By Dave Dyer
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Even another sacrifice by junior star Brad Drover, the continued success of the “Big Three” and a late rally couldn’t save short-handed North Andover yesterday.
Winchester, thanks to six pins and a major decision, was too much in the finals of the 16-team North Andover Dual-Meet Tournament, defeating the host Knights 40-32.
The tournament was pretty much a replacement of the defunct Division 2 state dual-meet tournament.
That’s the way Winchester coach Larry Tremblay, whose team improved to 29-2, viewed it.
“To me, this is the Division 2 state duals,” said Tremblay, who won his 600th match two weeks ago. “You’ve got North Attleboro, which was undefeated, and North Andover is the defending (Division 2) champion and a great team. I know they were missing some kids but, whether they have a full lineup or not, it’s a great win. Staying healthy is part of the sport.”
Starting at 126 pounds, Nick Villalba put North Andover in the early lead with an 8-1 decision, but Winchester recorded three straight pins to take an 18-3 lead. Wins by the “Big Three” of Fritz Hoehn (tech. fall), Brad Drover (10-4 decision) and Ryan Neals (pin) brought the Knights to within three, 22-17, but another string of three straight pins gave the Sachems an insurmountable 40-17 lead.
Hoehn improved to 30-2 with his dominating performance. Neals remained one of the few unbeaten wrestlers in the state with a 28-0 mark, recording pins at :44 in the semifinals (a 43-25 victory over Central Catholic) and 1:22 in the finals.
Drover, meanwhile, improved to 31-1 on the year, winning 10-4 over Winchester’s Joseph Fallon at 170 pounds.
Fallon entered the match with a 40-5 record as one of Winchester’s top wrestlers and Drover bumped up from 160 as he has done frequently over the last month depending on what the team needs.
“It’s tough sometimes, but I don’t mind — whatever the coach needs,” said Drover. “I think it will help me in the (state) tournament when I go back down.”
North Andover did rally with three straight wins to narrow the final score and two of the wins were huge.
At 106, Danielle Coughlin controlled Jordan Darby, winning 8-2 and handing Darby (30-2) just his second loss of the season. At 120, Marco Petrosillo pinned Nick Stern at 1:17. Stern finished third in the state at 113 last year.
In between, Peter Taylor pinned his man at 113 to improve to 25-6 on the year.
North Andover will now regroup and gear for Wednesday’s MVC showdown at Lawrence.
In the third-place match, North Attleboro defeated Central Catholic 40-27, dropping the Raiders to 14-9 on the year.
Brandon Desfosses, Pat Lacroix, Dave Sergi and Ben Tavitian all went 4-0 on the day for the Raiders. Lacroix has lost just once all year, Desfosses twice and Tavitian three times.
North Andover Dual Tournament
Team scores: Winchester 48, St. John’s-Shrewsbury 9; Winchester 51, Milford 18; Winchester 44, North Attleboro 19; Winchester 40, North Attleboro 19; North Andover 38, Woburn 6; North Andover 45, Needham 20; North Andover 43, Central Catholic 25; Central Catholic 57, Gr. Lawrence 9; Central Catholic 45, Pembroke 29; North Attleboro 40, Central Catholic 27; Wakefield 49, Gr. Lawrence 30
North Andover vs. Central Catholic (semifinals):
106: Danielle Coughlin (NA) pin Tom Pagliarulo 1:10; 113: Peter Taylor (NA) dec. Jack Kiely 9-5; 120: Brandon Desfosses (CC) major dec. A.J. Neukuckatz 18-5; 126: Pat Lacroix (CC) pin Marco Petrosillo 2:20; 132: Omar Elbetenony (NA) dec. Riley Sergi 6-4; 138: Matt Alexander (NA) pin Julio Hernandez 5:30; 145: Cooper McLeod (NA) pin Donovan Nolan 3:56;
152: Fritz Hoehn (NA) tech. fall Reese Gemmell 18-3; 160: Brad Drover (NA) pin Jack Putnam 1:17; 170: Dave Sergi (CC) dec. Bryan Sabet 11-7; 182: Ryan Neals (NA) pin Pat Dzcidics :44 ; 195: Owen Rosenberger (NA) dec. Zach Djanco 3-1; 220: Ben Tavitian (CC) pin Elijah Declet :30; HVY: Dave Veilleux (CC) pin Jake Caporale 1:32
North Andover vs. Winchester (Final):
106: Danielle Coughlin (NA) dec. Jordan Darby 8-2; 113: Peter Taylor (NA) pin Jarrod Martin 3:27; 120: Marco Petrosillo (NA) pin Nick Stern 1:17; 126: Nick Villalba (NA) dec. Emerson Noar 8-1; 132: Quinn Gregory (W) pin Matt Alexander 1:04; 138: Garrett Ludwig (W) pin Alejandro Pelaez 3:27;
145: Andrew Piispanen (W) pin Cooper McLeod 2:51; 152: Fritz Hoehn (NA) tech. fall Anthony Freumani 18-3; 160: Doug MacDonald (W) major dec. 9-0; 170: Brad Drover (NA) dec. Joseph Fallon 10-4; 182: Ryan Neals (NA) pin Cole King 1:22; 195: Jake Kelly (W) pin Owen Rosenberger (NA) 5:20; 220: T.J. Boudreau (W) pin John Ortiz 1:10; HVY: Dan McGurl (W) pin Alex Inangelo :58