CANTON – With six medalists, the Canton High wrestling team turned in their best performance at the Class S championship meet since 2002 with a sixth place finish.
The NCCC champion Warriors scored 123 points led by senior Braydon Fluckiger (220) and sophomore Matt Webb (113), who each finished third. Freshman Ethan Titus (106) earned his first Class S championship medal by taking fourth.
Senior Brian Connolly (138) rebounded from some tough defeats to finish fifth and earn his third Class S medal while Austin Kilduff (170) took fifth and James Pelehach (182) was sixth.
Gilbert won their first-ever state championship in wrestling with a 3½ point win over Montville, 193½-190 with three of four Yellowjacket wrestlers winning in the finals and two Gilbert wrestlers winning fifth place bouts.
Haddam-Killingworth was third with 162 points followed by Windham (145½), Griswold (138) and Canton (123).
Thirteen of Canton’s varsity wrestlers won at least one match in the tournament enabling the Warriors (20-3, 7-0 NCCC) to be contenders.
Webb advanced to the semifinals where he ran into East Hampton’s Dylan Levesque and dropped a 9-2 decision. But Webb won his next two matches including a 7-0 win over Griswold’s Tyler Aresenault to finish third.
Fluckiger (220) was the No. 1 seed and was upset in his first match, dropping a 7-5 overtime decision to St. Paul’s Ben Foligno. The match was tied 4-4 after two periods. Fluckiger escaped to take a 5-4 lead with 1:38 remaining but Foligno got a takedown with 38 seconds left to grab a 6-5 lead.
Fluckiger forced OT with an escape with 17 seconds left in the third period but Foligno won the match with a takedown in OT.
Fluckiger won four straight consolation round bouts to finish third with a 6-3 win over Griswold’s Cory Carr after racing out to a 5-0 lead. Fluckiger’s toughest match came in the second round of the consolation round when he got a takedown as time was expiring to outlast Windham’s Alec Martinez, 3-1 and earn a spot in the medal round.
The two third place finishes were the highest individual medals for the Warriors since 2014 when Skylar Lang won a Class S championship.
Titus (106) dropped a 5-2 decision to Montville’s Blake Chapman in the semifinals and lost a tough 4-3 match to Haddam-Killingworth’s Cameron Hines for third place. Hines got a takedown in the final seconds to win the match.
Connolly, who was seeded No. 1 at 138 pounds, dropped a pair of tight, heartbreaking matches. In the semifinals, Stonington’s Samual Light escaped with 36 seconds left in regulation and held on for a 2-1 victory.
In the consolation semifinals, East Catholic’s Noah Vail erased a three-point deficit in the final minute to earn a 6-4 win in OT. Connolly led 3-1 with 1:05 remaining before Vail escaped with 54 seconds left to cut the lead to one point. Vail’s takedown with two seconds remaining forced OT.
Vail got the takedown with 20 seconds left in overtime for the victory.
Connolly finished fifth by pinning Granby’s Owen Bogli in 3:35.
At 170 pounds, Griswold’s Cadan Odom held on to beat Kilduff, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. Odom led 5-1 in the third period before Kilduff got a takedown to cut the lead to two, 5-3. But Odom got a reversal of his own to push the lead back to four, 7-3. Kilduff got another reversal to close the gap but ran out of time.
Kilduff got a small piece of revenge by pinning Odom to finish fifth. Kilduff was 4-2 in the tournament with four pins.
Pelehach (182) went 3-2 in the tournament with three pins to finish sixth and earn a medal.
The top six finishers in each weight class advanced to the State Open at the Floyd Little Athletic Center on the campus of Hillhouse High in New Haven.
Connolly picked up three wins at the Open while Titus won two matches.
Connolly (39-7) beat Greenwich’s Emanuel Lai with a pin (2:49) in his first match before getting pinned by eventual State Open champion Justin Mastroianni of New Canaan in 5:17.
Connolly won his next two bouts with victories over East Catholic’s Noah Vail, 9-1, and Stonington’s Samual Light (pin, 2:32). But he fell one victory shy of earning a medal in a 5-3 loss to Xavier’s Quinn Moynihan.
Titus (36-11) won his opening match with a pin of Pomperaug’s Joseph Mastrioanni (3:41) but was beaten by eventual State Open champion Michael Rapuano of Xavier by pin (2:32).
Titus remained alive with a 1-0 win over Griswold’s Aiden Christie thanks to a second period escape but Titus was eliminated in a 7-2 loss to Jake DeFonce of Abbott Tech in Danbury.
Webb (35-8) beat Woodland’s Elias Sturdevant, 8-2 and went 1-2 at the State Open while Kilduff (36-10) also picked up a win at 170 with a pin of Staples’ Jacob Qin in 3:58. Fluckiger (34-9) and Pelehach (29-18) each went 0-2 at the State Open.
2019 CIAC Class S championships
Team results – 1. Gilbert-Winsted 193½, 2. Montville 190, 3. Haddam-Killingworth 162, 4. Windham 145½, 5. Griswold 138, 6. Canton 123, 7. Northwestern 120, 8. Nonnewaug 109, 9. Plainville 98, 10. East Catholic 88, 11. Rocky Hill 54½, 12. Morgan 52, 13. Somers 50, 14. Granby 45, 15. Stafford 43½, 16. St. Paul 43, 17. Oxford 39, 18. Terryville 35½, 19. Derby 33, 20. Portland 32½, 21. East Windsor 30½, 22. East Hampton 27, 23. Valley Regional 26, 24. Coventry and Stonington 24, 26. St. Joseph-Trumbull 22, 27. Notre Dame-Fairfield 18, 28. Thomaston/Holy Cross/Litchfield 17, 29. Bolton, Seymour and Woodland 14, 32. SMSA-Hartford 3
Final: Jacob Marselli (East Catholic) pin Blake Chapman (Montville), 1:02
3. Cameron Hines (Haddam-Killingworth) dec. Ethan Titus (Canton), 4-3
5. Aiden Christie (Griswold) pin Nick Faraci (Rocky Hill), 2:59
Final: Dylan Levesque (East Hampton) dec. Elijah Vertefeuille (Windham), 3-1
3. Matt Webb (Canton) dec. Tyler Arsenault (Griswold), 7-0
5. Derek Debbis (Montville) dec. Elias Sturdevant (Woodland), 6-4 O
Final: Kevin Fantoli (Windham) pin Thomas Verdiglione (Nonnewaug), 2:27
3. Benjamin Williams (Haddam-Killingworth) dec. Cooper Barrett (Somers), 12-0
5. Jayden Colon (Montville) dec. Thomas Chappa (Oxford), 7-0
Final: Angelo Folino (Northwestern) tech fall Quinn Bond (Montville), 16-1, 4:00
3. Joshua Loza (Rocky Hill) tech fall Hermin Pomales (Windham), 16-1, 5:00
5. Dominic Pedrolini (Plainville) dec. Colden Williamson (Nonnewaug), 2-0
Final: Louis Bradley (Morgan) dec. Devin Matthews (Gilbert), 8-7
3. Tristan Julian (Stafford) dec. Matthew Durant (East Catholic), 7-0
5. Wyatt Wright (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Anthony Deicicchi (Seymour), 0:43
Final: Nick Barber (Gilbert) dec. Samual Light (Stonington), 4-2, OT
3. Richard Lawton (Portland) dec. Noah Vail (East Catholic), 7-0
5. Brian Connolly (Canton) pin Owen Bogli (Granby), 3:35
Final: Marcos Rodriguez (Windham) dec. Caleb Leclerc (Terryville), 6-5
3. Christopher Rivera (East Catholic) pin Ben Niez-Charest (Nonnewaug), 0:51
5. Zack McLellan (Gilbert) injury default over Nicholas Glynn (Haddam-Killingworth), 3-2, 4:59
Final: Kyle Matthews (Gilbert) dec. Ian Anderson (Montville), 9-3
3. Alex Hernandez (Plainville) pin Connor Smith (St Joseph), 2:16
5. Kaleb Carlson (Bolton) pin Mark Delima (Notre Dame-Fairfield), 2:39
Final: Joshua Schwartz (Northwestern) pin Dakota Gardner (Griswold), 0:28
3. Zackarie Navarrete (Montville) dec. Jose Candia (Windham), 9-7
5. Samuel Martino (Oxford) dec. Kyle Voisine (Plainville), 8-7
Final: Alex Smith (Gilbert) dec. Tyler Perez (Granby), 4-1
3. Nate Tardif East (East Windsor) dec. Flori Cenkolli (Nonnewaug), 7-1
5. Austin Kilduff (Canton) pin Cadan Odom (Griswold), 0:58
Final: Jack Cronin (Nonnewaug) pin Stephen Sims (Griswold), 2:18
3. Matthew Carson (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Elijah Pasternack (Gilbert), 2:25
5. Kaleb Korona (Plainville) dec. James Pelehach (Canton), 5-0
Final: Johnny Falco (Griswold) dec. Jamikael Lytle (Northwestern), 17-15, OT
3. Nate Bartone (Derby) dec. John Vignone (Coventry), 7-3
5. Kevin Sullivan (Gilbert) pin Zach Doiron (Montville), 2:27
Final: Aidan Maher (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Ben Foligno (St. Paul), 0:23
3. Braydon Fluckiger (Canton) dec. Cory Carr (Griswold), 6-3
5. Travis Boone (Plainville) pin Bajrum Gutic (Gilbert), 4:56
Final: Darrick Deveau (Montville) pin Ben Falivene (Valley Regional), 1:26
3. Thomas Perry (Haddam-Killingworth) pin Nole Snieckus (Northwestern), 0:58
5. Domonic Zuccalo (Somers) pin Dylan Keith (Gilbert), 1:14
Outstanding wrestler: Louis Bradley, Morgan (132)
Brackets on Flo
Photos from the Class S tournament