BENNINGTON -- Mount Anthony Union High School sophomore Jack Luciano scored a decision at 220 pounds to clinch a 34-21 victory over Danbury on Monday night at Kates Gym.
With MAU up four in the back-and-forth match, Luciano faced off against Tristan Jakobsen. Luciano scored a takedown in each of the first two periods, taking a 4-2 lead into the third, then wore down his opponent, scoring an escape in the final period for the winning margin.
"Jack beat a good wrestler," said MAU coach Scott Legacy. "Before he went out I told him to wrestle smart, wear the match along and you'll come out on top. Stay with what you know."
Two turning points were matches at 160 and 195 pounds.
Down 17-13 coming into the 160-pound bout, MAU's Jacob Woodside gave up an opening takedown but kept grinding for two points at the end of the second period to tie the match 2-2. Neither Woodside nor Haxj Lajqi could gain an advantage in the third, and the match went to overtime. After a stalemate, Woodside pounced, scoring the takedown with seven seconds left to win the match 4-2.
"Woodside was huge. We didn't have a clue what we'd get," Legacy said. "We were thinking it was a win if he didn't get pinned, and then he won."
At 195, Brandon Marcoux-Schaefer took on a decidedly bigger opponent in Joe Peterson. Through two periods, the score was 2-2. Peterson took the lead in the third with an escape, but then was hit for a stalling penalty with less than 10 seconds remaining. As the crowd roared, Marcoux-Schaefer hit a takedown with six seconds left and the 5-3 decision.
"We had two close matches at 160 and 195, if we won those it would have been tied," said Danbury coach Ricky Shook. "But we lost those. Hand it to them, they wanted it a little more."
Paulo Freitas started the match with a decision at 106, but then Troy Gassaway scored five points for MAU with a 21-4 technical fall at 113.
Dylan LaFountain lost a major decision 14-2 against New England finalist Kevin Jack at 120 but Kyle Fletcher picked him up with a 4-0 win at 126.
Miguel Calixto continued his perfect season with a 18-2 tech fall at 132, but Danbury came back to take the lead with Zach Tepper winning 8-0 at 138 over Bailey Willard and Shane Jennings earning a 9-5 victory over Houston Shaler at 145.
Ray Nunez made it three wins in a row for the Hatters with a 7-1 decision over Vince Pagan at 152, but then Woodside won at 160 to give MAU the momentum.
Johnny Garcia, a freshman All-American a season ago, beat Tyler Mattison 11-3 at 170 to give Danbury a 21-16 edge, but then Damon Young, wrestling up to 182 and coming off an injury, scored a pin in 3:13 to put MAU into the lead for good.
"Damon moving up to 182 was a strategic move that paid off," Legacy said. "He hasn't had a lot of mat time, so I said pace yourself, wrestle to your strength and he did."
Jesse Webb finished the match with a flourish at 285, still unbeaten after a pin in 2:22.
"Those two key matches ... everything else went to plan, but we win those two, we have a shot," Shook said.