Wrestling: Drama filled Trumbull Duals

The Trumbull High wrestling team defeated Newtown High, 48-27, to place first in the nine-team Trumbull Duals on Saturday.

Coach Niko Filippakis’ No. 8 Eagles won Pool A with victories over Glastonbury, Pomperaug-Southbury and Foran-Milford. Nyack (N.Y.) didn’t make it to the event.

No. 1 ranked Newtown advanced with Pool B victories over Masuk-Monroe, Xavier-Middletown, Notre Dame-Fairfield and Londonderry (N.H.). Foran placed third with a win over No. 6 Xavier.

Newtown had a 27-24 lead with five of the 14 weight classes still to be wrestled.

Matt Ryan had a pin in 5:28 at 106 pounds and Tristan Haviland was awarded a forfeit at 113 pounds to stake the Eagles to a 36-27 advantage.

Alex Greco pinned in 2:41 at 120 pounds to secure the win.

Michael Mirmina earned a 2-0 decision at 126 pounds before Adam Giammattei completed the six-plus hours of wrestling with a 5-2 decision at 132.

While the final brought together the Pool champions; Trumbull’s match with No. 11 Foran High was the most entertaining. Trumbull was fifth in Class LL a year ago. Foran placed second in Class M. Both squads returned a strong nucleus and provided all on hand a reason to remain focused through the 14 bouts. It was no surprise that the match would be decided in the last bout.

Foran led 32-23 and sent heavyweight Luke Edmondson, a State Open runner-up a year ago, out to meet the Eagles’ Desmond Washington, who led 2-0 after one period and 4-3 after two.

Edmondson escaped in the third to send the match to a one-minute overtime.

Off a restart with 18 seconds left, Washington got behind Edmondson for the two-point takedown.

“That was a wrestling match,” Filippakis said. “Everyone is saying Desmond’s win is an upset, I don’t think it was at all. He shoots like a lightweight and I’m proud of him.”

Trumbull was within a pin of tying the match. Matt Ryan made that a reality when the sophomore scored a 35-second fall to tie things at 32.

That brought up a dream matchup between juniors Trumbull’s Tristan Haviland and Foran’s Gino Esposito.

Haviland placed third in Class LL as a sophomore. Esposito was second in Class M.

Haviland took a 4-0 lead 56 seconds into the match and that score stood up through a scoreless second period.

Esposito chose the neutral position for the third, then faked shooting underneath and got behind Haviland to make it 4-2 at the 1:50 mark. Haviland escaped at 1:33. Two restarts later, with 23 seconds on the clock, Esposito again looked to get around Haviland, but the Eagle hung him up as the clock ran out.

“That was great theatre,” Foran head coach Dave Esposito said. “Probably the two best 113 pounders around went out and wrestled their match, The two have worked out as partners for three of four years. There were no surprises. Similar styles and a great match.”

Trumbull had bolted to an 11-0 lead behind a pin by Alex Greco and a 15-0 win by technical fall by Mirmina.

Foran stormed back behind pins from Ryan Luth (132 pounds), Jubilee Witte (138 pounds) and Michael Ross (145 pounds).

Michael Greco brought Trumbull within 18-14 with a 6-3 victory at 152 pounds.

Chris Briganti took the mat for the Eagles at 160 pounds to face Umer Khan, in a matchup of freshmen.

Briganti led 3-2 after one period. Khan escaped late in the second frame to move within 5-4.

Briganti went in front 8-4 with one minute remaining. Khan countered with a reversal, gave up the escape, and got the takedown to make it 9-8 at the 33-second mark.

Khan looked to turn Briganti for the win, but Briganti stunned everyone when he caught the Lion high and reversed and pinned simultaneously with 15 ticks of the clock remaining.

“That match was big,” said coach Esposito. “Two freshman going for the win. We wanted Umer to let him back up and go for the takedown and overtime. The gym was loud and he couldn’t hear us. He went for back points and got caught.”

That win gave Trumbull a 20-18 lead. Joey Ryan then met Foran’s Noah Hubler in a match between veterans used to having their way.

Hubler used his strength to break away late in the second period to take a 1-0 lead. He tried a cradle early in the second. Ryan slipped his head free to escape for a 1-1 tie. Three restarts later, Ryan turned a quick ankle pick into a takedown with 17 seconds remaining for a 3-1 victory.

Down 23-18, Foran answered back.

Qasim Khan, a sophomore at 182 pounds, took a 7-1 lead into the second period before earning the pin at 2:57 for a 24-23 team lead.

Foran’s Colby Stuart then used his experience edge to keep Trumbull’s Jared Platt of his back for what seemed like the entire six minutes (actually 3:50 of the 4:29 minute match). Platt wouldn’t give in and the five-point technical fall saved his team a point.

Patrick Grinder made it three straight Foran wins, but it took overtime to defeat Mike Maresca 3-1. That brought up the heavyweight bout and the drama that followed.