Quick thoughts: Section 9 tournament

Ryan Ellefsen has proved he’s one of the state’s top 220-pounders this season.

Ellefsen turned in one of the Goshen’s finest seasons in more than a decade.

The junior pinned Monroe-Woodbury’s Nick McShea, a 2015 state finalist, in December. He was the first Goshen wrestler to place (seventh) at the Eastern States Classic in January and became his school’s first Section 9 finalist since Dimitri Laurent and Kevin Sincerbox in 2005 Saturday.

Ellefsen appeared on his way to another win over McShea in the 220-pound section final. Trailing 4-3, Ellefsen had McShea’s hips flat and was hip to hip with the Monroe-Woodbury senior.

Live, it looked like Ellefsen earned a two-point takedown on the edge of the circle with a minute left for 5-4 lead. Everyone in the gym sans Monroe-Woodbury supporters thought Ellefsen locked in the takedown. But, he wasn’t awarded any points.

“What I saw was an irrelevant overhook (by McShea) and my guy in control,” Goshen coach Ed Killenberger said.

Spoke with coaches, who watched the moment in question over and over again, today. Their first reaction live was that Ellefsen took McShea down. Upon further review, they weren’t 100 percent sure.

It’s a judgment call. The referee and the assistant referee seemed to agree that McShea had a whizzer, or an overhook, in to counter the takedown. If the takedown was called, Ellefsen would have had to ride out for a minute to win the match.

“I gave him (Ellefsen) a hug (after the match), I told him that I was proud of him and what he has done (this season),” Killenberger said. “I said what I always say to the kids you cannot leave the decision up to the referees. You can’t put yourself in that situation where they decide for you what your fate is.”

Ellefsen’s fate is now in the hands of a wildcard system, which takes four at-large qualifiers from around the state. Ellefsen is in the mix to receive a berth with 71 points. Wildcards will be announced Wednesday.

“Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hopefully he gets that shot to hit something at states because I know he can place at states,” Killenberger said. “In his mind, he will be looking forward to wrestling at the states and seeing what he can do there.”

The Ellefsen-McShea final was one of the tournament’s most anticipated matches. Surprised one of the section’s top referees didn’t officiate the bout.

As it stands right now, Section 9’s Division I state team will be represented by five schools – Minisink Valley (5 champions), Monroe-Woodbury (4), Middletown (2), Wallkill (2) and Warwick (2).

Amazing statistic: Minisink Valley placed four first-year varsity wrestlers (Dom Vetrano, Joey Yanis, Andrew Covais and Andrew Fenner) in the finals.

Great show of sportsmanship at the Section 9 Division II tournament by Rondout Valley’s Ian Houck. About 10-15 minutes after his win over Highland’s Mat Malherio, Houck went over to talk wrestling with his opponent.

Tuxedo’s loss was Chester’s gain. Five wrestlers, who attended Tuxedo last year, placed for Chester in the Division II tournament including the school’s first section champions Nick Conetta (113 pounds) and Liam Heslin (160). The wrestlers switched schools due to redistricting.

Dylan Delisi (182) took second, Peter Manana (152) were third and Dean Trevisano (182) placed fourth for Chester.

Here’s an updated list of the active wins leaders after the section tournaments:
Evan Barczak, Monroe-Woodbury 172-28 (41-4)
A.J. Aeberli, Warwick-Minisink Valley, 144-19 (44-2)
Nick McShea, Monroe-Woodbury 143-23 (33-2)
Ryan Ferro, Warwick 142-34 (26-3)
Tyler Lynch, Valley Central-Minisink Valley 133-25 (40-3)
Kevin Kelly, Monroe-Woodbury 122-25 (32-3)
Jarred Greiner, Minisink Valley 121-37 (38-6)
Kevin Morgans, Liberty 117-28 (33-5)
Mike Fekishazy, Wallkill 109-25 (39-1)
Brian Bucci, Saugerties 109-48 (33-2)
Connor Greiner, Minisink Valley 107-21 (41-3)
Ian Houck, Rondout Valley 107-35 (29-7)
Taylor Benson, Red Hook 106-25 (29-5)
Oscar Lainez, Middletown 101-38 (31-3)
Joe Humphrey, Middletown 100-14 (39-4)
Kendall Elfstrum, Illinois-Monroe-Woodbury 100-19 (38-5)

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