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Avon finishes fourth in competitive CCC tournament

Avon’s Matt Bourquin won the CCC championship at 195 pounds to help the Falcons finish fourth in the first-ever CCC Tournament.

BERLIN, February 10 – The Avon High wrestling got a taste of next week’s Class M championship meet by participating in a competitive Central Connecticut Conference tournament at Berlin High.

Twenty-two of the league’s 26 participated including No. 5 Southington, No. 13 Simsbury, No. 14 Wethersfield and No. 18 East Hartford. Bristol Eastern, the No. 2 ranked team in the state, withdrew late Friday afternoon for unknown reasons.

Avon did well with two individual champions – Matt Bourquin and Henry Schrecengost —  three finalists and seven wrestlers earning medals for finishing in the top six of their respective weight classes.

Southington had three individual champions and eight medalists to win the first-ever CCC Tournament by 24 points over East Hartford, 176½ to 151½. Simsbury was third with 142½ points but Avon was a close fourth with 139½ points.

“As a team, we wrestled really well,” Avon coach John McLaughlin said. “It was a great tournament to get us ready for the Class M championships. What I really liked to see is that we had multiple guys beat wrestlers they had lost to earlier in the year. It was exciting to see that progress.”

Avon’s Henry Schrecengost won the CCC Tournament Saturday at 285 pounds to help the Falcons finish fourth.

The Falcons (16-7, 3-2 CCC North) have been wrestling well down the stretch. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 dual meets and finished third at the recent Doc Myers Brawl in Rocky Hill behind Windham High and Longmeadow, Mass.

Bourquin (195 pounds) opened the tournament with a 12-2 win over Middletown’s Jake Toth and then beat Wethersfield’s Austin Harnish, 6-4. Bourquin lost to Harnish about 10 days ago in a dual meet.

“It was nice to see him get mentally tough in order to (beat Harnish),” McLaughlin said. “In the final, he just wrestled his match and was able to control the action.”

Bourquin (30-7) pinned Farmington’s Nigel Debrito in 5:04 to win the championship.

A year ago, Schrecengost was coming off the bench for the Avon High basketball team. This year, he decided to try wrestling. He had to lose a few pounds to make weight at 285 pounds and has been getting better throughout the season.

Schrecengost won his tournament opener with a 6-2 win over Manchester’s John Estrella before pinning Farmington’s Nick Greco in the semifinals in 2:38. In the final, Schrecengost (20-4) pinned Platt’s Luke Fuerstenburg in 2:48.

“Henry took real big strides today with his win,” McLaughlin said. “As only a first-year wrestler, this tournament was a great experience on learning how to gut out tough matches and experience the grind of a two-day tournament. He has huge potential and may just shock some people in the next few weeks.”

Avon’s Ryan Baghdassarian (113) finished sixth at the CCC Tournament.

Abhi Bhabad (106) finished second while Chris Gens (220) finished third. Vinny Bonalumi (184) took fifth while Jack Colman (162) and Ryan Badhdassarian (113) each finished sixth.

Bhadbad (27-9) won his first three matches of the tournament but ran into Simsbury’s Ty Finn in the finals and dropped a 10-0 decision.

Gens (29-5) had a 21 second in his first match and outlasted Newington’s Wyatt Bernard, 6-5, in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Bristol Central’s Mike Guzman beat Gens, 7-4 but Gens rebounded with a pin of Southington’s Jacob Vecchio in 4:56 and beating Farmington’s Muhil Saravana, 5-0 to take third place.

Bonalumi (28-13) dropped his first match of the tournament but he won three consecutive consolation round bouts – two by pin – to get into the medal round. Bonalumi beat Conard’s Tai Craig, 8-5 to take fifth.

Colman (28-14) went 3-3 in the tournament with three pins. He lost twice to Conard’s Eric Rodonis, 3-2 in the quarterfinals and 5-2 in the fifth place bout.

Badhdassarian (115) and Gunner Propiescus each won two matches for the Falcons while Justin Meador (132) and Grant Corbett (140) each won a match.

Simsbury’s Saul Pera (37-7) won the CCC championship at 113 pounds.

Simsbury had five medalists – led by Finn and Saul Pera (113), who won championships. Finn (106) beat Bhabad, 10-0 in the final while Pera beat Platt’s James Rondini, 4-0. Pera beat Baghdassarian by technical fall, 16-1 in the semifinals.

Simsbury’s Aiden Brown (120) and Jackson King (182) finished third. King had four pins in the tournament. Jack Montgomery (152) took fourth.

Farmington had three medalists with Nick Greco taking third at 285, Max Bartholomay finishing fifth at 170 and Luke Popolizio (152) taking sixth at 152. In the unofficial 98 pound weight class, Karisten Cardosa was third while Indian teammate Joey Gugleilmo was fifth.

Southington had three individual champions and eight medalists to win the first CCC post-season tournament. Tagan Welch (154), Jacob Cardozo (128) and Paul Calo (170) each won for the Knights. East Hartford had victories from Lowayne Harris (120), Tim Roberts (145) and Isaiah Jiminian (220). Roberts and Jiminian had four pins each.

In 2011, the CCC hosted divisional tournaments for the CCC North, CCC West, CCC South and CCC East but nothing since that time.

2018 Connecticut wrestling PHOTOS

Central Connecticut Conference Tournament
At Berlin

Team results – 1. Southington 176½, 2. East Hartford 151½, 3. Simsbury 142½, 4. Avon 139½, 5. Platt High 135, 6. Middletown 125, 7. Bristol Central 115½, 8. Farmington 105, 9. Wethersfield 98, 10. South Windsor 74, 11. Berlin 73, 12. E.O. Smith 60, 13. East Catholic and Newington 59, 15. New Britain 58½, 16. Tolland 56½, 17. RHAM 55, 18. Manchester 47½, 19. Maloney 38, 20. Conard 37, 21. Glastonbury 29, 22. Hall 16, 23. Bristol Eastern 0
Individual results
100
— Andrew Kudla (Southington) dec. Noah Cintron (Berlin) 7-1; 3. Karisten Cardosa (Farmington) dec. Alden Johnson (Wethersfield) 6-4; 5. Joey Gugleilmo (Farmington) win by forfeit over Ben Waldo (South Windsor)
106 — Ty Finn (Simsbury) dec. Abhi Bhabad (Avon) 10-0; 3. Eli Cyr (Middletown) dec. Jacob Marselli (East Catholic) 13-9; 5. Caleb Brick (Southington) pin Nick Urso (Conard) 2:09
113 — Saul Pera (Simsbury) dec. James Rondini (Platt) 4-0; 3. Bryce Arnold (Wethersfield) dec. Francisco Garcia (East Hartford) 4-2; 5. Adam Ward (Bristol Central) win by forfeit over Ryan Baghdassarian (Avon)
120 — Lowayne Harris (East Hartford) dec. Jeremy Polanco (Platt) 8-6; 3. Aiden Brown (Simsbury) win by forfeit over Jayden Robles (Maloney); 5. TJ Pawlak (Middletown) dec. Jacob Zotti (Newington) 10-8 OT
126 — Jacob Cardozo (Southington) dec. Kahil Shabazz (Middletown) 8-2; 3. Mitchell Pardi (South Windsor) dec. Diajhawn Hudson (East Hartford) 4-1; 5. Quin Rogers (E O Smith) dec. Matt Durant (East Catholic) 5-3
132 — Daniel Veleas (Berlin) dec. Dan Sullivan (South Windsor) 13-4; 3. Rafael Alduen (East Hartford) dec. Mason Hale (Bristol Central) 3-0; 5. Jason Brault (Southington) win by forfeit
138 — Ryan Angers (Tolland) pin Raul Mateo (New Britain) 2:27; 3. Michelangelo Bolorin (Wethersfield) dec. Tino Pusz (Middletown) 9-2; 5. Nick Mangene (Southington) dec. Billy Oulundsen (South Windsor) 8-2
145 — Tim Roberts (East Hartford) pin Mason Torres (Wethersfield) 5:36; 3. Nick Richardson (E O Smith) dec. Josh Vitti (Southington) 9-4; 5. Jacob Arseneault (RHAM) dec. Antony DeJulius (East Catholic) 5-4
152 — Tagan Welch (Southington) dec. Jason Gonzalez (Manchester) 13-0; 3. Matthew Busiewicz (Newington) dec. Jack Montgomery (Simsbury) 2-1; 5. Andrew Beaucar (Bristol Central) dec. Luke Popolizio (Farmington) 5-2
160 — Michael Angers (Tolland) dec. Josh Veleas (Berlin) 6-0; 3. Noah Silk (RHAM) win by forfeit over Markeese Thompson (Maloney); 5. Eric Rodonis (Conard) dec. Jack Colman (Avon) 5-2
170 — Paul Calo (Southington) win by forfeit over Zavian Arroyo (Platt); 3. Damain Mahaffy (Bristol Central) dec. Cooper Nodden (South Windsor) 5-2; 5. Max Bartholomay (Farmington) pin Sebby Malespini (Berlin) 4:03
182 — Isaiah Rivera (E O Smith) win by forfeit over Ben Stratton (Platt); 3. Jackson King (Simsbury) pin Andrew Smikle (Middletown) 3:30; 5. Vinny Bonalumi (Avon) dec. Tai Craig (Conard) 8-5
195 — Matt Bourguin (Avon) pin Nigel Debrito (Farmington) 5:04; 3. Austin Harnish (Wethersfield) dec. Iziah Medina (New Britain) 14-9; 5. Ryan Greene (Platt) pin Colby Johnson (Southington) 2:20
220 — Isaiah Jiminian (East Hartford) pin Mike Guzman (Bristol Central) 2:10; 3. Chris Gens (Avon) dec. Muhil Saravana (Farmington) 5-0; 5. Wyatt Bernard (Newington) dec. Jacob Vecchio (Southington) 6-5
285 — Henry Schrengost (Avon) pin Luke Fuerstenburg (Platt) 2:48; 3. Nick Greco (Farmington) dec. John Duncan (Bristol Central) 3-2; 5. Nick Dejesus (Middletown)
Outstanding wrestler: None awarded

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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