Wrestling: Bout at 220 pounds energizes match
Two things you don’t expect to see when a pair of FCIAC wrestling programs take the mat took place when coach Niko Filippakis’ Trumbull High team played host to coach Paul Gallo’s New Canaan Rams on Wednesday.
First was the score. Trumbull handily defeated the Rams, who only brought seven wrestlers to fill the 14 classes, giving up seven 6-point forfeits in the Eagles’ 71-6 decision.
The other anomaly occurred in the 220-pound bout, much to the delight of the large crowd on hand to watch the season opener for both teams.
Trumbull’s Mike Maresca and New Canaan’s Nick Kortman earned Men of the Match honors for the six minutes of infighting that took place in a weight class that on most occasions is determined by fall.
Kortman had a distinct height advantage, which the sophomore used to his advantage when the rivals were in the neutral position throughout the match. Maresca on the other hand, tried not to get tied up and looked for single or double-leg takedowns.
What had fans and teammates revved up was the duo’s ability to turn the circle into a two-man matchup of acrobatics, which is usually reserved for the lower weight classes.
Maresca took a 7-1 lead after one two-minute period, with an escape point from Kortman drawing gasps from the crowd as he seemingly flicked Maresca out of bounds from what looked to be a commanding position.
It was Maresca’s turn to wow the fans when the junior somehow turned a one-arm attempt from the bottom into a somersaulting reversal to open the second period.
In the final minute, Kortman fought through a single-leg hold off a restart to take the score to 9-3.
Maresca asked for and received an injury timeout before the final period, so that the Eagle could used his asthma inhaler and put air back into his lungs. Kortman was happy with the 16 second reprieve.
On the restart, Kortman looked for the throw from the neutral position. Maresca fought off all attempts and scored a takedown at the 1:28 mark.
Kortman somehow escaped with 37 ticks left, but couldn’t get the combination takedown-pin he sought. The match appropriately enough, finished with both wrestlers, while staggering, still on their feet.
Trumbull’s Matt Ryan took on New Canaan’s Nick Khzouz at 113 pounds to begin the wrestling. The Eagle’s freshman made the most of his varsity debut with a win by third period fall. Ryan scored an early takedown and the match moved into the second period. After an escape by Khzouz, Ryan used an ankle pick to take his lead to 4-1.
From the bottom, Ryan worked a reversal at 1:42 of the third, before stacking his opponent for the pin call at the 4:47 mark.
Trumbull’s Tristan Haviland, an FCIAC runner-up as a sophomore, met Ram sophomore Luigi DeRubeis at 120 pounds. Haviland scored his fall in 41 seconds.
At 132 pounds, Nate Sibbett of New Canaan faced off with the Eagles’ Michael Mirmina, who as a sophomore placed fifth at FCIACs. Mirmina scored a takedown with a duck-under move, but the freshman Sibbett fought off all other point attempts in the first period.
The second period found the duo battling, with Mirmina shooting and Sibbett using the sprawl to remain on his feet. The third time proved to be a charm for Mirmina, who got the two points for a 4-0 advantage.
Mirmina caught a leg and stepped over from the bottom and added three back points — Sibbett fought off his back and scored a two-point reversal with 57 seconds remaining. Mirmina’s late reversal made for an 11-2 final.
The 138-pound bout between Trumbull junior Adam Giammattei and New Canaan freshman Christian Sibbett was the match of the meet before the 220’s took home honors.
Giammattei led 2-1 after one period and 3-1 in the second when he fought off a throw try by Sibbett for takedown. Sibbett escaped quickly, but the Eagle somehow executed a cradle-like takedown from his feet for a 7-2 lead.
Sibbett got free and reversed Giammattei early in the third looked to put in a half. But an escape plus a locking hands call boosted the score to 9-4. Giammattei, who had no luck with a double-leg takedown throughout against a stout defense by Sibbett, stayed with the move and tallied a late takedown to complete the 11-3 victory.
At 170 pounds, Trumbull junior Michael Greco got the takedown on New Canaan junior Rajon Mitchell, sunk both legs in and finally turned the Ram at the 1:31 mark.
New Canaan’s Ryan Russo, a sixth-place finisher at FCIACs as a sophomore, saw Trumbull senior Matt Alegi build up a 4-0 lead before he scored a reversal and two back points at the first-period buzzer to forge a 4-4 tie.
From the bottom, Russo gained a reversal and got the pin call 2:34 into the match.
Garnering wins by forfeit for Trumbull were Christopher Smaniotto (103 pounds), Alex Greco (126 pounds), Dante Montanaro (145 pounds), Brian Wallace (152 pounds), Chris Briganti (160 pounds), Joey Ryan (182 pounds) and Desmond Washington (heavyweight).
Trumbull will host a Junior Varsity Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 9 a.m. with New Canaan competing in the event. The Eagles’ varsity will host Greenwich High on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 3 p.m.