PROVIDENCE — Chalk one up for Mount Anthony in the race for supremacy in New England wrestling.
The Vermont power from Bennington has been playing second fiddle to Timberlane for most of the last decade, but yesterday the Patriots took over the top rung in impressive fashion.
The Patriots, who were 24-0 in dual meets and had won six tournaments during the regular season, placed three wrestlers in the finals and rolled to the crown with 109 points. They easily outdistanced five-time defending champion and runner-up Timberlane (69 1/2), which struggled mightily in quarterfinal action earlier in the day, and North Andover, which came in fourth with 61 points.
The New England crown was the first for Mount Anthony since 2004 and the seventh overall for Mount Anthony, which puts the Patriots three behind Timberlane. Like last year, the Patriots were the pretournament favorite but, unlike a year ago, they delivered big time.
“We had a different approach this year,” said Mount Anthony coach Scott Legacy, who is in his 28th year as head man. “We wrestled tight last year and we lost matches because of it. This year, we came in loose but tried to keep up the intensity.
“This morning, it looked like a typical Mount Anthony-Timberlane battle, but we wrestled great today. We won the close ones. It’s a good feeling, but it’s also a relief.”
Mt. Anthony crowned champions at 132 with Miguel Calixto, who remained unbeaten after holding off Framingham’s Johnny Do, 8-6, and at heavyweight, where All-American Jesse Webb recorded a pin to push his season record to 59-0.
Also for Mt. Anthony, 113-pounder Troy Gassaway finished second.
The Patriots’ performance overshadowed an outstanding tournament for North Andover’s Big Three of Fritz Hoehn (152), Brad Drover (160) and Ryan Neals (182), who recorded a fourth and two seconds to lead the Knights to fourth place.