Wrestling: Shelton Gaels preparing for postseason

Shelton High’s wrestling team got familiar with Jonathan Law’s gymnasium on Jan. 29 in preparation for a spot in the Lawmen Duals this Saturday and the SCC Championships on Feb. 9.

The Gaels dropped a 46-21 decision in their first visit to Milford, but wrestled well around several forfeits.

In the 160 pound weight class, grappler Mike Monaco won an 11-9 decision over Antonio Rosado. Monaco built an 8-3 lead, on the strength of two takedowns and a pair of reversals, after two periods.

Rosado got the match even on two-point takedown and three nearfall points in the third. An escape put Monaco up 9-8.
After a timeout for blood cleanup, Monaco added a takedown. Rosado scored the last point on an escape.

Ray Weiner won via pin in 1:39 at 220 pounds for six more Gael points.

Matt Weiner followed with a 24-second pin of his own to win in the heavyweight division.

Shelton’s Graham Ziperstein picked up a forfeit victory at 106.

As anticipated a 113 pounds, Garrett Ziperstein had a competitive match with Tegan McCourt.  McCourt scored a 7-4 decision. When they met last year, McCourt won a close one.

The rematch was another challenge for McCourt, who pulled out the win after Ziperstein battled back from a 4-0 deficit with a point on an escape and two more on a takedown in the middle period.

In the third, McCourt went up two points with an escape. Ziperstein inched closer on a one-point penalty. McCourt stalled as the clock wound down.

Holding a 5-4 as the match went to neutral on a restart with just nine seconds left, McCourt tacked on a buzzer-beating takedown in a match that effectively was a one-point nail-biter.

“It came right down to the wire,” Shelton coach Bill Maloney said. “We were looking forward to that one tonight. We wanted to see how Garrett would fare against him.”

Maloney said there was a chance Ziperstein and McCourt will meet again not only in the Law tourney four days later but again in the postseason. “If you’re going to lose one that is the one to lose,” he said.

In the 126 division, Ayan Mumtaz was pinned by Law’s Cody Malin at 2:19.

At 132, the Gaels’ Christopher Cavagnuolo lost a 7-4 decision to Alex DeLorio.

At 138, Christian Olivarria was pinned by Law’s Scott Monforte in 1:06.

Colin Mengold lost a 14-0 major decision to Aisaiah Rodriguez at 145.

Maloney was pleased his team’s efforts.

“We continue to work on our conditioning. We feel we’re in the best condition of all the teams we face,” said Maloney, adding that Ziperstein, for example, showed he was in good shape in how he pushed the pace in the match. “We had some good matches.”

Saturday’s Law tourney, which includes tough teams East Haven and Hamden Hall, will help prepare the Gaels for the postseason.

“It teaches you how to keep grinding and keep going on the mat. It can come down to the smallest of things like we saw in that 113 match,” Maloney said.

O'Brien Tech wrestler Logan Re, who competes as a one-person team and wrestles with Shelton, was pinned by DeLorio, who moved up a weight division to 138 for a second match. The pin came in 3:28.