Adam Busiello defeated Robert Howard (Bergen Catholic, N.J.) in the Super 32 Challenge finals (Photo/Rob Preston)
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The nation's best scholastic age folkstyle tournament came to its conclusion on Sunday afternoon from Greensboro, N.C. A pair of wrestlers repeated as champions at the Super 32 Challenge. Adam Busiello (Eastport-South Manor, N.Y.) won at 113 pounds, while Joey Silva (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.) earned a championship at 126 pounds.
Busiello, who won this event last year as a freshman at 106 pounds, was also champion in the middle school tournament from 2012-2014. He opened the tournament with a pair of pins before earning an 11-2 major decision over Cadet freestyle All-American Dylan Shawver (Elyria, Ohio) in the round of 32. It was a technical fall and a pin before his 10-2 major decision victory over Joey Harrison (Omaha Burke, Neb.), a Junior Greco-Roman runner-up last summer, in the semifinal.
Busiello upended freshman phenom Robert Howard (Bergen Catholic, N.J.), who is ranked No. 12 overall in the Class of 2020, by 5-2 decision in the final. The two-time champion had a takedown in the first period and near fall in the second, before a garbage time takedown by Howard shrunk the final margin.
Silva, last year's 120 pound champion, advanced to Sunday's quarterfinal round with a technical fall in the opening round and then a trio of pins. In the quarterfinal, it was an 11-6 victory over Junior National freestyle All-American Dan Moran (Northampton, Pa.). The semifinal match was a 14-7 victory over two-time state placer Isaiah Perez (Dinuba, Calif.).
As a result, it led to a finals rematch for the No. 21 overall Class of 2018 prospect against Austin DeSanto (Exeter Township, Pa.). This year's bout was much less competitive, as Silva totally dominated the No. 37 overall Class of 2017 prospect by a 7-2 score. Silva scored three takedowns, one in the first period and then a pair in the third period.
Even with those two underclassmen being the shining stars, it was still a senior dominated championship round. Nine of the fourteen weight classes were won by seniors, including six by top 100 wrestlers from the Class of 2017.
Three of these nine beat a pair of top 100 seniors on the way to their championships: Brady Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.), who is ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2017, won the title at 152 pounds; Bryce Rogers (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), ranked No. 64, won the title at 170; while John Borst (Sherando, Va.) won the 195 title.
Though all but one of Berge's seven wins came by decision, he was not truly challenged in any of them. The three victories on Sunday were rather notable. In the quarterfinal, he beat Cadet National double champion Aaron Brooks (North Hagerstown, Md.) 10-3; then he beat Stephan Glasgow (Bound Brook, N.J.), the No. 43 overall senior, by 10-6 decision in the semifinal.
This set up a finals match against No. 20 overall senior Quentin Hovis (Poway, Calif.), after Hovis upset No. 11 overall Austin O'Connor (St. Rita, Ill.) by 5-3 decision in the other semifinal. Berge beat Hovis 5-3 in the championship match, with single takedowns in the second and third periods being the determining factor.
Rogers needed a late takedown to beat state champion Myles Wilson (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) 4-3 in the quarterfinal round. However, he was absolutely on fire in a 10-3 semifinal victory over returning Super 32 placer Anthony Mantanona (Palm Desert, Calif.); Mantanona is ranked No. 32 overall in the Class of 2017. This would lead to a finals showdown against Jake Allar (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.), the nation's No. 30 overall senior, and also a returning Super 32 placer; Allar rallied to beat fellow returning Super 32 placer Ethan Smith (Sparrows Point, Md.), the No. 73 overall senior, 7-5 in overtime in his semifinal.
The championship match at 170 had a scoreless first period. However, Rogers would use a late second period takedown to take a 2-1 advantage. Then an escape followed by a pair of third period takedowns gave the Brown commit a 7-3 championship victory.
Junior National freestyle runner-up Borst, also a two-time state champion and NHSCA Junior champion, used two pins sandwiched by a major decision to reach the Sunday morning quarterfinal round. The Virginia Tech commit would advance to the final with a pair of wins over top 100 seniors: 7-2 over No. 61 Andrew Davison (Chesterton, Ind.) in the quarterfinal, before a 14-9 victory over No. 53 Jacob Raschka (Pewaukee, Wis.) in the semifinal.
The championship match was an absolute barn-burner against returning Super 32 placer and Flo Nationals placer Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville, Pa.), the nation's No. 26 overall junior. Borst would score the match's only two takedowns, one each in the first and second period. In what was a match with many scrambles and exchanges, the last exchange saw Hoffman have a takedown that was subsequently waved off right before time was up. Borst won the bout 4-3.
Four additional top 100 seniors won championships on Sunday afternoon. No. 3 Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.) at 132 pounds, No. 24 Jarod Verkleeren (Hempfield Area, Pa.) at 145, No. 56 Kyle Cochran (Paramus, N.J.) at 160, and No. 18 Louie Deprez (Hilton, N.Y.) at 182.
Arujau beat Mitch Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) by 11-4 decision in the championship bout. It was a third Super 32 Challenge placement for Moore, who is ranked No. 12 overall in the Class of 2018. Arujau, a Cadet World freestyle silver medalist last month, scored takedowns in each period to propel himself to the victory.
Verkleeren beat Josiah Rider (Grand Junction, Colo.) by 5-2 decision in his championship bout. For Rider, it was a second Super 32 Challenge placement for the No. 40 overall junior. Verkleeren, a Cadet World freestyle champion last year, scored takedowns in the second and third period to earn his victory.
Cochran beat Emille Shannon (Christian Brothers College, Mo.) by a 2-2 score with a rideout in the tiebreaker for his championship final. Shannon beat another New Jersey state champion Mekhi Lewis (Bound Brook) by a 3-2 score with an escape in the tiebreak period during the semifinal. Cochran won state two weights above Lewis last year, and was also a NHSCA Junior National champion. In this match, he had no takedowns but used two escapes and a second period rideout to tie the bout. Despite the lack of scoring, it wasn't for the lack of offense and opportunities.
Deprez upended Nino Bonaccorsi (Bethel Park, Pa.) 6-0 in a rematch of last year's semifinal bout down a weight at 170 pounds, Deprez earned a 1-0 victory on that occasion. In this finals match, it was a takedown and a turn in the first period that were the decisive points to beat the No. 21 overall senior - and Flo Nationals champion - Bonaccorsi.
Other seniors to win weight class titles at the Super 32 were Brian Kennerly (Upper Darby, Pa.) at 220 pounds and Brendan Furman (Canon-McMillan, Pa.) at 285. Kennerly was a total Cinderella in this tournament, having only a state qualification on the resume. His big victory was a 4-3 upset over Junior National double All-American Jeffrey Allen (Amherst County, Va.) in the quarterfinal. For his championship match, it was a 5-4 victory over returning Super 32 placer Cole Nye (Bishop McDevitt, Pa.) in the tiebreaker.
Furman, yet to make the state tournament in his high school career dominated returning Super 32 placer Mansur Abdul-Malik (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) 10-3 in the semifinal. Then it was a 3-1 victory over state champion Sammy de Seriere Mullen, Colo.) on a very late takedown in the championship bout.
Rounding out the weight class champions were Antonio Lorenzo (Del Oro, Calif.) at 106 pounds, Patrick Glory (Delbarton, N.J.) at 120, and Sammy Sasso (Nazareth, Pa.) at 138.
Lorenzo, who placed seventh in California at 106 pounds last year as a freshman, beat Greg Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.) 1-0 in the finals bout. He rode out Diakomihalis in the second period, then scored an escape in the third period; Diakomihalis was a high school state champion at 99 pounds last year as an eighth grader, and also a Cadet freestyle All-American.
Glory, ranked No. 49 in the Class of 2018, was runner-up in this tournament last year and is a two-time state runner-up. He started the Super 32 with four pins before a 6-2 decision over state champion Cameron Valdiviez (Rockhurst, Mo.) in the round of 16. He started today's run with a 7-4 quarterfinal victory over Julian Chlebove (Northampton, Pa.), a state champion and the No. 5 overall wrestler in the Class of 2019.
In the championship match, Glory upended Andrew Alirez (Greeley Central, Colo.) by a 4-2 decision. Alirez, ranked No. 17 in the Class of 2019, scored the match opening takedown and had a 2-1 lead after one period. With the match tied 2-2 to start the third period, Alirez chose the neutral position. Glory scored a very early takedown in the third period, and rode Alirez for the duration.
Sasso, ranked No. 9 overall in the Class of 2018, was in total beast mode throughout this tournament. Saturday started with a pair of technical falls before a pair of major decisions, those coming against state champion Alex Rivera (Smithville, Mo.) and fellow state third place finisher Luke Kemerer (Hempfield Area, Pa.)
Sunday started with an 11-3 major decision over 2015 state champion Nate Keim (Collinsville, Okla.) in the quarterfinal before a pin in 1:31 over two-time state medalist and returning Super 32 placer Corey Shie (LaSalle, Ohio) to advance to the final. The championship match was total domination, a 15-1 major decision over state champion Jake Bergeland (Centennial, Minn.), who otherwise had a terrific tournament.