RUMFORD – Dirigo found its groove Saturday at the 22nd annual McDonald’s Invitational Tournament, but was overtaken down the stretch by Belfast (150) with individual champions Josh Robbins (119-pounds) and Travis Spencer at 189.

The Lions placed nine wrestlers in the top four of their respective weight classes.

The Cougars edged host Mountain Valley by half a point, behind champions Jon Smith (140), Josh Palmer (152) and Kyle Miele (171). The Falcons also had a trio of champions, Derek Sicotte (135), Tyler Child (215) and Kyle Dow (285).

Noble (123 points), was fourth, followed by Lisbon (82), Foxcroft Academy (76), Winslow (68) and Oxford Hills (67).

“We’re a team of emotions,” Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert said. “It started when (No. 8 seed) Josh Palmer won a pigtail match, then upset the No. 1 seed (Mark Stoodley of Oxford Hills) and Mike Jonaitis beat Colby Johnson (Foxcroft) to reach the finals. Chad Oakes (fourth at 112) placed in his first-ever tournament and A.J Carrier placed fourth. It was a total team effort.” Dirigo was leading prior to the consolation and championship finals, which were held simultaneously. In head-to-head match-ups, Mountain Valley won both matches against its arch rival. Sicotte executed a reversal with 17 seconds left for a 3-1 decision over Jonaitis. Child was on the offensive, and edged Pat O’Leary (stalling point) 5-4.

“I’m usually pretty good on my feet,” Sicotte said. “Unfortunately, he must have practiced against it. He had (tight waist), so I just bided my time and didn’t rush in to my (step-over).”

Dow won 6-4 in OT against Mark Stambach of Lisbon.

Smith repeated as a champion with a technical fall over Cam Bubar of Lisbon. Miele executed a takedown 33 seconds into overtime for a 6-4 win against Jack Pike of Oxford Hills.

Palmer, who had bumped up a weight class, decisioned Ethan Whittimore of Foxcroft 5-0.

“I go out there to win,” Palmer said. “I was aggressive today and I was getting my takedowns. The move up to 152 definitely helped.”

Ken Hagen decisioned Craig Varney of Oxford Hills at 112.

Lisbon’s Tyler Clark utilized control to repeat with a 6-0 decision against Ernie Matthews (125).

“I needed to stay away from him on my feet,” Clark said. “He likes to shoot takedowns and on the mat he wasn’t moving, so I went for it.”

Older brother Ben Matthews (145) lost 10-8 in OT to Jared Rideout (Most Outstanding Wrestler) of Foxcroft. Matthews had forced the extra session with reversal with 26 seconds left, but the Pony two-time Class C state champion hit a takedown with 10 seconds left.

Oxford Hills’ lone champion was Brad Smith, who decisioned Dan Hood of Winslow (5-4) at 160.

In a battle of state champions, Robbins decisioned Jake Longley of Noble. Travis Spencer, Class B state champion, decisioned Tom Moulton of Oxford Hills.


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