GUILFORD, Feb. 17 – Four Avon High wrestlers will be competing at the State Open wrestling championships beginning on Friday at the Floyd Little Athletic Center at Hillhouse High.
Junior Henry Schrecengost (285), sophomore Chris Gens (220), senior Matt Bourquin (195) and junior Abhi Bhabad (106) each finished in the top six of their respective weight classes at Saturday’s Class M championships to earn a berth at the State Open.
They helped lead Avon (16-7, 3-2 CCC North) to a seventh place finish in Class M, tied with Waterford. With a balanced effort, Foran-Milford won the Class M tournament with 12 wrestlers earning medals and five wrestlers seeded ninth or lower winning medals by finishing in the top six.
The Lions won their second Class M title in three years with 236 points beating out Killingly (190) and Guilford (140).
The Falcons had 11 of 13 wrestlers win at least one match and seven of the 13 won at least two matches as Avon rebounded from last year’s tough performance. A year ago, the Falcons were 22nd in Class M – their lowest finish in a CIAC tournament in team history.
Schrecengost took third, Gens finished fourth while Bourquin and Bhabad each earned fifth place medals. Bourquin and Gens advanced as far as the semifinals before losing their first matches of the tournament.
Schrecengost (25-5) is a first-year wrestler and he lost in the quarterfinals to Collin Delsanto of Ellis Tech by pin at 285 pounds. But Schrecengost won four consecutive matches in the consolation round – all by pin – to finish third. Schrecengost pinned Roark Ryan of St. Bernard/Norwich Tech in 3:42 in the consolation final. He had a 12-5 lead on Ryan when he pinned him.
Gens (32-7) gave up five takedowns in an 11-6 loss to Bethel’s Nicholas Cote in the semifinals at 220. Gens rebounded by pinning Killingly’s Renee Bernier in 3:34 but dropped a close 5-4 decision to Branford’s Kyle Zalewski in the consolation final.
Zalewski led by two, 5-3, after two periods but Gens cut the lead to one thanks to a one-point escape with 49 seconds left in the match. But Gens was unable to get a winning takedown in the final seconds of the bout.
Bouquin (34-9) had three two-point takedowns in a 7-2 win over Platt’s Ryan Greene in the quarterfinals at 195 pounds. But Bourquin was pinned by New London’s Jacob Commander in 3:11 in the semifinal.
Bourquin lost his first consolation round match, 12-4 but rallied to finish fifth with a 7-3 win over Stratford’s Emmanuel Sainville.
Bourquin had a one-point lead, 3-2, after two periods. He extended that lead to 5-2 thanks to a two-point near fall with 1:00 left in the match. Sainville cut the lead to 5-3 with an escape but Bourquin clinched the bout with a two-point takedown with 18 seconds remaining.
Bhabad (31-11) lost his first match in the quarterfinals to Waterford’s Logan Smith, 10-1. But Bhabad won two consecutive consolation round matches by pin before dropping a 6-4 decision to Joel Barlow’s Joshua Brault in the consolation semifinals. Tied at 4-4 after a Bhabad escape with 1:23 left in the bout, Brault got a two-point takedown for the win with 18 seconds remaining.
Bhabad beat Bacon Academy’s Rylan Grant with a pin in 3:49 to finish fifth. Bhabad was up 8-0 when he pinned Grant. Bhabad beat Grant earlier in the tournament in the round of 16 by a 12-1 score.
Senior Vinny Bonalumi (30-15) went 2-2 in the tournament at 182 pounds along with junior Jack Colman at 160 pounds and junior Max Jacobs at 120. Avon had just three seniors in their 13-person lineup in the Class M tournament – Andrew Sides (152), Bourquin and Bonalumi.
Class M championships
Team results — 1. Foran 236; 2. Killingly 190; 3. Guilford 140; 4. Ellis Tech 121; 5. New London 115.5; 6. Platt 114; 7. Avon 108; 7. Waterford 108; 9. East Haven 105.5; 10. Joel Barlow 100.5; 11. Branford 92; 12. Bethel 89; 13. Berlin 86; 14. Jonathan Law 76.5; 15. RHAM 68; 16. Tolland 60; 17. New Fairfield 50; 18. Bacon Academy 48; 19. Stratford 44; 20. East Lyme 34.5; 21. Harding 29; 22. St. Bernard/Norwich Tech 28; 23. Brookfield 24; 24. Woodstock Academy 23; 25. Weston 18; 26. Bunnell 17; 27. Watertown 13; 28. Rockville 12; 29. Abbott Tech 5.5
106: Final — Logan Smith (Waterford) dec. Dan Charron (Killingly), 9-7, OT; 3. Naje Powell-keyton (New London) pin Joshua Brault (Joel Barlow), 2:58; 5. Abhilash Bhabad (Avon) pin Rylan Grant (Bacon Academy), 3:49
113: Braeden O’brien (Bacon Academy) dec. Dave Charron (Killingly), 7-6, 3 OT; 3. Gavin Rickaby (Ellis Tech) dec. James Rondini (Platt), 7-2; 5. Ashton Capichiano (New Fairfield) dec. Logan Kanaitis (RHAM), 11-6
120: Final — Mike Charron (Killingly) dec. Jeremy Polanco-Castro (Platt), 11-5; 3. Michael Giordano (Foran) dec. Hunter Chin (New Fairfield), 5-0; 5. Eric Zane (Waterford) dec. Caleb Ferland (Ellis Tech), 5-0
126: Sean Johnson (Ellis Tech) TF Keldon Larose (Guilford), 17-1 4:53; 3. Louis Stabile (Brookfield) dec. Alec Divito (East Haven), 3-2; 5. Jordan Lang (Foran) pin Cooper Morrisette (Killingly), 3:55
132: Final — Daniel Veleas (Berlin) dec. Shayne McCourt (Jonathan Law), 5-4; 3. William Mauro (Foran) dec. Anthony Sachatello (Waterford), 5-0; 5. Maxwell Commander (New London) dec. Tanner Divito (East Haven), 15-12
138: Final — Ryan Angers (Tolland) pin Vincent Mascola (Guilford), 0:57; 3. Camron Louis (Ellis Tech) dec. Aisaiah Rodriguez (Jonathan Law), 1-0; 5. Ethan Edmondson (Foran) dec. Xavier Powell (Watertown), 10-4
145: Final — Zack Burgess (Killingly) dec. Everett Minevich (East Lyme), 5-0; 3. Alex Klein Wassink (Joel Barlow) dec. Kevin Pokornowski (Foran), 5-1; 5. Eamon Toland matos (Bethel) forfeit over Connor Gontarz (East Haven)
152: Final — Ryan Luth (Foran) pin Ben Coppock (Joel Barlow), 1:53; 3. Nicholas Marchak (Bethel) dec. Moses Marino (Berlin), 5-0; 5. Ryan Maleryn (RHAM) forfeit over Carter Cox (Guilford)
160: Final — Michael Angers (Tolland) pin Zachary Cash (Branford), 3:55; 3. Noah Silk (RHAM) dec. Joshua Veleas (Berlin), 7-4; 5. Maximillian Khoshabo (Bethel) dec. Ronald Gaul (Foran), 2-1
170: Final — Carson Licastri (Joel Barlow) dec. Derek Turner (Killingly), 7-3; 3. Zavian Arroyo (Platt) dec. Umer Khan (Foran), 3-0; 5. Cody Mchenry (Branford) forfeit over Luis Rodriguez-veras (New London)
182: Final — Ben Stratton (Platt) dec. Charles Andrus (Guilford), 9-1; 3. Zach Caffrey (Killingly) pin William Ives (Foran), 2:18; 5. David Osler (Branford) dec. Alex Otero (RHAM), 6-1
195: Final — Jacob Commander (New London) pin Josh Rao (East Haven), 1:55; 3. Kevin Brocksom (Jonathan Law) pin Nolan Bannon (Foran), 2:07; 5. Matthew Bourquin (Avon) dec. Emmanuel Sainville (Stratford), 7-3
220: Final — Nicholas Cote (Bethel) pin Qasim Khan (Foran), 3:55; 3. Kyle Zalewski (Branford) dec. Christopher Gens (Avon), 5-4; 5. Noah Kimball (New London) pin Renee Bernier (Killingly), 0:08
285: Final — Sergio Ferreira (Stratford) dec. Collin Delsanto (Ellis Tech), 3-2; 3. Henry Schrecengost (Avon) pin Roark Ryan (St. Bernard/Norwich Tech), 3:42; 5. Tanner Small (Guilford) pin Phillip Boyles (Foran), 3:19