Published in The Chagrin Valley Times
February 25, 2016
With perhaps only one guy standing in his way during the 12-team Division I Kenston Sectional on Saturday, Solon 106-pound freshman Jake Canitano locked up a tournament title with a 1-0 decision in his championship bout.
After securing a first-period pin against Stow-Munroe Falls freshman Matthew King and then a second-period pin against Walsh Jesuit freshman Hunter Olson, Canitano went on to defeat Aurora freshman Jack Gorman for his sectional crown.
Canitano (40-3) entered the postseason ranked sixth among Division I 106-pounders, while Gorman (35-7) was ranked eighth, according to the Bucksman State Tournament Prediction Report.
Overall, the Comet matmen finished seventh in the team standings with five grapplers earning top-four finishes to advance to the Division I Mentor District tournament beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and resuming at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Canitano is favored to finish district runner-up to state No. 4-ranked Gabe Tagg, a Brecksville freshman who defeated the Solon grappler twice in the regular season.
Meanwhile, finishing sectional runner-up in the 138-pound weight class, Solon senior Nathan Langston (39-6) pinned Twinsburg senior Alec Detweiler and pinned Stow senior Kyle Jenkins, before losing a 5-3 decision against Aurora senior Danny Novak (26-3) in the finals bout.
Also taking runner-up, Solon 145-pound senior Morgan Peterson (35-17) won a 4-3 decision against Aurora junior Dominic Stuber and won a 12-2 major decision against Kenston junior Brad Verbic, before losing a 9-6 decision to Hudson senior Christ Motter (33-6) in the finals bout.
Also advancing to districts, Solon 113-pound sophomore Joey Hirsch (22-16) lost his third-place bout by a 4-2 decision to Twinsburg junior Nino Paush (27-10), while Solon 195-pound junior Jason Garcia (27-18) lost his third-place bout by a second-period pin to Boardman senior Nick Patoray (22-16).
The host Bombers, meanwhile, finished fifth in the team standings with 128 1/2 points, bested by tournament champion Aurora, 230 points, runner-up Walsh Jesuit, 187 1/2 points, third-place Hudson, 186 1/2 points, and fourth-place Austintown-Fitch, 147 points.
Despite the absence of a sectional champ, Kenston advanced five grapplers to districts.
Finishing sectional runner-up, Kenston 113-pound senior Noah Georgian (30-8), pinned Boardman sophomore Dan Sabelli and pinned Solon sophomore Hirsch, before losing a 9-0 major decision to Walsh Jesuit sophomore Matt Field (14-5).
Taking third for Kenston, 145-pound junior Brad Verbic (33-9) won his placement bout by a 3-1 decision against Walsh Jesuit sophomore Dom Dipietro (20-13).
And taking fourth for the Bombers, Kenston 120-pound junior Christopher Pavone (29-13) lost his third-place bout by pin against Hudson sophomore Mason Coleman (27-18); Kenston 126-pound senior Joby Herbruck (32-11) lost his third-place bout by an 8-5 decision against Chardon senior Evan Hornyak (33-14); and Kenston 132-pound junior Carl Richter (15-16) lost his third-place bout by pin to Twinsburg sophomore Kris Jones (10-10).
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