OBSERVER Staff Report
LOCKPORT - Fredonia had four first-place finishers this weekend at the Lockport Wrestling Tournament, as the Hillbillies finished second behind Clarence.
"There was solid competition this weekend," Fredonia head coach Alex Conti said. "There were good wrestlers all over the place. Every person there learned a lot in wins and losses."
Dakota Gardner took first at 124-pounds, finishing 4-0 after beating Clarence's Brandon Gluber, 7-0, in the final. The win moved the freshman to 119-18 in his three years on the varsity team.
Tyler Cassidy took first at 132, going 4-0 with two pins, beating Lewiston-Porter's Ryan Cromer in the finals, 1-0. Cassidy's two pins put him at 100 for his career, becoming the eighth person in Section 6 history to have 100 career pins, five of which have come from Fredonia. Kenny Betts finished his stellar career with 186, the No. 1 mark in Western New York, Brandon Strandburg finished with 120, Chris Conti with 105 and Frank Zielinski 100.
At 170, Zach Buckley continued his successful senior season by going 4-0, with three wins coming by pin and the other a technical fall. Buckley pinned Pittsford's Robert Clotz in 3:18 to take the title.
"Zach had a real nice tournament," Conti said. "He pinned his opponent from Wilson in 43 seconds, a kid from Starpoint in 48 seconds and beat a kid from Clarence, 10-3."
After winning the semifinals 4-2 in overtime over Pittsford's Tyler Shaefer, Chris Saden, the No. 2 ranked heavyweight in WNY won the title at 220 by forfeit, as the No. 1 ranked wrestler, Marshall Taylor, of Lockport, could not continue due to an injury.
"I'm just really pleased that we had the opportunity to wrestle that quality of opponents and had the results we had," Conti said.
Clarence finished with 224 points while Fredonia ended the weekend with 164.5. Section 5's Pittsford took third with 147.5 and was followed by host Lockport (139.5) and Lewiston-Porter (131.5) to round out the top five.
"It was a great tournament for us," Conti added. "Lockport always puts on a great tournament, but we had some good competition to start the ending weeks (of the season). We're looking forward to the Sectional tournament coming up in three weeks."
Jude Gardner finished second at 145, going 3-1 with two pins, moving his record on the season to 30-1. Jovany Ruiz took fourth at 106, going 2-2. Sean Sluberski also picked up his 100th victory of his varsity career over the weekend.
For their careers, Cassidy moved to 142-50, Jude Gardner 186-58, Buckley 150-29 and Saden 133-40.