Hillbillies have strong showing at Ripley tourney

RIPLEY — The Fredonia Hillbillies put together a fine showing Saturday at the Ripley Wrestling Invitational with a second-place finish.

Chautauqua Lake took first place with 244 points while Fredonia took second with 175.5 points. Randolph took a close third at 174 points.

The Hillbillies had three first-place finishers led by Dalton Gardner at 113.

In the championship match, Gardner, who is ranked No. 2 in Western New York, rallied in the third period to defeat Erie East’s Jawon Carr, 7-5.

“Carr is supposed to be pretty tough, from what I hear,” Fredonia coach Joe Santilli said. “Dalton was losing, 4-3, going into the third.  He had two turns late in the match.”

At 126, Fredonia’s Giovanni Russo topped Randolph’s Matt Evans, 3-2, in double-overtime.

“It was a hard-fought win,” Santilli said. “It’s the second time they met this year. Gio wrestled well. It was a great match and a pretty exciting match.”

With the win, Russo is 22-3 on the season.

At 132, Hector Colom, who is ranked No. 1 in Western New York, took first place with a win over Chautauqua Lake’s Derek Ecklund. Colom had three pins on the day.

Chautauqua Lake’s Austin Burgeois was the champion at 120 pounds as he defeated Fredonia’s Brandon Wallace, 5-1.

Meanwhile, at 138, Dunkirk’s Billy Seiders took home first place with a win over Fredonia’s Lucas Green.

Also earning runner-up status for Fredonia was Jordan Stebbins at 182. He lost in the finals to Cattaraugus-Little Valley’s  Austin Genberg.

Stebbins is 17-4 on the season.

Also for Fredonia, Jake Skinner had an impressive showing at 220 with three pins on the day.

Picking up wins for the Hillbillies at the tournament were Tanner Davis and Ceric Kristan.

“We did pretty good,” Santilli said. “We had a nice day. We had some younger guys get some experience and our veterans did well. The kids enjoyed themselves. They are not satisfied and know there is room to improve. It was a nice experience for (Wallace Green and Stebbins) to be in the finals for the first time in their high school career.”

Fredonia, which is ranked No. 5 in Western New York, returns to action Wednesday when it hosts No. 3 Olean.