SOUTHINGTON — The Southington Blue Knights wrestling team improved to 7-2 following victories over both the Conard Chieftains and Wethersfield Eagles on Wednesday night at Southington High.
Southington won by a combined score of 117-48, taking down Conard 54-24 and Wethersfield 63-24.
The Blue Knights earned seven total pins, 11 wins by forfeit and three by decision.
Junior Colton Thorpe stole the show for Southington. He was the only Blue Knight to record two pins on the night.
“I thought a lot of the kids wrestled well,” said Southington head coach Derek Dion. “We had some tight matches in there. We have a lot of work to do with this young, inexperienced team and we’re just trying to get better everyday.”
Up first for the Blue Knights was CCC West rival Conard. Southington bolted to 33-0 lead.
After freshman Joe Garoflo picked up a forfeit victory at 106 pounds, Ethan Vitti scored a dramatic 5-3 victory at 113, scoring the winnign takedown with 15 seconds left.
Conard’s Armen Arakelian had a 3-2 lead with 19 seconds left in round two after escaping to begin the period and securing a takedown.
Vitti began the third period with an escape of his own to tie the match, and the two played chess until Vitti landed a quick double-leg with 15 seconds on the clock for a 9-0 Southington lead.
That margin ballooned to 33-0 as the Blue Knights got a forfeit and three pins in the next four matches. Junior Jared Mangiafico, senior Ben Gore and Thorpe accounted for the pins.
“I feel like I did really well tonight,” Gore said. “I wrestled my pace, my match.
“As a team, I feel like we wrestled hard,” Gore added. “We’ve been working hard this week and we’re getting better everyday.”
Conard got on the scoreboard in he next match. Junior James Asadow pinned Southington’s Michael Affum in the second period at 145.
Southington answered with a pin by 152-pound sophomore Aaron Borkowski.
Conard gained some momentum pinning to win in the next three matches to cut Soutington’s lead to 39-24, but that momentum quickly came to a halt.
Southington won the last three matches to close out the 54-24 victory over the Chieftains. Sophomore 182-pounder Michael Lurry earned a pin victory over Conard’s Kent Goerner. In the 195-pound division, Southington Luis Matias earned a victory by forfeit and junior Aaron Mysatyukow finished the match with a 3-2 decision over Brayden Sohn.
Mysatyukow landed a takedown with 11 seconds remaining to earn the victory.
Against a short-staffed Wethersfield, the Blue Knights picked up a 48 points just on forfeits.
In the seven matches that were contested, Wethersfield actually got the better of Southington, winning four by pin. The Blue Knights got two pin victories and one by decision.
Mangiafico picked up his second victory of the night, defeating Jake Laurie 11-6. Mangiafico shook off a 3-2 deficit and recorded four takedowns.
“I feel good,” Mangiafico said. “It gives me confidence picking up two wins, and I want to do well at New England’s.”
Donato Laurie followed with a pin for Wethersfield, and the Eagles were up 6-3.
That would be their only lead of the night. The Eagles forfeited their next two matchups and Southington reclaimed the lead, 15-6. Thorpe made it 21-6 with his second pin on the night.
“I thought I wrestled pretty good. I’m not a fan of letting the kid get a takedown in the first match, but I wrestled out of it and got the pin,” said Thorpe.
“Everyone on the team is putting in the work, whether they’re getting two pins or not, they’re all still out here, they’re all showing up to morning practice, lifting, and I have to thank them (my teammates) for being there,” Thorpe added.
Thorpe and the Blue Knights now shift their focus to next Wednesday night’s matchup with Simsbury, currently ranked No. 4 in the Connecticut Wrestling Online state poll.
“We’re going to have to wrestle really, really well to be in that match,” said Dio. “We’re going to need a good week of practice. They’re a top-five program and we’ll see what we can do.”