ALBANY — Jordan Bushey’s bid for a state Division II wrestling title ended with a close loss in the semifinals Saturday.
The second-seeded Peru standout dropped a 2-1 decision to Section II’s Connor Lawrence in the 160-pound semifinals of the NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships at the Times-Union Center.
It was a day of close losses for the Section VII contingent.
Still, the locals finished with four place-winners.
Bushey, along with Saranac’s Codie Gillette and Peru’s Jay Oakes, placed fifth, while Saranac’s Jacob Nolan turned in a sixth-place performance.
Not bad considering Section VII has only five wrestling schools and does not get at-large spots in the tournament like the bigger sections do.
Bushey, following his semifinal setback, dropped another 1-point decision when Section VI’s Alex Smythe recorded a 3-2 victory in wrestlebacks.
The Peru junior then took out his frustration in the fifth/sixth match with a 15-0 technical fall win over Section VI’s Howie Nolan.
“Jordan lost a tough one in the semifinals,” Peru co-coach Mike Hogan said. “There was a stalling call against Jordan that was the deciding point in the match. It wasn’t a terrible call. The kid who beat him was the sentimental choice because his coach in retiring at the end of the season.
“Jordan wrestled in a tough weight class and the kid he got in the wrestlebacks was the top seed who got beat in three overtimes in the quarterfinals. That was a tough match to wrestle following the semifinals and Jordan got taken down with nine seconds to go to lose by one point.”
Bushey, however, finished strong.
“He really put it to that guy to take fifth,” Hogan said. “Jordan had a great season and a great tournament. He’s fun to watch and we’re proud of him. What he does from now to next season will determine if he will be a state champion.”
Gillette, wrestling at 138, opened his day in wrestlebacks with a 4-3 victory over Section III’s Garrett Mitchell before dropping a 3-1 decision to Section VIII’s Sam Ward.
The Saranac senior then capped off his high school career with a pin in 4:07 over Section V’s Colin Royce in the fifth/sixth-place match.
“Codie was losing, 4-0, and he put the guy on his back and pinned him,” Hogan said. “He did a great job and battled back.”
Oakes recorded a 10-2 major decision over Section IV’s Jamie Griswold in the 145-pound wrestlebacks, but then dropped a tough 3-2 setback to Section VI’s Nate Martin.
The senior then came back with a 4-0 win over Section V’s Corey Farrell to capture the fifth/sixth-place match.
“Jay wanted to get here so badly and scored a lot of points down here,” Hogan said. “I think he was more relaxed after winning the sectionals and wrestled very well.”
Nolan, just a seventh-grader, put in a strong performance at 99 pounds.
He edged out an 8-7 victory over Section XI’s Jack Bokina in wrestlebacks, but then dropped a 3-0 decision to Section IV’s Dean Raymond, who was the top seed going in at 99.
Nolan then lost by injury default to Section II’s Zachery Lawrence his fifth/sixth-place match. Lawrence, ironically, was awarded a win over Nolan by injury default the day before.
Nolan was leading 4-0 on Friday in the quarterfinal before when he slammed Lawrence down and the Section II wrestler decided he couldn’t continue.
It was nearly identical on Saturday when Nolan held a 3-0 advantage and had Lawrence on his back for a minute. But, once again, Nolan slammed his opponent down and Lawrence couldn’t continue and was awarded the match.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Hogan said. “I don’t know how bad the kid was hurt today, but he got booed pretty good. Jacob wrestled great.
“We did pretty well down here for having such a young crew,” Hogan said. “We had some of the kids not pleased with where they finished. But, when they calm down, they can reflect on how well they did.”
Peru’s Tanner Phillips (152), Northern Adirondack’s Matt Lashway (182) and Saranac’s Paul Herrera (220) needed one more win to place, but were defeated.
Phillips dropped a 5-1 decision to Section II’s Cam Milliken, Lashway lost by a 5-0 score to Section V’s Trey Duvall, and Herrera was pinned in 2:29 by Section III’s Garrett Duvall.
NYSPHSAA Wrestling Championships
Section VII results
99- Wrestlebacks- Jacob Nolan (Saranac-VII) dec. Jack Bokina (Mattituck-XI), 8-7; Dean Raymond (Deposit/Hancock-IV) dec. Nolan, 3-0; 5th-6th- Zachery Lawrence (Duanesburg-II) injury default over Nolan.
138- Wrestlebacks- Codie Gillette (Saranac-VII) dec. Garrett Mitchell (Camden-III), 4-3; Sam Ward (Locust Valley-VIII) dec. Gillette, 3-1; 5th-6th- Gillette pinned Colin Royce (Warsaw-V), 4:07.
145- Wrestlebacks- Jay Oakes (Peru-VII) dec. Jamie Griswold (BGAH-IV), 10-2; Nate Martin (Newfane-VI) dec. Oakes, 3-2; 5th-6th- Oakes dec. Corey Farrell (Warsaw-5), 4-0.
152- Wrestlebacks- Cam Milliken (Albany Academy-II) dec. Tanner Phillips (Peru-VII), 5-1.
160- Semifinals- Connor Lawrence (Duanesburg-II) dec. Jordan Bushey (Peru-VII), 2-1. Wrestlebacks- Alex Smythe (Eden-VI) dec. Bushey, 3-2; 5th-6th- Bushey tech. fall over Howie Nolan (Maple Grove-VI), 15-0.
182- Wrestlebacks- Trey Duvall (Addison-V) dec. Matt Lashway (Northern Adirondack-VII), 5-0.
220- Wrestlebacks- Garrett Duvall (Sherburne-Earlville-III) pinned Paul Herrera (Saranac-VII), 2:29.