Warde displays it's top 10 form at FCIACs

Fairfield Warde’s Colin Ventura (top) works on pinning Danbury’s Jarek LaPlant in 1:47 of their 160-pound semifinal at FCIACs on Saturday. Ventura went on to become one of four Mustangs to take home individual titles. (Photo by Dave Stewart)

Fairfield Warde’s Colin Ventura (top) works on pinning Danbury’s Jarek LaPlant in 1:47 of their 160-pound semifinal at FCIACs on Saturday. Ventura went on to become one of four Mustangs to take home individual titles.
(Photo by Dave Stewart)

Fairfield Warde, the state’s seventh-ranked team, wrestled well after a snow delayed start to the 2014 Joe Sikorsky FCIAC Wrestling Championship on Feb. 15.
Coach Jason Shaughnessy’s Mustangs placed wrestlers in 13-of-15 weight and sent six to the finals. They crowned four champions: Tim Kane 113 pounds; Dylan Bender 138 pounds, Colin Ventura 160 pounds and Ahmed Hourani heavyweight division.
“This was a good day,” Shaughnessy said. “We have three of the top ten teams in the state in the FCIAC (Danbury, Warde and Trumbull) and Greenwich and Ludlowe are dominant programs that in the end didn’t have the depth today.”
Dan Ebert (126 pounds) and Utsav Shrestha (99 pounds) both finished second on the day.
Danbury finished first with 260 to capture its 27th title in the last 28 years.
Warde, who won the title in 2010, was second with 215 points. Trumbull was third (184), Fairfield Ludlowe (129) fourth and Greenwich fifth (139).
99 pounds: Shrestha was pinned by Danbury’s Chris Sam at the 5:22 mark after a back and forth battle. The second-seeded senior advanced to the finals with a pin in 3:24 and a 12-4 major decision.
106 pounds: Sophomore Jack Price secured a third-place finish with a 5-4 decision over Brandon Aguda Greenwich. Seeded third, he won by 5:12 fall in the quarterfinals before losing a 7-0 decision to Ludlowe’s George Wales, who placed second, in the semifinals. In his first wrestleback he won a 6-2 decision.
113 pounds: A freshman, Kane had a dominant tournament with a 38-second pin, a 16-0 victory by technical fall and 8-0 major decision in the finals over highly regarded and second-seeded Jeremy Fields of Danbury. The top-seeded Kane opened the title bout with a four-point spladle almost earning the fall before settling in for a dominant 8-0 win.
120 pounds: Matt Coppola wrestled tough losing 5-4 in the consolation semifinals and falling one match short of placing. Seeded eighth, he won his first match with a 7-2 decision before losing by first-period fall to top-seeded Chris Bryant from Danbury, the eventual champion.
126 pounds: Ebert had a strong performance before losing a tough 2-1 decision to a strong Cross Cannone from Trumbull in the finals. The second-seeded Cannone got the takedown with 36 seconds remaining in the opening period. The two-point advantage held up until the 52-second mark of the second stanza, when Ebert used a granby roll to escape. Ebert was unable to turn the defensive-minded Cannone in the final frame. Seeded first, Ebert won by 1:26 and 3:34 fall before the final.
132 pounds: Aaron Beinstein wrestled in a stacked weight and placed sixth on the day. Seeded sixth, he won in the first round by fall in 1:42 before being knocked into wrestle backs (10-2 by third-place finisher Kevin Side of Ridgefield). Beinstein won his first consolation match by 1:47 pin.
138 pounds: Bender used some early back points in the finals to hang on to a 5-2 decision over Steve Beckam of Danbury. A top-seeded senior, Bender had Beckham in trouble with 32 seconds left in the second, but the Hatter didn’t allow the back points. Beckham escaped with 17 seconds left in the stanza. In the third period, Bender erased a stalling point with an escape of his own. He scored a pin in 2:54 and a 16-1 win by technical fall to gain the final.
145 pounds: Late season fill in Manny Colon showed his talent with a sixth-place finish from the 10th seed. He opened with a 5-2 decision before losing to second-seeded Matt Fields of Danbury. He won a 3-2 decision in his first consolation match.
152 pounds: Anthony Rotz had a solid day finishing fourth. He lost a tight 3-0 match for third. Rotz moved to the semis with a first-period pin and a 7-6 decision, before losing 7-0 to top-seeded and eventual champion Stephen Briganti of Trumbull.
160 pounds: Ventura matched his brother Marcio’s 2010 accomplishment of securing an FCIAC individual title. Down 1-0 to Trumbull’s second-seeded Joey Ryan, the top-seeded Ventura used a modified granby roll with 30 seconds left for a two-point reversal and then rode out the win. Marcio had clinched Fairfield’s first FCIAC team champion in 2010 with a win in the 215-pound class.
170 pounds: Mike Sheets had a solid day with a fourth-place finish. He lost 6-5 in the consolation final. Sheets, seeded fourth, won by first-period fall and then lost to top-seeded and eventual champion Johnny Garcia from Danbury in the semifinals. In wrestlebacks, he won 4-0 before losing to the third-seeded Juston Montier of Greenwich.
182 pounds: Dave Abraham, seeded 12th, got caught early in the first match of the tournament and lost by fall to fifth-seeded Nate Pfohl from Ridgefield, who took fifth.
195 pounds: Alex Mayer was seeded second and placed third. He opened with a pin in 2:15 then lost by second-period fall to eventual runner-up Marcus Joyner from Danbury. In wrestlebacks, Mayer posted pins in 1:25 and 1:19.
220 pounds: Fayez Shaham, a senior, placed fifth. He lost to Brien McMahon’s third-seeded Justis Lewis, who placed third, in his opener. In his first wrestleback, the sixth-seeded Shaham pinned in 1:46.
285 pounds: Undefeated senior Ahmed Hourani continued his dominant ways with two pins to become FCIAC champion. He pinned fourth-seeded Malaki Holan from New Canaan in 58 seconds and won the title with a pin in 1:40 of second-seeded Joe Fraccaroli from Wilton.
Warde will compete in the Class L Championships Friday night and all day Saturday at Bristol Central High School.

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