One wrestler who didn't even advance to the Section VI state qualifier made all the difference in the world for Lancaster in Saturday's Section VI Class AAAA tournament at Clarence.
Nick Argentieri's return enabled the Redskins to bump all of their wrestlers down into their proper weight classes, strengthing the lineup. That allowed Lancaster to gain a measure of revenge against Niagara-Wheatfield as the Redskins edged the No. 1-ranked team in Western New York, 185-179, to win the sectional title.
Lancaster clinched the crown when No. 5 seed Dereck Welch beat No. 2 seed Jehad Ali of N-W for the 112-pound title. Welch beat the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 seeds, finishing one vote shy of being selected Most Outstanding Wrestler of the meet.
But 171-pounder Argentieri's return from injury made perhaps the biggest difference.
"What happened was we finally got our boys backed down into the weight classes they are best suited for without trying to cover up for a dual meet lineup that's got some injuries," said Lancaster coach Dennis Beck, whose team lost to N-W and Niagara Falls last weekend in the Lancaster Duals. "[The championship] is the culmination of a very difficult schedule we wrestled all year, and our boys have seen top competitors from throughout the state."
David Miller (103) and Clint Schaefer (96) each won titles for the Redskins.
Clarence 152-pounder Alex Siedlecki earned MOW honors.
The top four finishers in each weight class in the sectional class tournaments advanced to Saturday's Section VI state qualifier at the University at Buffalo.
The top-ranked Mariacher brothers of Iroquois each won championships in the Class AAA meet at Starpoint.
Matt Mariacher won his third straight Class AAA championship by pinning all three of his 119-pound opponents to earn Most Outstanding Wrestler honors. His older siblings, twins Lucas and Reece, won titles at 135 and 140 pounds, respectively.
Starpoint edged Maryvale for the team title, 185-173 1/2 , thanks in part to championship wins by three-time sectional champion Brian Marmo (130 pounds), Mike Cutter (145), Sean Becker (160) and Kyle Gibas (189). Alex Bagne (96) and Curtis Voak (112) won titles for Maryvale.
Fredonia 135-pounder Brandon Strandburg earned MOW honors and his team won the Class AA title, while Ripley captured the Class A title.