Rich Conte has not had the greatest luck around Section II wrestling tournament time.
Two years ago as a sophomore, the Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George wrestler came up short in the Division II finals at the state qualifier, but it was not enough to get him an at-large bid to states.
Last year, Conte dislocated his kneecap the night before the Section II tournament and never got to compete.
So Conte was more than determined to win Saturday night and leave all doubt that he belongs at states. He recorded a takedown late in the first and third periods in a 4-1 victory over Warrensburg’s Dan Monthony in the D-II 160-pound finals. And he did so with a sprained ankle.
“I knew I’d come out on top, but it was closer than I’d like,” Conte said. “I sprained my ankle a couple of days ago, and word must have gotten out, because he was attacking that right leg with the ankle picks. When he did that I knew he was a little scared because if you’re confident, you don’t try to take advantage of someone’s injury.”
“Richie toughed it out — you can’t always choose how you feel,” H-L/LG co-coach Larry Rounds said. “He had to adjust his style throughout the day, even in the finals.
“He’s had tough luck the last couple of years, but it’s been the kid’s dream to go to states,” Rounds added. “He deserves it. He’ll have a couple of weeks to heal and I think he has a chance to place at states.”
The State Wrestling Tournament is set for Feb. 23-24 at the Times Union Center in Albany.
— Pete Tobey
There was only one senior on the floor during Friday night’s Adirondack League girls basketball championship game — Warrensburg’s Kayla Raymond.
All the other young players put on a show in a back-and-forth game that was eventually won by Lake George, 51-37, with a second-half surge.
“We’re young, they’re young,” Burghers coach Scott Smith said. “Hopefully we’re back here next year going at it again.”
Both teams could also make a significant dent in the Class C sectionals — a fact that brought out Cambridge coach Tony Bochette to scout the game on a snowy evening. The seedings for the Section II Girls Basketball Tournament come out on Wednesday.
“Cambridge was here tonight, they’re ranked No. 2 in the state; Mekeel Christian is like fourth in the state, Berne-Knox, Lake George is ranked, Greenville,” Smith said. “The C’s are loaded, there’s no doubt.”
— Pete Tobey
South Glens Falls freshman Brock Delsignore locked up his second straight Section II title by locking down Saratoga’s Eric Griskowitz in a 10-3 win in the Division I 120-pound finals Saturday night.
“I worked my pace and stuck to my attacks,” Delsignore said. “It’s pretty cool to get my second (title) in a row. I’m hoping to place (at states).”
“Brock wrestled as expected — he’s wrestling the way he should, he kept control all the time,” South High coach Mike St. Louis said. “He didn’t let (Griskowitz) get legs in on him. Last time he got boots in on us, but he learned to defend against that, which kept the tide in our favor.”
Delsignore, now 36-3 on the season, has 113 career wins in three varsity seasons.
— Pete Tobey
Offers roll in
On Saturday, Joseph Girard III made an unofficial visit to Ohio State University, and watched its game against Iowa. Later that night, he announced on Twitter he had received a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.
Since picking up an offer from Michigan on Jan. 27, Girard has received offers from Oklahoma, Rutgers and Syracuse, bringing his total scholarship count to 22.
Tuesday marks the conclusion of Glens Falls’ regular season. If Girard scores 57 points or more, he will score 1,000 points in one season and have averaged 50 points per game.
— Ellis L. Williams
One last ride
Seven seniors between two teams played against each other for the last time on Thursday as Queensbury took on the Adirondack Rivermen inside Cool Insuring Arena.
Senior Spartans Gabe Smith, Austin Gordon, Liam Smith and Patrick Williams posed with senior Rivermen Vinny Marine, Noah Benson and Andrew Rizzo for a pregame picture to commemorate the seniors’ final battle for the Stick.
Queensbury beat the Rivermen 7-4, and Gordon’s goal-and-assist performance helped the Spartans win the Stick in consecutive seasons.
“I get emotional because this is my last time playing for this,” Gordon said. “I never get to play for it again and I never get to play with the guys I grew up with. It is sad, but you have to think about the win, and the emotions are crazy right now.”
— Ellis L. Williams