For their part, the Blue Knight wrestling team did enough to win their SHS Duals on Saturday, Dec. 30, but a penalty off the mat led to a tie in the championship game…and a loss by criteria.
For most of the day, Southington manhandled opponents. The Knights cruised past Amity, 60-17, in the first round. Southington won easily, 55-21, in their second round bout with NFA, and a 59-17 win over Bristol Central put the Knights in the finals to face Winchester, Mass.
That’s when the penalty cost them the title.
Each time Winchester moved ahead in the seesaw battle, Southington wrestlers answered the score.
Caleb Chesanow (182) gave Southington a 6-0 lead with a pin in the first bout but the Sachems retook the lead with pins over Ginacarlo Dominello and Jacob Vecchio.
Then, Sebby Lombardo evened the score, 12-12, with a pin in his heavyweight bout.
Once again, the Sachems took the lead, scoring pins over Emmett Vitti and Caleb Brick before Darius Mangiafico scored a 9-8 decision to trim the lead to 9 points.
The teams then began to trade points. Dawsen Welch (126) got pinned by his Winchester opponent, but Jacob Cardozo (132) answered with a pin.
Jason Brault (138) lost a 10-3 decision, but Shaun Wagner (145) pulled Southington within six points with a pin.
When Tagan Welch lost by decision in the 152-pound bout, he was penalized for unsportmanship, which cost the Knights a point.
Trailing by 10 points with two bouts remaining, Billy Car managed a major decision (4 points) and Paul Calo (170) tied the match with a pin in the final bout of the contest.
Tied, 36-36, in the final match, scoring turned to criteria.
In dual-meet competition, if the teams have identical scores, the tie-breaking system first looks at the number of flagrant misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
With the loss, Southington finished second to their Massachusetts rival.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2018/01/02/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-jan-5-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.