At 120, Rheaume wrestled a nearly flawless first two periods in the finals, jumping to a 5-0 lead, and then held on for a 9-4 decision over Mount Anthony’s Dylan LaFountain. Drover was also ahead 5-0 after two periods in the 160-pound finals against Springfield Central’s talented Jon Viruet but he had to hold on for a 5-4 victory.
Neals struggled to defeat Tewksbury’s Tim Martel, 2-1, in the semifinals but he came out aggressive in the finals and recorded a first-period pin for the title.
In the duel of the night, Methuen’s Paul Sughrue lost his first match of the year in the 132-pound finals against Mount Anthony’s undefeated Miguel Calixto, who is a three-time Connecticut champion who transferred. Calixto, who was named the tourney Outstanding Wrestler, got a takedown with five seconds left in the first period for a 2-0 lead and then, with Sughrue needing to take chances, pulled away for a 9-3 decision.
Another area star, North Andover sophomore Fritz Hoehn, suffered only his second loss of the season in the 152-pound finals. With his shoulder appearing to be ailing, he was pinned by Andrew Labrie of Exeter West (R.I.) in the first period.
Also for North Andover, which was missing several starters (as was Mount Anthony and Methuen), Peter Taylor was runner-up at 113, getting pinned by Mount Anthony’s Troy Gassaway.
The tournament title was the sixth of the year for Mount Anthony, which is also unbeaten in dual meets. The Patriots had four champions and four runners-up.
“We’re wrestling well now, but I don’t know what will happen from here,” said Mount Anthony coach Scott Legacy. “I thought we had the team to win New England last year and we didn’t do it (finishing runner-up to Timberlane). But this is a good tournament and we’re happy to win it.”