The third time turned out to be a charm for Marcus Bubar, who put together some solid efforts to place fifth at the 46th Annual New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships t the New Haven Athletic Center in Connecticut.
The Lisbon senior won five of six matches.
There was a thin margin of error for Maine wrestlers, who earned six medals against the stiff competition in the double-elimination tournament. This included bronze medals by Stephen Martin (171) of Bonny Eagle and T.J. Vallee (189) of Cony. Camden Hills’ Zac Fields (130) York’s Billy Gauthier (135) and Tyler Russell (189) of Morse all finished fourth
Bubar, making his third trip to the New England championships, won his fifth-place match with an 11-5 decision against Jared Burrows of East Providence, R.I. Bubar executed a couple pinning combinations to outdistance his opponent.
“Wrestle backs were really tough,” Bubar said, who joined B.J. Hamm (fourth in 2001) as the only other Greyhound medalist. “Wrestling five matches today was extremely tiring. I thought that I wrestled some of my best matches of the year this weekend.”
Bubar suffered a blow when he lost a first-round match 7-5, but it proved to be a wake-up call. After a 7-3 decision over Peter Bacchiocci of Fryeburg, Bubar pinned Anthony Corliss (N.H.) and won decisions of 11-6 and 12-4.
Bubar realized the importance of securing the first takedown. Starting the second period up by two or more points means a lot in a tourney where many matches are decided by one point.
“(It) felt like I was in good shape and just wrestled hard for the whole match,” Bubar said. “Never thought that I would be placing at New England, but I did. It feels great.”
Every tournament provides debate and Mountain Valley’s Ryan Burgess was involved in a controversial match at 103. The Falcon, a two-time state champion, fell behind 2-0 in the quarterfinals to Michael Murphy of North Providence, R.I. In the third period, Burgess tilted Murphy and the referee counted off three near fall points. Unfortunately, when the match ended the referee waved the points off, which drew the furor of Mountain Valley coach Gary Dolloff.
Burgess then dropped his next match when a late escape by Andrew Gauthier of Lowell, Mass., resulted in a 3-2 loss.
Lisbon tied for 37th with 19 points, third best among Maine schools. Forrest Cornell (112) escaped for a 1-0 decision against Vanya Tomaszewski of Wells, then lost a 4-3 heartbreaker. Joe Doughty (215) won two matches, including a 36-second pin and a 4-3 decision.
“Joe had already lost his first match, and he realized that it was elimination time if he lost,” Lisbon coach Mark Stevens said. “We told Joe to take more risk. Apparently his opponent’s coaches had also extended similar advice.”
Greyhounds Joel Pomerleau, Mike McNamara and Matt Nicholson also competed.
“I am proud of all the Maine wrestlers that competed this weekend,” Stevens said.
Eric Coulombe (140) of Monmouth had mixed results, winning a 7-5 overtime thriller and losing a 4-2 match. Josh Thornton, a sophomore, from Mountain Valley and Dirigo senior Alex Miele each lost two matches at 140 and 160, respectively.
Russell and Vallee lost two-point matches in the semifinals before having to battle in the consolations. The duo had split against each other during the season, but Vallee stuck Russell in the consolation final. Vallee is the first-ever Cony medalist and Russell joins former Shipbuilder Ben Goulette (fourth in 2001).
Prior to the finals, Maine Hall Of Fame icons Wally LaFountain and Ted Reese were honored for more than a combined century involvement in the sport. LaFountain co-founded the Friendship Series between Nebraska and Maine in 1984. Reese won more than 400 dual meets and several state championships during a memorable coaching career.
Timberlane, N.H., edged Burlington, Mass., 89- 75.5 for the team championship.