By Mike Wertman
Medina Journal-Register — ALBANY — A year ago as a junior he fell just one point short of earning a state title but on Saturday Roy-Hart senior Drew Hull (145) got that point back with interest and a coveted state wrestling championship.
A two point takedown proved to be just enough to earn Hull a 2-0 victory in the championship bout over Frank Garcia (Norwich — Section IV).
“It didn’t feel good last year losing by a point but this feels great to end this way,” said Hull by phone moments after capturing the title. “He chose down and I got the takedown, Top wrestling is my best position. The only thing close was the score as I controlled every move and never felt in danger.”
“Drew wrestled very, very smart,” said Roy-Hart coach Kevin Lawson. “He lost by a point last year and he made sure it wasn’t going to happen again. I couldn’t be more proud of him. It’s huge for him, for Roy-Hart and for our league.”
Hull, who finishes the season with a 44-0 record, becomes Roy-Hart’s first state champion since Lou Roselli claimed his second title in 1988.
Hull advanced to the finals with decision wins of 5-1 over Sal Mazzella (Highland — Section IX) in the opening round, 11-2 over Kyle Mulcahy (Corinth — Section II) in the quarterfinals and 4-2 over fourth seeded Jude Gardner (Fredonia) in a rematch of the recent Section VI final.
After surviving two overtime bouts to gain the finals, Medina High senior Matt Montesanti (285) dropped an 8-3 decision to Matt Abbott (Windsor — Section IV) in the championship bout.
Breaking a 1-1 deadlock, Montesanti took a 2-1 lead at the outset of the decisive third period with an escape.
Abbott countered with a takedown but Montesanti quickly pulled even again at 3-3 with another escape.
However, Abbott again countered with a takedown for a 5-3 lead and this time Montesanti could not answer back. Abbott then put a lock on the title with a three point near fall and an 8-3 victory.
“Matt stayed aggressive in the third period,” Medina coach Eric Gross said.” He knew the other kid would shoot but he was going for it and didn’t want to get called for stalling and he got a little tired.”
Montesanti opened the competition with a quick pin of 2:06 over Robert Incorvia (Cold Spring Harbor — Section VII) but then needed tense back-to-back double overtime wins to stay alive.
First in the quarterfinals Montesanti downed Wyatt Morris (Morrisville-Eaton — Section III) 8-2. He then nipped second seeded Brandon Fayle (Lowville — Section III) 2-1 in the semifinals. In that match, he had to use virtually all of his blood and injury time to try to deal with a gash on the bridge of his nose suffered early in the match. He finally went to using a mask for the overtime periods.
“Matt knew he could do it,” said Gross of Montesanti’s marathon semifinal win. “He kept believing in himself and digging deep.”
Montesanti, who finishes the season at 34-1, becomes the third member of his family to compete in the state championships. His brother Sam competed in 2007 and his brother Dominic qualified four times in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 placing third his senior year.
“We’re very proud of what Matt has accomplished,” Gross said. “He came to prove himself and he wrestled well.”
Holley’s senior duo of Mike Silvis (220) and Andrew Flanagan (99) earned third and fifth place finishes respectively.
Silvis, who was seeded No. 4, opened the competition with a pin of 5:10 over Luke McKee (Peru — Section VII) and a 7-3 quarterfinal decision win over Steven Warthling (Tonawanda), However, he then dropped a 3-1 decision in the semifinals to Zack Bacon (Hornell) in what was a rematch of the recent Section V finals.
Rebounding, Silvis battled back in the consolation bracket to decision Joe Nellis (Johnstown — Section II) 7-1 and Dan Breit (Nanuet- Section I) 5-3 to take third place.
Flanagan, who was seeded No. 2, likewise opened strong with a quick pin of 1:16 over Garon Leclair (Corinth — Section II) and a 7-4 quarterfinal decision win over Hammond Raes (Midlakes — Section V).
However, he then dropped a narrow last second 6-4 decision in the semifinals to Derek Spann (Adirondack — Section III).
In the consolation bracket, Flanagan lost 3-1 in overtime to Ryan Hetrick (Southwestern) but bounded back to scored an 11-0 major decision win over Theo Powers (Mexico — Section III) to take fifth place.
Silvis finishes the season at 50-3 and Flanagan at 50-5.