RUMFORD — Lisbon freshman Nick McNamara has always looked up to his older brother, Matt, but the younger sibling achieved equal footing after winning the 103-pound individual championship on Saturday.

But Noble had the final say by scoring 148 ½ points to defend its championship at the 26th annual McDonald’s Wrestling Invitational Tournament.

Fryeburg finished second (139) and had its best showing in nearly two decades to edge out host Mountain Valley (132). The Raiders placed nine in the top four of their respective weight classes, led by champions Connor Sheehan and Stephan Emery at 112 and 160, respectively. Sheehan topped Mountain Valley freshman Jake Thornton, and Peter Bacchiocci lost 3-2 to Malcolm Marshall of Mt. Ararat in the 152-pound final.

Noble scored 89 points in the semifinals to lead Mountain Valley 119-114 and then simply used its depth in the consolation rounds to pull away.

“We wanted to come here and do well,” said Noble coach Kip DeVoll, who was competing without two state champions. ”I can’t really put my finger on one thing that has made our program so strong, but the kids love to wrestle and other teams know we’ve been here.”

Mountain Valley had the most champions (four), including Ryan Burgess, (119) who was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler. The award is named for former Rumford and Mountain Valley Hall of Fame coach Jerry Perkins. Burgess executed a takedown in the second period and then used a crab ride to decision Jordan Young of Belfast, 3-2. The Falcons’ Josh Thornton (145), Taylor Carey (171-pounds) and Josh Allen (189) also won crowns.

“I can’t say enough about the way these kids wrestled,” Mountain Valley coach Gary Dolloff said. “Seven advanced to the finals, and Burgess and Thornton each avenged losses earlier this year. We lacked depth, and it will be that way for a while until we can get every one squared away.”

Thornton built a lead and decisioned Jake Oh of Mt. Ararat, 6-2. Oh had beat Thornton in the Westbrook Tournament finals last weekend.

“I knew he was good on his feet,” Thornton said. “So I controlled the wrist so he couldn’t get the high crotch like last weekend. I needed to wrestle defensively.”

Carey executed a shug-by takedown 11 seconds into overtime to beat Kornealius of Belfast. Allen trailed 2-0, but reversed the action and stuck Nate Hill of Fryeburg.

“(Hill) was very strong,”said Allen, who recorded three pins on the day. “I couldn’t move him, but I was able to duck under and slip (half nelson in).”

Lisbon (fifth, 111) won three of four head-to-head matchups against Noble in the finals. Nick McNamara decisioned senior Kayleigh Longley, 6-2, while Mike McNamara and Matt Nicholson each pinned at 135 and 140, respectively. In a battle between multiple state champions, Noble’s Jake Bagley stuck Josh Pomerleau at 130.

“Nick didn’t know what to expect today,” Lisbon coach Mark Stevens said. “He had never been in a venue like this. But he stuck with the basics and took it one match at a time.”

Caleb Hall of Dirigo placed third (5-3 decision at 119), while teammates Adam Gill (130) and Ryan Lemay (140) each were fourth. Shawn Bang (160) of Edward Little was fourth. Craig Morrill (152) of Oak Hill won his 100th career match and placed third. Nick Wells of Oak Hill won the 215 crown with a 12-3 decision over Christian Durland of Mountain Valley.

“I’m not going to over look him,” said Wells, who beat Durland three times last season. “They were all close matches and he is strong.”


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