Shelton grapplers fall to Xavier (Updated, Web-only)

The Shelton High wrestling team dropped a 51-21 decision to sixth-ranked Xavier High of Middletown on Thursday night at Murray Gymnasium in a Southern Connecticut Conference A Division matchup.

The match began and ended well for the Gaels (9-8, 0-2 SCC A), with freshman Kyle McGinnis earning a pin in 1:59 at 113 pounds to start the dual and classmate Nico Distasio closing it with a 10-4 minor decision at 106.

But, the Falcons won 10 of the 12 bouts in between to coast to the league victory and improve to 15-3 overall (2-0 SCC A).

“We did have some bright spots,” Shelton coach Bill Maloney said. “Both of our freshman did well and we’re expecting good things from them.”

McGinnis staked the Gaels to an early 6-0 lead by pinning Zac Martin with .5 seconds remaining in the first period of their bout at 113. Aggressive off the whistle, McGinnis took Martin down twice in the opening minute, before cutting him loose.

Following the third takedown, McGinnis began working his pin combinations, getting a pair of three-point near-falls before earning the pin a half-second before the end of the first period.

Sophomore Scott Plucienik followed up McGinnis’ victory with another impressive performance at 120, earning a fall over Brendan Lawlor in 55 seconds.

Plucienik notched a takedown, then immediately wrapped Lawlor up in a leg cradle that led to the pin.

Xavier’s victory parade began at 126, with Will Chowanek pinning Jake Litts in 1:11.

Jeremy Dilzer then earned a fall over Antonio Pinelli in 1:06 at 132, Quinn Marino defeated Mike Chernesky, 8-2, at 138, Dakota Carter pinned Nick Pogacsas in 3:38 at 145 and Tyler Kenney recorded a fall over Rick Pogacsas in 48 seconds at 152.

At 160, Xavier junior Brendan Butler bumped up to face Liam Cummings, with the Falcon earning a hard-fought 3-1 minor decision.

After a scoreless first period, Butler deferred his choice of position and Cummings chose down, earning the escape via a standup.

The score remained 1-0 Cummings until the third period, when Butler elected to start down, escaped and took Cummings down with 12 seconds left to secure the 3-1 victory.

Colin Cunningham opened up a 6-1 lead over Carlos Barranco at 171 before notching the pin 4:48, pushing Xavier’s lead to 36-12.

After Elliot Antler picked up a forfeit victory at 182, Xavier freshman Noah Cruz beat Mac Thompson, 9-2.

Will Dimeo stopped the deluge for Shelton with a pin over Spencer Duclos in 2:59, before Falcons’ heavyweight Max Schuman earned a fall over Alex Merdinger in 4:12.

Distasio finished off the match on a positive note for the Gaels, controlling Xavier’s Patrick Precort in a 10-4 victory.