TYNGSBORO — North Andover didn’t need the extra points, but that didn’t prevent heavyweight Jake Caporale from putting an exclamation point on the Scarlet Knights’ rout at the Division 2 North wrestling sectional at Greater Lowell yesterday.
Seeded fourth among the 285-pound wrestlers, the senior scored an escape with less than a second left in regulation before squeezing out a 5-4 victory over Whittier’s David Sachs with another last-second escape in quadruple overtime.
“I knew if I stood up, I’d win,” Caporale said. “I emptied the tank and won. (Coming into the day) I knew I had a chance of winning. I was the fourth seed but I’d beaten the Whittier kid (5-3) earlier in the season.
“And the Reading kid had beat me (by pin), but I was up when he rolled me. I knew I had to work hard, but if I did, I knew I would win.”
The Reading kid was top-seeded Matthew Ferraro, who had recorded a pin in 16 seconds before Caporale knocked him into the consolations with a 7-3 semifinal victory.
“It’s unbelievable,” North Andover coach Carl Cincotta of Caporale’s victory. “What a way to end the night with his win. For a kid that only won a couple of matches last year to be a sectional champion this year is just incredible. It’s a great, great win.”
The Scarlet Knights, who won four of their eight title matches, ran away with the team championship, racking up 232.5 points. Reading finished a distant second with 170. Central Catholic was fourth with 141, Whittier sixth with 132 and Greater Lawrence 11th in the 12-team field.
North Andover advanced nine wrestlers to this weekend’s Division 2 state tournament, Central Catholic, which won two of its three championship bouts, will send five while Whittier advanced six and Greater Lawrence one.
“I thought we could have nine finalists, and we did,” Cincotta said. “Some of them were outside shots. I would’ve obviously liked to have won more in the finals.”
One of the best matches of the night was the 132-pound bout between defending champion Zane Mellilo of North Andover, who had recorded pins in his first three matches, and Central sophomore Brandon DesFossas, who walked off with a 9-8 decision.
DesFossas, who missed more than a month with a shoulder injury, used his takedown ability to win the tight battle. He repeatedly let the Knight senior escape while recording four takedowns in the match — the first ever between the local grapplers.
“I feel like I’m mostly dominant on my feet compared to bottom and top,” said DesFossas, who returned to the mat Feb. 6. “So I thought the best game plan for me was to keep taking him down, and in the end it worked.
The only other championship pitting local rivals was at 106 pounds where Central sophomore Tom Pagliarulo downed North Andover freshman Jack Perry 6-3.
Other sectional champs were Peter Taylor (113) and returning champs Fritz Hoehn (160) and unbeaten Brad Drover (170) from North Andover. The remaining second-place finishers were Dan Villalba (126) from North Andover, Morgan Bronson (220) from Central Catholic and Tyler Tannian (138) from Whittier.
“We have a tough week ahead of us,” Cincotta said about state. “We have to win the state tournament. These kids really want to win their fifth in a row, and I’m going to get them mentally and physically ready for it.”
Division 2 North Sectional
Team scores: North Andover 232.5, Reading 170, Dracut 164.5, Central Catholic 141, Burlington 133.5, Whittier 132, Masconomet 129, Beverly 103.5, Tewksbury 89.5, Greater Lowell 84, Greater Lawrence 62, Salem 39
Winners and area placers (top 4 advance to state):
106: 1. Tom Pagliarulo (CC), 2. Jack Perry (NA), 6. Sam Richards, (Whi); 113: 1. Peter Taylor (NA), 5. Dan Doherty (CC); 120: 1. Peter Goulet (Dra), 3. Jack Kiely (CC); 126: 1. Jon Ryan (Dra), 2. Dan Villalba (NA), 4. Nathan Buzzell (Whi); 132: 1. Brandon DesFossas (CC), 2. Zane Mellilo (NA), 3. Xavier Boisveert (Whi); 138: 1. Nick Makrys (Rea), 2. Tyler Tannian (Whi), 4. Nick Villalba (NA); 145: 1. Steve Giampapa (Bur), 6. Gavin Henderson (Whi); 152: 1. Alex Webb (Rea), 2. Cooper McLeod (NA), 4. Donovan Nolan (CC); 160: 1. Fritz Hoehn (NA), 5. Christian Guttierez (GLaw); 170: 1. Brad Drover (NA), 6. Pedro Reyes (GLaw); 182: 1. Jacey Hebert (Dra), 3. Angel Martin (GLaw), 4. Jeremy Martinez (Whi); 195:1. Dan Donovan (Tew), 5. Jarred Garcia (GLaw), 6. Zach Janco (CC) ; 220: 1. Nick Jansen (Tew), Morgan Bronson (CC), 3. Jaylin Deveau (Whi) ; HVY: 1. Jake Caporale (NA), 2. David Sachs (Whi)