LOWELL — Sophomore Ryan Peters wasn’t the only Timberlane wrestler disappointed by his performance at the national “Beast of the East” tournament in Delaware over the Christmas vacation, but he may have been the most resolved to do something about it.
“I definitely wasn’t happy about it,’ said Peters, who was 1-2 at the Beast. “I started working on some things in practice with coach (Barry Chooljian) and I knew I needed better endurance.”
Whatever Peters has done in the last 10 days, it seemed to work yesterday as he captured the 138-pound class at the highly regarded 72-team Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament with an overtime pin over Canton’s rugged Quinn Merrigan.
That victory and pin helped lift the Owls to second place overall with 183 points, trailing only Vermont power Mt. Anthony (248) and edging Springfield Central by three points.
Londonderry, led by 132-pound champ Jean-Luc Lemieux, was fifth with 161 points while North Andover, paced by 170-pound champ Brad Drover, came in sixth with 154.
That a rebuilding Timberlane squad was able to finish second to Mt. Anthony was somewhat of a surprise because the Owls were as far back as 15th in the standings early in the day.
But junior Dan Scalzo came in second at 145, senior Tyler Fitzpatrick enjoyed an outstanding tournament to place third at 120, Derek Bohle and Brian Lonergan came in fourth at 132 and 160 respectively and Tim McLinden grabbed a fifth at 126.
“I liked the way we competed and battled back,” said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian. “We had to play catchup and to finish second here with what we’ve been through is pretty darn good.”
No one battled as hard as Peters. In a match of non-stop motion, Peters and Merrigan were tied 0-0, 7-7 and 12-12 after the first three periods. Then in overtime, Peters got the takedown and followed with a pin in 28 seconds.
“It was a tough match but I could have kept going longer,” said Peters, a transfer last year from Wells, Maine. “I knew we needed the points and I always try to wrestle for the team. My goal is to win every tournament, but I owe a lot to coach Chooljian for this one.”
Peters’ match was one of most exciting of the finals and Fitzpatrick’s win was one of the best duels for third place. He got a late reversal to nip Ryan Monteiro of Minnechaug, 6-5.
While winning their weight classes, Lemieux and Drover remained undefeated on the year, but that proved much tougher for Drover than Lemieux.
Drover was in a dogfight with Manchester Central’s Keaton Peterson in the 170 finals. After a scoreless first period and leading 1-0 heading into the third, he was trailing 2-1 late in the match. But he kept grinding in the final minute and finally got a reversal with 10 seconds left to secure a 3-2 victory.
For the Knights, who returned to the tournament this year after more than a decade, it was the first victory at Lowell by a North Andover wrestler since 1994.
Lemieux, by contrast, was in control the whole way against Mt. Anthony’s Dylan Lafountain and took a 5-0 decision.
The only local wrestler unsuccessful in the finals other than Scalzo was Haverhill 220-pounder Samie Al-Ziab. He fell to Exeter West, R.I.’s Carl Neff 7-1 in the finals.
Hoehn takes third
In perhaps the toughest weight class of the tournament, at 152 pounds, North Andover’s Fritz Hoehn settled for third after a dominating 10-1 major decision in the consolation finals. He had lost to Springfield Central’s Richard Viruet 11-3 in the semifinals, but Viruet fell to Exeter West’s Christian Labrie in the finals, 7-3.
Viruet’s brother, Jonathan, gained some family revenge in the very next match, however, edging Exeter West’s Andrew Labrie 1-0 in a repeat battle between brothers. The Labrie twins are defending New England champions headed to Brown University next year.
Other third places went to Londonderry’s Will Bean, who avenged a dual-meet loss to Lonergan with a 6-4 decision in the 160-pound consolation finals; Londonderry’s Kyle Byrd, who was third at 170; Haverhill transfer Jordan Faulkner, who slipped past Londonderry’s Richard Bilodeau at 195; and Lawrence’s Anfernee Green, who edged Bohle 4-3 in overtime.
Pinkerton’s Kevin Ell settled for fourth at 220 after losing a tough 4-3 overtime decision in the consolation finals.
Mighty Mt. Anthony
Defending New England champion Mt. Anthony was as good as advertised, placing five wrestlers in the finals and crowning three champions. Troy Gassaway (120), Austin Price (182) and heavyweight Jesse Webb were all impressive winners. Webb is a defending New England champion, Gassaway was a New England runner-up last year and Price was fourth at New England.
Besides Lafountain, Mt. Anthony also had a runner-up at 195 in Tyler Mattison, who was a late pin victim at the hands of Nashua North’s Joe Chmelski.
In the most recent national poll, Mt. Anthony was ranked 25th.
“We’re very happy with the way we wrestled,” said Mt. Anthony coach Scott Legacy. “Every one of our kids won at least two matches and our stars came through like we hoped they would.”
Lowell Holiday Tournament
Top 20 team scores (72 teams): 1. Mt. Anthony 248, 2. Timberlane 183, 3. Springfield Central 180, 4. Exeter West, R.I., 161.5, 5. Londonderry 161, 6. North Andover 154, 7. Catholic Memorial 130, 8. Franklin 126, 9. Nashua North 120, 10. Lincoln-Sudbury 115, 11. Winchester 109 1/2, 12. Manchester Central 103, 13. Chelmsford 101 1/2, 14. Shawsheen 97 1/2, 15. Mt. Hope, R.I. 93, 16. Concord 88, 17. Pinkerton 87 1/2, 18. Billerica 86, 19. Lawrence 78, 20. Reading 76
Winners and top local placers:
106: 1. Colin Aquino (Catholic Memorial); 113: 1. Marcel Laplante (Nashua North), 6. Peter Taylor (NA); 120: 1. Troy Gassaway (Mt. Anthony), 3. Tyler Fitzpatrock (Tim), 7. Jack Kiely (CC); 126: 1. Jon Ryan (Dracut), 3. Dan Villalba (NA), 5. Tim McLinden (Tim); 132: 1. Jean-Luc Lemieux (Lon), 3. Anfernee Green (Law), 4. Derek Bohle (Tim), 6. Brandon Desfosses (CC), 7. Nick Villalba (NA); 138: 1. Ryan Peters (Tim); 145: 1. Azalkhov Sarvalov (Manchester Central), 2, Dan Scalzo (Tim);
152: 1. Christian Labrie (Exeter West, R.I.), 3. Fritz Hoehn (NA), 7. Brett Wilson (Pink); 160: Jonathan Viruet (Springfield Central), 3. Will Bean (Lon), 4. Brian Lonergan (Tim); 170: 1. Brad Drover (NA), 3. Kyle Byrd (Lon), 7. Dylan Barreiro (Pink); 182: 1. Austin Price (Mt. Anthony), 8. Sebastien Rozczencko (Lon); 195: 1. Joe Chmelski (Nashua North), 3. Jordan Faulkner (Hav), 4. Richard Bilodeau (Lon); 220: 1. Carl Neff (Exeter West), 2. Samie Al-Ziab (Hav), 4. Kevin Ell (Pink), 7. Morgan Bronson (CC); HVY: 1. Jesse Webb (Mt. Anthony)