Oxford Hills conquers Mt. Blue, Gardiner in triangular meet

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SOUTH PARIS – The Oxford Hills wrestling team figured the best defense was a good offense when it came to Saturday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference triangular meet.

Using that strategy, the Vikings relied on their depth in the middle and upper weights to beat Mt. Blue 57-15 and then came from behind in a 50-22 win against Gardiner.

Oxford Hills (9-3) received two wins each by seniors Brad Smith (160-pounds), Jack Pike (171) and Tom Moulton (189) to pull away from the competition.

Freshman Chris Francis also won two decisions, including a 6-3 verdict over Gunner Vermillion of Gardiner that put the Vikings ahead to stay.

“A (majority) of my kids were aggressive,” Viking coach Mark Dolloff said. “We teach the kids to go right after opponents and not to settle for just a takedown. They need to keep moving and be able to go into a (series).”

Tom Moulton (22-6), giving up 18 pounds, stuck Dyllan Nile of Mt. Blue in one minute and recorded a 19-3 technical fall. Moulton has 143 career wins and has an opportunity to tie the school record held by Seth McAlister who has 154 wins.

Pike (21-6), who got his 100th career win earlier this month, pinned the Cougars’ Frank Osborne (cradle) and Lance Williams 34 seconds with a tight waist.

Brad Smith (24-4) won 10 overtime matches this season, stuck (grapevine) Colby Fortier-Brown.

“It’s all coming to an end for me,” Dolloff said, who will retire at the end of season. “We hope the team can pull together, with injuries and academics two big hurdles this season for us.”

The Vikings also had wins by Ben Stoodley (152) and Matt Stoodley (215). Francis executed an early takedown and held off Sean Kelly for a 2-1 decision at 135, and freshman Nick Paino (103) won by injury default over Kenny Stackpole of Gardiner.

Gardiner (3-15) upset Mt. Blue (7-9) 51-30 behind five pins, including Matt DelGallo (21-0) who pinned Andrew Currier and Viking Craig Varney (cradle).

“This was not a good performance,” Mt. Blue coach Bob O’Connor said. “We’ve got a lot of first-year wrestlers, including upper classmen. They made mistakes and could never catch back up.”

Mt. Blue received solid wins by Sam Webber and Gary Begin at 125 and 145, respectively.

Webber, a two-time Class A state finalist, improved his record to 33-0. The Cougar junior stuck the Tigers’ Jake Phlsbury in 23 seconds. “I am usually aggressive,” Webber said. “But this season I’ve also learned to stay (in control) and not to get excited, so I have more energy in the third period.”

Begin (28-3) decisioned Adam Edgerton, 6-1. Begin (99 career wins), who had lost to Edgerton last week, stayed composed and took advantage of the Viking wrestlers slow-down tactics.

The meet featured independents Josh Russell (119) and Mike Jalbert (160) of Lewiston and Zach Vickers of Hall Dale. It’s a huge learning curve for Russell, a freshman who will improve with increased mat time.

Vickers (21-4) stuck Gary Theriault of Mt. Blue and Russell.

“I feel a lot more comfortable on the mat mat,” Vickers said. “This season I’ve tried being more ambidextrous and not being so (predictable) by always shooting in on the left knee.”

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