Barber, Ashkar reach sectional wrestling finals

C-NS, Liverpool wrestlers unable to get first-place finishes

— When all the matches were done at Saturday’s Section III Division I wrestling championships at Onondaga Community College, Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse both walked away without a championship moment to celebrate, though two wrestlers, one from each school, came close.

In a 19-team field, the Northstars finished with 67 points and six podium finishes to grab ninth place, while the Warriors, with 61 points and five podium finishes, were 12th. Baldwinsville (145.5 points) edged Fulton (143.5 points) for the top spot.

Joe Barber, at 99 pounds, gave C-NS its best shot at a title. From a no. 2 seed, Barber (29-11 on the season) beat teammate Ray Sorenson 8-5 and blanked Joe Abelgove (Fulton) 5-0 to reach the championship round, but could not upend New Hartford’s Kaleb McKenna, the top seed, who prevailed 5-1.

Liverpool’s Audey Ashkar made his way to the title match at 106 pounds through an impressive 19-7 win over Joe Fanetti (East Syracuse-Minoa) and a second-period semifinal pin of Stefan Colbert (Indian River) in 3:35.

A strange final followed, as Fulton’s Mitchell Woodworth and Ashkar butted heads in the opening seconds, leading Woodworth to take multiple breaks to tend to that wound. But Woodworth still proved good enough, holding off Ashkar 4-2 as the Warriors freshman moved to 19-8 on the season.

C-NS also saw Joe Mayers take fourth place at 106, two positions behind Ashkar, as he won a pair of consolation bracket matches.

Drew Dyer matched that fourth-place effort at 113 pounds as he lost a narrow consolation bracket final to New Hartford’s Dempsey King 1-0, while Joe Copani lost in the 132-pound semifinal to Tom Quinlan (Fayetteville-Manlius) and also got fourth place. Jeremy Rivera, at 138 pounds, finished sixth, as did Andres Anoceto at 285 pounds.

For the Warriors, Dakota Inman rose to fourth place at 160 pounds, keyed by an 8-6 overtime win over Syracuse IT’s Tial Thang. Darren Breen went 3-2 at 145 pounds, eventually gaining fifth place with a 5-4, double-overtime decision over B’ville’s Brian Rush.

Bryan Merrill (170 pounds) gained fifth with a 5-3 win over F-M’s Mark King and Ron Wilson (220 pounds) took fifth when he pinned Tyler Hudson (Whitesboro) in 3:18. At 285, Davis Carnie lost twice, with Pete Nash (113) falling in the opening round.

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