First Posted: 2/23/2015
KINGSTON – Four other wrestlers in the 126-pound bracket entered the District 2 Class AAA Wrestling Championships with more wins than James Fayocavitz.
That meant the Abington Heights senior would have to beat one of them to get into the top four and earn a return trip to Northeast Regionals.
Fayocavitz got that out of the way on his first chance, taking an early lead en route to a 5-3 semifinal victory over Kyle Stoll of Delaware Valley Saturday morning, clinching his first trip to the district finals and his second shot at regionals.
“I thought I could get to the championship, but I knew I’d have to get by Kyle Stoll,” Fayocavitz said of the toughest challenge in his half of the bracket.
Fayocavitz (25-6) scored the first takedown and used a tilt to add back points for all the scoring he would need.
“That took a little bit of pressure off,” said Fayocavitz, who fought through the consolation bracket to advance last year with a third-place finish. “I was excited to be going to regionals again.”
Hazleton Area sophomore Jimmy Hoffman (33-5) ended any title hopes for Fayocavitz when he won his second straight district title with a 16-1 technical fall in 3:48.
The semifinal win proved important to the regional pursuit when Stoll was unable to make it into the top four in the deep bracket.
Fayocavitz was one of three Comets to reach Friday and Saturday’s Northeast Regional in Bethlehem where the top four in each weight class will advance to the state championships in Hershey.
Nick Carr, at 152 pounds, and Anthony Sylvester, at 195 pounds, reached the consolation final to earn their spots. Carr made the semifinals where he lost to eventual champion Kazim Bakhriyev, 3-1. Sylvester lost his first bout but came back with two straight wins to make it to Bethlehem.
Noah Sirianni took fifth at 106 pounds for the Comets, who placed 10th out of 14 in the team standings.
Thor Balavage won the 220-pound title for Scranton Prep and Lackawanna Trail advanced two wrestlers through the District 2 Class AA tournament, held at the same time at the Kingston Armory, to make it to the Northeast Regional in Williamsport.
“This is awesome,” said Balavage, a junior who was fourth in the district as a freshman and second last year. “I’m finally at the top.”
Balavage won the 220-pound title by remaining aggressive, twice forcing Western Wayne’s Cole Fuller into penalty points for stalling on the way to a 3-1 win in the final. He pinned his two earlier opponents.
In Class AA, wrestlers had to make the top three to advance to regionals.
Tyler Baltrusaitis (132) and Rocco Pacini (160) did that for Lackawanna Trail by winning close decisions in the consolation finals to take third.
The Lions also had Justin Ganser (113) and Tom Kohinsky (126) take fourth while Trent Phillips (182) and Jordan Hannon (285) were fifth. Kohinsky, a freshman who was seeded seventh, had the biggest upset of Friday’s opening day, knocking off second-seeded David Austin of Blue Ridge, 7-6, in the quarterfinals.
Scranton Prep had four other wrestlers place in the top six. Ivan Balavage followed his older brother by reaching Saturday’s 170-pound semifinals and taking fourth place as a freshman. A.J. Sluko (113) and Bruce Parola (195) were fifth while Tommy Carroll (160) was sixth.
Lackawanna Trail made it into the top half of the 14-team field, placing seventh. Scranton Prep finished ninth.