BUCKSPORT — Wells was the favorite going into a tough Class B wrestling competition Saturday. Several teams tried to make a run, but ultimately, the Warriors’ depth was too much.

Wells rode that depth to a Class B title at Bucksport High School on Saturday, scoring 100 points to pull away from Ellsworth, which finished second with 80.5 points.

Danny Buteau stood above everyone else. The Oak Hill wrestler proved to in control en route to winning his fourth individual state championship.

Bryce Whittemore of Dirigo, and Ethan Boucher of Mountain Valley, both seniors each won their third state championships.

The team scores showed how strong the field was: Winslow placed third at 73.5, Mountain Valley fourth at 71, Foxcroft Academy fifth with 69, Dirigo sixth with 63.5 and Dexter rounding out the top seven with 59.

It figured to be the Warriors’ race to lose, and that’s exactly what transpired in the early matches. Ellsworth led after the semifinals, but Wells surged ahead by winning three of five matches in the consolation semis.

“We certainly had a theme today, Wells coach Scott Lewia said. “On Thursday, we found out that the son of a former Wells wrestler was terminally ill. The guys read the article and took it to heart. I told them that they had a chance to accomplish something that the child will never experience. It has been a rough day.”

The Warriors’ last state title was 1996. 

After a subpar semifinal, Buteau showed exactly how his mild-mannered attitude changes on the mat. The Raiders senior was smooth as silk in a 9-1 major decision against 2016 state champion RJ Nelson of Foxcroft. It’s the third different weight class in which Buteau has won.

“This was a low scoring state mee, there’s lots of parity,” Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert said.

Mountain Valley champion Caleb Austin (126) outclassed Anthony Moss of MCI in finals.

“I had wrestled him before aand I knew he would come out aggressive. I just waited for his arm to drift outside,”said Austin, who won his 200th career match in the quarterfinals. “A lot of work went in to ths and it feels great. I’ve been wrestling 15 years.”

Boucher had a score to settle, after having been upset at last year’s state meet, and executed a takedown and escape in a win over Logan Lord of Ellsworth. The Falcon changed his style this to aggressive, from defensive.

“He was stronger than me, so being aggressive helped,” Boucher said, regarding a SF win 8-7 win against Steven Thompson. “Lord was a different wrestler, so I needed a different game plan.”

Bryce Whittemore toppled defending 160-pound state champion Ben Ripley of Oceanside.

“Mentally today, I wasn’t taking any chances here. You can be beat at states by anyone,” said Whittemore, who built a lead and won his third-state championship (2 B, 1 C). Cougars teammate Hunter White lost 6-0 to three-time champion Payton Cole of Ellsworth. Nolan DeGroot was pinned by Ryan Fredette for the second straight year in the finals, and fellow Cougar Dalton Berry placed fourth at 195.

Mountain Valley’s Vinny DeRoche placed third at 106, and Jesse Pelletier was fourth at 170. Kurtis Bolton of Lisbon was third at 145.

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