RUMFORD — When Alex Miele stepped on the wrestling mat, he had a strategy already in place.

And it all worked out for Miele, who went on to win the 160-pound individual championship on Saturday. But Noble simply used its depth to score 182 points and win the 25th annual McDonald’s Mountain Valley Invitational.

Lisbon finished second with 143.5 points and earned the most champions with Forrest Cornell (112), Mike McNamara (130), Marcus Bubar (145), Art Stambach (189), and Joe Doughty at 215. The Greyhounds also had finalists Josh Pomerleau and Matt Nicholson but lacked a supporting cast to keep pace in the consolations. 

Noble placed 11 of 14 wrestlers in the top four of 14 weight classes, including champions Ken Hagen (125), Jake Badger (135) and Joe Bagley at 140. The Knights, defending Class A state champions, trailed Class C state champion Lisbon 116 to 119 after the semifinals.

“Third and fourths do it every time,” Noble coach Kip DeVoll said. “especially in tournaments like this. We have some guys who are not quite there, but they wrestle hard. Of course, our quality kids help.”

Bubar won one of three head-to-head matchups in the finals.

Mountain Valley (104.5) and Dirigo (65.5) finished a disappointing fifth and seventh, respectively. The rivals fell behind early and couldn’t get on track, except for Miele who was the lone champion.

In a battle of state finalists, Miele decisioned Matt Duka for the second time in two days. The Cougar senior relied on his taller body to outpoint Duka 4-0 on Thursday. In the finals, Duka tied the score, but Miele executed a takedown en route to a 7-5 decision.

“I knew what he was going to do in there,” said Miele, who was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. The award is named for former Rumford and Mountain Valley Hall of Fame coach Jerry Perkins. “Matt is shorter and stockier and I used my body to get leverage. His right ankle turned and I was able to capitalize.”

In a battle of state champions, Mountain Valley’s Ryan Burgess led early, but Cornell came from behind for a 7-3 decision. Rob Quimby of Noble major decisioned Caleb Hall of Dirigo for third.

“I credit my hard work in practice for paying off,” Corrnell said. “Once I got ahead I knew what he’d try, so I wrestled defensively, but I wanted to pad my lead also.”

Stambach rallied back and pinned Josh Allen of Mountain Valley in their career rubber match. Stambach escaped with three seconds left to beat Mike Hamm of Oak Hill in the semifinals. Christian Durland of MV B team placed third. Doughty won his 100th career match with a hard-fought 3-2 decision against Nick Wells of Oak Hill.

“It feels really good,” Doughty said. “Especially when you can go out there against some one competitive. I hadn’t faced him before, so I had a mindset to wrestle my match.”

Dillon Tibbetts of Oak Hill defaulted in the 171 finals. Massive Henry Chandler of Mt. Ararat won at 285 by sticking Ryan Glover of Mountain Valley. The Eagles’ Malcholm Marshall (140) was a finalist.

Cody Magoon (125) and Taylor Carey (171) of Mountain Valley placed third.

“We were not as sharp early on,” Falcons coach Gary Dolloff said. “But there were some good performances. One mistake cost (Taylor) Carey (SF). I was hoping we could pick it up over the (last) two rounds.”

Fryeburg (73) was a surprise with a youthful team, led by champions (freshman) Connor Sheehan and Stephan Emery at 103 and 152, respectively.

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