Photo Gallery | MIAA Division III wrestling championships
PITTSFIELD >> And then there were three.
Three Berkshire County wrestlers, two of them Western Massachusetts Division III champions, advanced to the semifinals Friday in the MIAA Division III state championships at Taconic High School.
Western Mass. champions Isiah Williams of Taconic at 152 pounds and Mount Greylock's Alex Griffis at 190 will wrestle in today's semifinal round. They will be joined by 160-pounder Devin Pelletier, who was a finalist in last week's Western Mass. tourney at Southwick-Tolland High School.
"I'm ready to go home, sleep in my own bed, and that's definitely going to be a mental advantage I'll have," Griffis said after he beat Melrose's Antonio DiFronzo in the quarterfinals. "I'm psyched. I'm ready to go."
The wrestlebacks continued after the semifinal round ended.
As of late Friday, Wayland was leading the team championship race with 58 points. Norton was second with 45.5.
Sabis and Somerset were tied for sixth at 31, with Taconic a point behind. Sabis was the top Western Mass team. Mount Greylock was 10th with 29 points, while Monument Mountain (12) was 29th and Mount Everett (4) was 47th.
Berkshire County wrestling fans didn't have the first day of the two-day tournament start off on the right foot, because it took eight weight classes to register the first semifinalist.
Taconic's Williams, wrestling in his home gym, needed only a minute, 52 seconds to pin Nick Janos of Tyngsborough. It took longer to pin Wayland's Quinn Peebles, but Williams got Peebles down with 13 seconds remaining in the third period.
"It was hard to get in and do moves on him," said Williams, when asked about the slow start he got off to against Peebles. "I think he got tired, so I was able to use that. I had a nice trip and used a reversal on him."
Williams said that he had wrestled Peebles earlier in the season, but the Wayland wrestler could not complete that bout. The Taconic wrestler said this time he was glad to see the bout through to the end. Quintin Holland of Danvers will be Williams' semifinal opponent.
"I had high expectations. I wrestled the kid before," said Williams. "We didn't finish the match. This was our finish."
Griffis opened his tournament with a decisive 9-1 in over Norton's Lucas Lavallee. That led to a date with DiFronzo, who had pinned Jordna Corriea of Josiah Quincy in 1:37.
The first period started slowly, but the Greylock wrestler gradually got the momentum and kept DiFronzo from getting a take down. Griffis will face Mark Gentile of Scituate in the semifinals.
"Everybody wants a pin. You plan on them to get the match over with so you don't waste energy. In the end, a win is a win," said Griffis. "Minor, major, Tech Fall, it doesn't matter. A win's a win.
"I'm moving on. That's all that matters to me."
Pelletier, meanwhile, got his run at 160 off to a good start when he pinned Matt Reidy of Danvers in 3:52. Pelletier's next bout was against Jakob Warner of Wayland, the Central Mass. champion. Pelletier had to battle, but came away with an 8-4 win.
"It sounds great. It's a great feeling. I have a tough match tomorrow," Pelletier said, referencing semifinal opponent Austin Cooley of Somerset, the South sectional champion.
Pelletier's win came on the mat supplied to Taconic from Mount Greylock.
"I kind of had home mat here," said Pelletier. "[Warner] was tough. He was strong. I tried to wear him out until he had no gas left, then I just take over from there."
Knocked into the wrestlebacks after quarterfinal losses were Eli Jones of Monument Mountain at 113, Pat Fosby of Mount Everett at 120, Zabion Powell of Taconic at 132, Mason Papirio of Taconic at 138, and heavyweights Dalton Peck of Taconic and Hunter Abriel of Greylock.
103 pounds: Isiaha Cardenales, South Hadley vs. Christian Rivas, Sabis; Sean Herbert, Saugus/NE vs. Nick Stanizzi, Watertown.
113: Bryon Hopkins, Sandwich vs. Mike Titus, Saugus/NE; Jimmy Cope, Wayland vs. Josiah Krason, Georgetown/Ipswich.
120: Kevin Morris, Tyngsboro vs. Tommy Cope, Wayland; Giovanni Rios, Dean Tech vs. Conor Thompson, Quabbin.
126: Matt Kelley, Foxborough vs. Sam Golberg, Holliston; Tom Ranley, Dighton-Rehoboth vs. Brendan Lewis, Canton.
132: Colby Holland, Danvers vs. Eddie Martinez, Southwick; Aidan Kahn, Norton vs. Jose Berrios, Dean Tech.
138: Fox Maxwell, Wilmington vs. Brian Kelley, Foxborough; Mike Connell, Wayland vs. Nate Pacheco, Somerset.
145: Colin Boutin, Hanover vs. Nate Crocker, Franklin Tech; Deven Schuko, Norton vs. Miguel Gonzalez, Southwick.
152: Matt Landry, Sandwich vs. Koby Oimette, Smith Voke; Isiah Williams, Taconic vs. Quintin Holland, Danvers.
160: Brandon Weyant, Hampshire Regional vs. Matt Mullally, Foxborough; Devin Pelletier, Mount Greylock vs. Austin Cooley, Somerset.
170: Eric Reyes, Dedham vs. Dan Greaney, Bedford-Minuteman; Mitch Prario, Somerset vs. Kolby Smith, Sabis.
182: John Boyle, Triton vs. Nate Fistori, Sandwich; Kalon Boston, Pentucket vs. Ben Jones, Wayland.
195: Noah Malhi, Pentucket vs. Gabe Marcoux, Mahar; Alex Griffis, Mount Greylock vs. Mark Gentile, Scituate.
220: Nolan Hodgins, Granby vs. Charlie Frauenfelder, Triton; Matt Carrier, Hampshire Regional vs. Romelo Medina, Hampden Charter.
285: Brent Leger, Quabbin vs. Mason Bradford, Advanced MSA; J.C. Cleveland, Dedham vs. Joe Townsend Tri-County Regional.