earlier this month, have finished eighth the past two seasons.
“We brought seven wrestlers to the tournament, three placed and we’re in the top 10,” Granby coach Nick Watson said. At 126 pounds, Steven Miller took third with a 2-1 win over Nonnewaug’s David Dabkowski thanks to a two-point reversal with 21 seconds remaining in regulation.
All three qualified to participate in the State Open championships next week in New Haven. The top six in each weight class qualify to wrestle at the Open.
Ledyard in their first-ever Class S appearance extended their state championship record with a 24½ point win over host Windham, 203 to 188½. The Colonels have won a record 23 state championships including five in Class L and 14 in Class M. Prior to 1975, Ledyard also won three State Open titles before the Class LL, L, M and S tournaments were held for the first time.
Kibby (31-1) had little trouble in the tournament. He gave up just two escapes in his first three matches and won two by pin. In the final against Creader, he built up seven-point lead before allowing a takedown midway through the third period.
“He has been wrestling at a higher pace than anyone he has faced,” Watson said. “He proved that today with his decisive wins. He and Cooper are partners in the (practice) room and they push each other back and forth. Both are at another level and you see it day in and day out.”
Fleming (30-2) was stunned at the loss to Kury (29-1). It was the third time that the two juniors had faced each other on the mat this season. Each had a victory.
Kury had a 1-0 lead in the second period thanks to an escape. Fleming has successfully defended two, penetrating takedown attempts by Kury. But Kury’s persistence paid off. He got a takedown and put Fleming to his back, earning a two-point near fall and a 5-1 lead with 21 seconds left in the second period.
Fleming wasn’t rattled. He quickly escaped and got a takedown of his own with 11 seconds remaining to cut Kury’s lead to 5-3. An escape by Fleming very early in the third period cut the lead to one, 5-4.
But Kury was able to hold off repeated takedown attempts by Fleming to secure the victory.
The bout was a rematch of last year’s Class S final at 138 pounds that Fleming won by a first period pin. Fleming was named the outstanding wrestler of the 2016 Class S championships. Fleming was the first Granby wrestler to win a state title since Watson and Chris Nadeau won at 135 and 160 pounds, respectively, in 2006.
Class S championships
Team results — 1. Ledyard 203½; 2. Windham 188; 3. Montville 185½; 4. Haddam-Killingworth 168; 5. Terryville 116; 6. Northwestern 104; 7. Somers 95; 8. Granby Memorial 87; 9. Morgan 85; 10. Notre Dame-Fairfield 82; 11. Oxford 74; 12. Canton 71; 13. East Windsor 69; 14. Derby 65½; 15. Gilbert 61; 15. Rocky Hill 61; 17. Nonnewaug 51; 18. East Catholic 45½; 19. Griswold 41; 19. St. Paul Catholic 41; 21. Portland 36; 22. Stafford 34; 23. Rockville 28; 24. Bloomfield 16; 24. Coventry 16; 26. Thomaston/Litchfield/Holy Cross 11; 27. Housatonic 7; 27. Valley Regional 7; 29. East Hampton 6; 30. Goodwin Tech 5; 31. Stonington 4; 32. Seymour 1; 33. Westbrook 0
106: Final — Cayleb Leclerc (Terryville) pin Jacob Marselli (East Catholic), 1:08; 3. Joseph Millbach (Ledyard) dec. Daniel Mow (Gilbert), 2-1; 5. Michael Dalessio (Somers) dec. Elijah Vertefeuille (Windham), 6-4
113: Final — Alejandro Garcia (Windham) dec. Jack Pelley (East Windsor), 8-3; 3. Angelo Folino (Northwestern) dec. Devin Matthews (Gilbert), 16-4; 5. Tyler Miller (Ledyard) dec. Trevor Follo (Morgan), 7-2
120: Final — Bo Nguyen (Ledyard) pin Jordan Stefancin (Derby), 1:52; 3. Kevin Fantoli (Windham) dec. Brian Connolly (Canton), 5-1; 5. Anthony Reynoso (Rockville) pin Richard Lawton (Portland), 2:43
126: Final — Noah Caskey (Montville) tech fall Sebastien Stultz (Windham), 18-2 3:47; 3. Steven Muller (Granby) dec. David Dabkowski (Nonnewaug), 2-1; 5. Patrick Sutherland (East Windsor) dec. Jake Borda (Terryville), 9-5
132: Final — Joel Morth (Montville) dec. Matthew Jenkins (Haddam-Killingworth), 16-5; 3. Chantz Stultz (Windham) dec. Jarrod Ashe (Terryville), 2-1, 2 OT; 5. Diego Claudio (East Catholic) dec. Kacper Proczek (Coventry), 5-2
138: Final — Jake Frith (Haddam-Killingworth) dec. Tavon Simpson (Notre Dame-Fairfield), 9-1; 3. Nathan Tardiff (East Windsor) dec. Ian Anderson (Montville), 7-3; 5. Jonathan Alvarez (Rockville) dec. Andrew Fortuna (Morgan), 5-3
145: Final — Samuel Kury (Montville) dec. Cooper Fleming (Granby), 5-4; 3. Aidan Korper (Haddam-Killingworth) dec. Liam Smith (Northwestern), 9-7, OT; 5. Gavin Williamson (Ledyard) pin Anthony Cimino (Morgan), 2:57
152: Final — Jeffrey Suschana (Somers) dec. Luis Torres (Windham), 3-2; 3. Joshua Schwartz (Northwestern) dec. Rodric Grant (Portland), 6-3; 5. Daniel Herold (Oxford) dec. Jakari Walker (Notre Dame-Fairfield), 7-3
160: Final — Grayson Adler (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Jacob Millbach (Ledyard), 1:30; 3. Michael Maloney (Somers) dec. Victor Garcia-moreno (Windham), 2-1; 5. Brandon Pastula (Rocky Hill) pin Griffin Downs (Oxford), 2:35
170: Final — Benjamin Kibby (Granby) dec. Collin Crader (Ledyard), 9-3; 3. Flori Cenkolli (Nonnewaug) dec. Connor Mcdonnell (Oxford), 6-1; 5. Angel Otero (Windham) medical forfeit over Austin Rambarose (Portland)
182: Final — Michael Sullivan (Ledyard) dec. David Wyzykowski (Haddam-Killingworth), 11-3; 3. Emanuel Diaz (Montville) dec. Damon Lonero (Rocky Hill), 3-1, OT; 5. Ivan Villanueva (Morgan) dec. Michael Szwaja (Derby), 1-0
195: Final — Jackson Rheault (Somers) dec. Gabriel Schwartz (Northwestern), 12-6; 3. Josh Wright (Terryville) dec. Dane Concascia (Montville), 11-4; 5. Cody Desilets (Stafford) forfeit over Xavier Torres-Viera (Windham)
220: Final — Klyde Auba (Notre Dame-Fairfield) dec. Daniel Contino (Ledyard), 2-0, OT; 3. Nick Tibbetts (Montville) dec. Nicolas Kennedy (Bloomfield), 4-0; 5. Matthew Gray (St. Paul Catholic) pin Johnny Falco (Griswold), 2:43
285: Final — Jason Hume (Terryville) dec. Austin Daley (Morgan), 2-1, 3 OT; 3. Jaden Malave (Windham) pin Anthony Slowik (Derby), 1:19; 5. Dan Geriak (Notre Dame-Fairfield) dec. Richard Mullaney (Ledyard), 3-1
Outstanding wrestler: Klyde Auba (220), Notre Dame-Fairfield