“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.