Sectionals: Videos from D2 championships


Today’s Division 2 championships had a little bit of everything: Upsets, statements and some great story lines. I’ve got plenty of videos to get to, so let’s jump right into it.

• For the third consecutive year, it was Nanuet who came away as the overall team champion in D2. I honestly thought that the Golden Knights could have won by an even wider margin (they finished ahead of Putnam Valley by 53.5 points), but they had a few of their top guys get tripped up in the semis. Nanuet only had four finalists — Anthony Calvano (120), Matt Dillon (145), Peter Smith (170) and Dan Breit (220) — while Put Valley and Edgemont had six each. Dillon and Breit were the only Golden Knights to win titles, but they were able to cruise to a team title thanks to their incredible depth. “It’s awesome,” Dillon said. “We’re all seniors, we all love wrestling and we all love doing this together. It’s a good way to go out. We didn’t have as many finalists as we would have liked, but we worked hard in the wrestle backs to get that team title.”

• We knew about Nanuet’s stellar senior class heading into the weekend, but I was really impressed with the depth displayed by Putnam Valley. The Tigers surprised everyone by passing Edgemont for second place, sending a message that they should be a team to watch out for in the section title picture next season. Noah Kelvas (106), Chris Bruno (132; pictured to the right) and John Messinger (170) each won titles. “This is like the 10th or 12th year of the program, and every year it’s gotten progressively better,” said Messinger after winning his second consecutive title. “I have to give incredible props to (coach Will) Carano for the time he puts in and the practices he puts us through. He’s behind it all; he’s the master mind.”

• The finals got off to a rousing start with Pleasantville’s James Bathon coming up with a slight upset against Edgemont’s Kyle Aslanian in the 99-pound final. Bathon wasn’t able to do too much against Aslanian, but he scored early and then used his strength to ride the smaller Aslanian out for a good portion of the match. Here is video of his 3-0 decision.

• With Kyle and his brother Tyler Aslanian both losing to start the finals, eldest brother Trey Aslanian (pictured above) made sure that the family didn’t walk away empty-handed. Trey was matched up against Calvano in the 120-pound final, and Trey admitted to being unsure of whether Calvano would compete in that weight class until this week. “I try not to concern myself, but I respect him for it,” Trey said. “It shows how tough of a kid he is, but was I surprised? Yeah, a little surprised.” The final pitted arguably the two most decorated wrestlers in D2 up against each other, and it lived up to its billing. Tied at 1-1 entering the third, Trey was able to secure a late takedown near the edge for the 3-1 decision. I certainly like Calvano’s chances of getting a wild card to states. “I looked at the clock and there were 20 seconds left, and in my mind, it was no problem,” Aslanian said. “Go out there and get your shot. That’s what I did. I feel comfortable in those close matches because I’ve been in so many of them.”

• While Calvano would have had a better shot for a title had he went 126, Pleasantville’s Stephen Paternostro (pictured to the left) won a title there after one helluva day. The tournament’s MOW upset favorite Joe Dillon of Nanuet with a 6-5 decision in the semis, and he finished the day with a big-time exclamation point. He pinned top-seeded AJ Mirabal of Put Valley in the finals in just 15 seconds, getting in on Mirabal’s leg and sticking him virtually in full swoop. Definitely the nastiest finish I saw all day. “I had to be confident,” Paternostro said. “I knew I had to wrestle Joe Dillon as best as I could. Once I beat him, I had the confidence to come out here and beat Mirabal.”

• For the past two seasons, I’ve seen Matt Dillon come up just short at sectionals. He had been a runner-up two years in a row, but as he told me today, “I wasn’t going to make it a third time.” Dillon beat Westlake’s Nick O’Hallaran with a 3-1 decision in the 145-pound final to finally capture that elusive title. He had a little scare in the first period when O’Hallaran caught him in a headlock and slammed him, but Dillon wiggled free before O’Hallaran could secure his position for two points. “That was the same exact move that happened to me two years ago,” Dillon recalled. “I got tossed, and I was like, ‘This isn’t going to happen to me again.’ I just got off my back as quick as I could. I thought they gave him the two, but luckily they didn’t.”

• Along with Trey, Messinger, Breit and Pawling’s Matt Acevedo (285), Irvington’s Brett Pastore was the fifth wrestler to repeat as a section champ. He pinned Edgemont’s Jack McCormack in the first period of the 152-pound final, and is one of the guys who could make some noise at states.

While those five were all repeat champs, Westlake senior Edgar Solis (pictured to the right) became a two-time champ with his 8-2 decision over Put Valley’s Angelo Zegarelli in the 160-pound final. Solis won a section title as a sophomore, but was upset in the semifinals last season. “It was very upsetting,” Solis said of losing last year. “I had nightmares every night reliving that. Going into my senior year, I knew I had to win it this year. I put more effort into practice, drilled harder and just kept focus.”

One of the biggest eye-opening performances that I saw came from Edgemont’s Chris Kim. He decided to go 182, and he made it look like a very wise decision with his 14-5 major decision over Pleasantville’s Peter Salzarulo in the finals. Admittedly, I was a bit surprise to see Kim let Salzarulo up after taking him down right away, but it turned out to be a good strategic move. He was able to rack up points almost at will, displaying tremendous athleticism and crisp shots throughout the match. Kim moves well for a bigger guy.

• Unfortunately, because they decided to have the finals running simultaneously on two mats, I was only able to get half of them on video. The final match that I was able to shoot wasn’t a very long one, as Breit pinned Croton-Harmon’s Alek Pavloff in 30 seconds in the 220-pound final. I’ve said before that I believe Breit is the best chance for a state champ from D2. 

• Other guys to win titles were Lourdes’ Jacob Wiegard (195), and Ardsley’s Stephen Samolsky (113) and Drew Longo (138). Dan DeFrancesco took a few videos from the D1 quarters at Pace, which I’ll post sometime tomorrow morning.

Photos by Seth Harrison/The Journal News


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  1. Rockland on the Rise on

    Just watched the little Aslanian match. Final score shows 2-0 but in the article it says he lost 3-0. Looks like he ran off mat. Everyone looks confused. Was a penalty point awarded? Someone please verify.

  2. saw something very mature on

    Before responses get out of hand, the little Aslanian did run off without returning to the circle to shake hands. He probably did receive a 1pt penalty. However, he did later apologize to the pleasantville coach and shook his hand. If he made this apologetic act I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to Bathon as well. But I don’t know that for sure. But he did apologize to the coach.
    Also want to add, to must of us it wasn’t an upset. I believe popular opinion on the blog was that Bathon was too big and strong for Kyle. Noah beating Tyler was more of an upset, but keep in mind Tyler missed most of the season with a neck injury

  3. A point was awarded for leaving the mat without shaking hands. After a few minutes he did come back and shake hands with tyler and apologize to both coaches.

  4. Bruno’s toughest match came against Chris Santana who tested him pretty good, but lost some intensity in the last period. Other than that, he had an easy time.

    Santana was able to beat everyone else he faced and took 3rd place. For a Sophomore facing a bunch of Seniors that are bigger and in theory stronger, that’s not too shaby.

    I see a bright future for him in his last 2 years in high school.

  5. Kim won because he faced a scrub in the finals! There isn’t a single weight he could make All-Section in in D1!!

  6. I think yesterdays results show that Will Carano is the coach of the year in section one. I am a little biased because I have had three sons in his program, but the transformation of each of them has been amazing. Will teaches maintaining weight through workouts and nutrition rather than cutting weight, he teaches respect for the sport and how to win and lose gracefully. He is not only a great coach but a great human being. My wife and I owe him a debt of gratitude we can never repay. He has made our sons better young men. Thank you Will and Evan for another great season and good luck to all our section one champs at states.

  7. Calvano Vs Aslanian

    Not bad.

    I think the better wrestler won. Both did some nice things. Trey’s throw by to a leg on the edge with no score was nice as was his underhook to a shot that won the match. Calvanos defense off the early low single was nice.

    That being said, do you think we have a state champ here? Osleeb was the last D2 champ. I just watched his state final on Flow. His speed, atheleticism, ability to change levels and defense seems far beyond what we see here.

    Good luck to Trey at states and hopefully Calvano to.

  8. not so fast my friends on

    Bruno got called for stalls against Guido, was fleeing the mat from the tie ups with Guido when he wasn’t in good position to hit a dump. Guido couldn’t stop the dump. Had a leg and a power half at the end but didn’t get the two. Bruno was tested by him as well.

    Either multiple people on here got beat by Chris Kim or “JEFF” is using two names now. Guys who have a problem with who wins the section usually haven’t won one themselves. drop the bitterness. Several wrestlers went different weights to have a shot at a section championship. 182 had Kim a finalist last year, Buhlmann a finalist last year, and Salzarulo who beat Buhlmann. It’s not like he went to a weak weight class, he just moved from Messinger a returning section champ who I believe only lost to Perry in section 1. And he dominated at 182. and his athleticism and explosiveness will be more effective in the 182 weight class hitting those doubles. Kim could probably make all-section at 182 in D1. Yes 170 is loaded, 182 is not. Guys must think they have a better shot with Perry than Murray. News flash Messinger beat Murray and couldnt beat Perry.. guess that’s old news though.

    haters gonna hate though

    its definitely a personal grude though, no mention of the 220’s going up to get away from Breit. No mention of guys going 126 to get away from Trey and Calvano

  9. Fact check; Duran pinned Kim twice, Hofling once, and he even lost to Nanuet’s 170 lber. Kim wouldn’t even make the 2nd day in D1

  10. Not bad,

    What prompted you to watch a video of Osleebs state finals match ? I think Trey is a few steps ahead of where Ryan was at this point.

  11. d2

    I was at Treys match this weekend as I was when Osleeb won. Its hard to rememeber 2 years ago so I watched.

    I am glad you think Trey is “few steps ahead”. It looks like we should have another state champ. Must admit, your eyes are likely seeing through glasses that need adjustment.

  12. just so everyone knows on

    Kim would make 2nd day at D1 182, HE IS THE D2 182 CHAMP

    get over it HA and JEFF and any other names used. HE IS BETTER THAN YOU, get over it…

  13. d2

    LOL..I saw Osleeb…Trey is no Osleeb…Osleeb would have, at the very least Majored both Trey and Calvano.

  14. cheer for your boy! on

    Parents, teamates,fans whomever – stop bashing! Cheer for your son, your teamate, don’t root against the other boy you may not know what has happened to them the day before the week before the month before. They may have battled illness for a year or suffered a tremendous loss! But they still come to wrestle! They come and they give as best they can that day, win or lose! The losses are heartbreaking we ALL feel them! Don’t critisize what weight class may be easier or harder, don’t bad mouth the refs some are better than others we all get them and without them we do not have a sport. Coaches are all different some are better than others, nicer, tougher, kinder don’t watch 2 matches at once and so on but without them again no sport. We can’t control the weather either. Be grateful if your son didn’t miss sections due to illness or injury, be respectful, teach you boy to be respectful and try to enjoy him, because before you know it it’s OVER WIN OR LOSE! Good luck Section 1 make us proud!!!!!

  15. Bathon (tough kid) took it to “squeaky” big time. Noah Kelvas worked Talentless Aslanian in the finals. 113 forgetable. Trey vs Calvano good match I think everyone in the gym predicted Calvano, but Trey took it to him. 126 biggest upset of the night, Ive watched Mirabal this season and he is a real stud for that to happen to him in the finals dropped my jaw and kept my mouth open for a while. Dont know what his chances are for the wildcard but if he is a contendor for it like I hope he is I forsee him placing up in Albany. Chris Bruno was the best 132 lber in the gym for anyone to say he was stalling or fleeing the mat in his finals match can be debated. One thing is certian Guido should be glad he was on the weak side of the bracket and honnered he got to wrestle in the finals. I wouldnt be to hard on Guido though after all he is coached by Mr. Busch League himself coach Beer Gut Ochipinti. 138 Longo to tough interested to see what he brings in Albany. 145 Dillon ran from Longo, 0-2 at states. 152 Pastore incredible brute stregth very physically gifted kid. 160 Solis tough kid in section but wont produce in Albany. 170 John Messinger without a doubt best wrestler in D2 without question top 5 in the whole section, pleasure to watch him compete. 182 Kim ran from Messinger say what you want he won..195 good for Lourdes’ young program. 220 Acevedo actually turned into a wrestler this year after Injury defaulting his way to states last season. 285 didnt even watch the match cant speak Intelligently on the subject.

  16. My info is wrong at the end there… Forgot about Avacado running from Briet who is a complete stud at 220. Breit will do damage at states.

  17. your a funny guy Scoop
    dont even know whats going on think Acevedo won at 220 and didnt watch 285, until you realized Breit was the 220 and acevedo won 285. In what world, barring injury, would Breit not be in the final ? what did you think you were watching? wonder if you were even there lol

    113 forgetable lol the D2 field was almost as good as the D1 field seeing as 2nd and 3rd pinned the 5th/6th from D1, not too shabby for D2.
    126 Paternostro has placed just as often as Mirabal, i sense a little PV bias. Yes Mirabal favorite but the bigger upset was in the finals
    132 was a strong field, Guido as a five seed earned his way into the final, was one of the deeper fields in D2, get a few good guys at one weight and we complain about what side is weak. Jolly placed several times, Korek was a finalist last year, Santana is a young gun, Bruno is the most complete wrestler in the group, no surprise he won.
    Cheap shot at Occhipinti dont know where that comes from? seems like he runs a good program, kids are sportsmen, had a few finalists, doesn’t exactly wrestle a bush-league schedule lot of D1 schools
    120 was a good match despite the low scoring, i’ll give you that but i hoped for a little more action from those two.
    Tyler Aslanian, pretty successful for someone you consider talentless, was out for months, tough to comeback from that

    watch the cheap shots there ya scummer

  18. Dascoop your definitely from Putnam Valley congrats on placing higher then Pleasantville, Edgemont for the first time in a while…. Also there’s no need to put down occhipinti he has had successful teams over the years. You guys upset a few guys congrats if Aslanian was healthy at 106 he would have beat Kelvas by a major decision watch out for next year it wont happen again that’s for sure

  19. (@ FUNNY STUFF & BIAS)Your right my comments do seem partial towards Putnam.. However I mentioned those weights for reasons that I stated.. Mirabals loss suprised me, above Brunos final match was talked about both him fleeing the mat and stalling, Messinger in my opinion is the most talented D2 side. So I don’t know maybe I do look like Im from Putnam Valley or at least that I have a thing for that school, which is understandable but dont really care if I come off like im from P.V..(@ FUNNY STUFF) Dont know if you saw my comment following my first, thought I corrected my mistake. If you need that in your argument to make it look like I dont know what im talking about or that my opininons are ridiculous thats fine. In my opinion who the hell watches or even cares about heavy or super heavy. Again 113’s whole bracket and your comment deffending them made me want to fall asleep.126 was an uspet and it was in the finals? Hmm guess you could have read that in my first comment or again in this one, suprised me is all not knocking anyone Paternostro obviously came out and lit Mirabal up. Calling 132 strong is the wrong word competetive would better fit it. As you and myself stated Bruno owned that class talking about the other average competetors doesnt interest me. Occhipinti in my eyes is the caucasian sensai in the original Karate Kid movie. You can see in the way he coaches, argues with officials and talks to his athletes…. his whole demeanor makes me as a fan and a lover of this sport want to shoot myself. The program he runs is great if you wanna talk about his son whos generic moves and above average strength won him through holes at wieght classes in section one several times and going 0-2 at the state level all of those times. Sorry if what I think about good ole Sam came out in my first comment. Talentless isn’t a fraction of his older brother, weakest of the three brothers flat out doesn’t impress me, way to beatable. Coming off an injury is tough but out wrestling him isn’t. Watch who you decide to have a blog off with fart-breath…(@BIAS) Your definitely not from Putnam Valley and I’m sure they appreciate you congratulating them on finishing ahead of Pleasantville last year taking third place as a team for the second year in a row behind Nanuet & Edgemont and for this year finishing 2nd behind Nanuet. Aslanian wont be in the same league as Kelvas next year mark those words… And for you to sarcastically remark on P.V. finally doing something as a team shows that you must be as old as their program is, in the article above it mentions a 10-12 year program..

  20. Scoop,

    Lay off the personal attacks. These are kids that step on the mat and win or lose should be commended for doing so.

  21. Scoop you’re a clown… very few coaches don’t argue with refs. Most go way further than Occhipinti, in the last ten years i’ve seen plenty of their wrestling and haven’t seen a penalty against them. He doesn’t run around the mat screaming like some coaches. Not sure what you mean by how he speaks to his wrestlers ? Do you think that he degrades them ? I don’t see it. Bias called the program successful, I called it good, you called it great… then you took a cheap shot at his son… JEALOUSY is just a form of flattery in my eyes. So envious of Occhipinti it couldn’t be more relevant. The program is just fine. He regularly finishes in the top half of the section despite only have 12-15 kids on a good year, 8-11 kids in other years. Most teams finishing around or above him have twice the kids in their program if not more. Last year with an ALMOST full line-up he won their league (not the strongest league but they won it) David did go 1-2 one year so your insults aren’t even accurate. Also his last two years he was in some pretty strong weight classes with multiple all-state wrestlers, half the kids he lost to in Albany placed. And he made his way on to the Cortland Wrestling team so I don’t think he needs your approval. Generic moves ? like leg craddles and leg rides ? what would you like him to do ? I guess you have a problem with one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet only hitting blast doubles? you go ahead and sit there behind your computer and criticize Jordan Burroughs.. I’ll get a kick out of that.

    Tyler Aslanian, another who should be flattered by your jealousy, clearly was a different wrestler. Before the injury he majored Andrew Barsuch who pinned Noah Kelvas. Also Tyler placed above Noah last year, probably beat him would have been surprised if he didnt (think he did in the semi’s perhaps)

    I wasn’t trying to point out some typo about Acevedo, my point was that you mentioned not being able to speak intelligently on the subject of the 285 match because you didn’t watch it. My point was that you didnt even realize that you did watch it. But we are supposed to listen to the garbage coming out of you despite that ? I mean i’m not convinced you could speak intelligently on any subject but hopefully others dont read into your nonsense.

    As for D2 not entertaining you ? well maybe you should watch Occhipinti a little longer and finish the job, im sure, other than then the person who gets stuck with the clean up, no one will miss you. 99, 126, 132, 145, 182, 285 are about as good as weight classes are going to get, except when elite guys line up like at 120 this year. It’s what D2 is, 15 or so schools, several with very low numbers, when you get 1 seeds finishing 6th at 285 because there are guys that can compete it’s a little shocking. 6 competitive supers in a field of 15 schools. Not to mention the 285’s in D2 actually wrestled where 1/2 the D1 heavyweight matches went to overtime. Granted there was a bunch of 220’s in the super field, but still….

    every wrestler this guy has tried to knock, just remember the words of some rapper/actor lol They hate me cause they aint me !