YORK — When freshmen Brandon Gill (126 pounds) and Nate Boucher each stepped on the wrestling mat, they knew what was at stake.
The pair delivered by winning back-to-back individual championships to lead Mountain Valley to a Class B Western regional championship with 164.5-point victory over second-place York on Saturday.
The Falcons proved that quality and quantity can make a difference in pulling away in the finals behind Burgess (106), Dekota Jacques (113), Santos Rodriguez (195) and Ryan Glover at 285.
The competition was extremely intense as York needed a win in the final match of the day to edge out Fryeburg Academy, 141. Wells finished fourth at 139 and had the most championships with four.
Gill pinned previously unbeaten Gary Stevens of Morse with a spladle in the second period.
“Its not a move you go looking for” said Gill, who had executed a shuck by takedown to decision Matt Frost of Fryeburg, 9-8, in a semifinal match. “I stood up and his leg was there. So much for (Stevens) unbeaten senior season. As a team we are lucky to be here, if not for the return of some wrestlers.”
Boucher used a series of pinning moves to win a 16-0 technical fall against Chad Bonti of Morse.
“I was nervous before he match,” said Boucher, the eighth-seeded Falcon who upset the No.1 seed in quarterfinals. “I had missed Mid States last week, so I didn’t how I’d wrestle. But after the first takedown, every thing went smooth.”
The Falcons and Raiders qualified 11 and nine individuals, respectively, for the state meet Saturday at Fryeburg Academy. It was important to place as high as possible because the order of finishes will be reversed against Eastern regional competitors in the state meet.
Burgess had led 4-1 over Kyle Bonti of Morse, but was caught and lost 14-6. Rodriguez was decisioned 17-6 by Mitchell Chesley of Gardiner. Glover was stuck by Alex Mercurio of York. Last week, Glover decisioned the heavier Wildcat wrestler.
“We expected to finish first or sedcond,” Mountain Valley coach Chris Bean said. “We needed to place as many wrestlers as we could. We lost a couple that we felt that we could have won.”
Fryeburg Connor Sheehan(113) repeated as regional champion by sticking Jacques of Mountain Valley for the second-straight week. The Raiders felt heartache in the finals with Colin Sevigney of Wells pinning Zach Sheehan, and Jake Thurston (145) losing to Watt Brackett of Morse. C.J. Bartlett was leading 11-0, but was stuck by John Goyetche of York with one second left in the match.
”We had great performances in the finals,” York co-coach Bryan Thompson said.
The Falcons Joe Provencher, Robert Worthley and Zach Cross each placed third, while Jake Thornton and Anthony Boucher each placed fourth at 120 and 182, respectively.
“We qualified nine kids,” Fryeburg coach Bryce Thurston said. “It was nice to see and one is going to states, and it’s a surprise and (Kirk) Hubbard beat a kid who had beat him last week.”
Dan DelGallo of Gardiner improved to 46-0 by outpointing Hubbard. The Tiger state champions older brother Matt was a four-time state champion.
“I don’t want to make mistakes on the mat,” DelGallo said. “I’m blazing my own path, not my brothers.”