A meeting of two of the area's top wrestling teams ended in a lopsided win for Downingtown West, as the Whippets blew past Great Valley 44-11 to claim the championship of the 12-team Octorara Duals tourney.
The championships finals got underway with the 130-pound class, and Bill Hasen got the Patriots off to a good start, getting a third period escape, and scoring a takedown on a single leg to edge West's Chris Uhler 3-0.
Matt McDonough knotted the meet score at 3-3 when the Whippets 135-pounder scored an early takedown and added some nearfall points to take a 4-0 lead over Great Valley's Scott Scheetzenmaier after one period, and won 6-2.
With West leading 6-3 following Jake Miller's 4-1 win over Pat McGinn at 140, the Whippets' Steve Rathfon squared off with the Patriots' Matt McGill at 145. McGill grabbed the first takedown, but Ratfhon was able to break free for one, then took a 3-2 lead with a single leg takedown at the edge of the mat. Prior to the start of the second period, McGill was forced to injury default.
"Matt was right in the match," said Great Valley coach Joe Tornetta. "He's wrestled Steve (Rathfon) before at our tournament, and hung with him there, too. We know he'd have had a chance to win, but it's early in the year. We have some tough league meets coming up, and we know we're going to need Matt down the road to help us win."
Josh Homer added to the West lead with an 8-2 win over Great Valley's Myles Tornetta at 152 before Jay Hahn put the Patriots back on the winning track at 160. Hahn tilted the Whippets' Chris Kalbach at will, racking up four sets of nearfall points in an 18-2 technical fall. At 171, the Whippets' Paul Roseberry picked up a 10-4 win over Carl Buchholz.
The marquee matchup of the day came at 189, Patriots' state medallist Drew Smith aagainst West state qualifier Joe DeGaravilla.
Smith scored on a double leg takedown early in the first period for a 2-0 lead. DeGaravilla broke free for one in the second, and Smith got an escape in the third to make it 3-1. A final flurry by DeGaravilla in the final 15-seconds went for naught, and Smith made the 3-1 score stand.
"Every time these two go at it, it's just about the same," said Tornetta. "This time Drew came out on top. DeGaravilla wasn't really forcing the action, so Drew wrestled smart and did what he needed to do to win."
No one had a tougher slate of matches than DeGaravilla had on the day. Besides Smith, DeGaravilla wrestled defending Class AA state champ Mike Letts of Octorara, losing 11-2.
"Getting those kinds of matches like Joe had is important, and made the day all the more worthwhile," said West coach Darrin Cummings. "We're not going to duck guys like Letts. You have to wrestle the best competition you can. It gets you ready for the post-season. I think Joe sees he's going to have to open it up more if he wants to beat the top guys."
Smith's win would be the last for the Patriots on the day. West's Nojan Zomorrodian won 15-3 over Pete Maganas at 215. Alex Bause picked up a forfeit at 275. Rob Akers was a 14-1 winner over Kyle Liberato at 103. Patrick May held off a late surge by Tony Pisciella at 112 to win 8-7. D.J. Evans won 14-5 on six takedowns over Domeinic DeRobertis at 119. And Jason Scanlon was a tilting machine on the way to a 17-0 tech in 3:29 over Gary McGill at 125.
It was the third straight year the Whippets wrestled for the championship at the Octorara Duals, and their second straight title.
"There were some tough battles, but our kids did what they needed to do," said Cummings. "Overall, it was a very good day. We had a lot of individual guys get some tough matches in, and we came away with a tournament win."