Special to The News
SALAMANCA – Lewiston-Porter senior Laith Alsous saw his opportunity and wasted no time seizing it.
Leading by 3-1 late in the third period of a tight Section VI Division II championship wrestling match with Nick Jones of Dunkirk, Alsous sprang on top of the Marauders senior and quickly pinned him with 51 seconds left in the match. Jones had a 1-0 lead after two periods.
It was the type of move a champion makes. Alsous, in fact, is now a three-time Section VI Division II title-holder, defeating Jones in the final in consecutive seasons.
“I was pushing the pace, he made a mistake and I capitalized,” Alsous said. “I was trying to work for my takedowns but it was there so I wasn’t going to let it go.”
It was the only rematch of the night at Saturday’s state qualifier at the Allegany Community Center. Weight class champions automatically advanced to the state tournament on Feb. 24-25 at the Times Union Center in Albany. Wild card selections will be made next week.
Gowanda senior David Poff didn’t want to leave it up to the uncertainty of a wild card, so he won arguably the toughest weight class of the tournament (120) and defeated a pair of two-time sectional champs in the process. Poff scored a late two-point takedown to defeat Tonawanda sophomore Zach Bradell to advance to states for the first time. In the semifinal, he beat Maple Grove’s AJ Putt.
“My mindset was it’s my last year and my last shot and I didn’t know if the wild card was going to happen,” Poff said. “I was thinking I wasn’t going to let 13 years of wrestling go for nothing.”
Few WNY wrestlers can stake claim to both Section VI and State Catholic titles. Junior Hector Colom is one of them. After a two-year hiatus from sectionals while he wrestled at St. Francis, Colom came back victorious at 132 with a pin at 1:25 of the second period.
Last year, Colom won both All-Catholic and state Catholic titles. In 2014, as an eighth grader, he took the sectional title at 106 while wrestling at Dunkirk.
“This is one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time,” Colom said.
At 145, Falconer junior Dylan Ingrao will return to states after a 10-2 win over top-seeded senior Katrell Jackson of Cheektowaga. At 113, Fredonia freshman Dalton Gardner earned an early escape and defeated Maple Grove’s Shane Hetrick, 1-0. Billy Seiders of Dunkirk held off Depew senior Phil Calandra, 3-2, to win 138. After a pair of second-place finishes and taking third last year at sectionals, Falconer senior Cameron Page got over the hump with a 6-0 win over Eden senior Sawyer Overhoff to earn a title at 160. Maple Grove junior Zak Trim outlasted junior top-seed Corey Keefe of Falconer, 2-1, at 182.
Junior Doug Ciszak of Pioneer earned an 8-5 win at 106; Dan Torres of Falconer notched a 13-3 win at 152; senior Jordan McLaughlin of Olean won by third period pin; and Maple Grove senior Trevor Micek notched a 5-4 win over Cheektowaga’s Eric Bartnik at 170. Also, at 126, Portville senior Nick Kozlowski defeated second-seeded East Aurora sophomore Johnny Putney, 11-6; at 195, Pioneer senior Tyler Smith beat sophomore teammate Mike Rigerman, 5-3; and Springville eighth-grader Mikey Evans notched a 4-1 win at 99.