After controlling his 145-pound quarterfinal early in the bout, Edgemont’s Colin Hopkins found himself in a tie match with time running out in the third period on Friday.
But the senior has come a long way since missing out on last year’s Division 2 sectional championships due to a dislocated elbow, and he wasn’t about to let his dream of winning a sectional title slip away.
“(I’m thinking), ‘Just score the next two points. Score, and I win,’ ” said Hopkins. “I’ve been in a lot of close matches, and I knew I was better. I just needed to finish.”
Hopkins pulled out the 7-5 decision over Pawling’s Zach Martin with a late reversal and clinched his spot in Saturday’s Division 2 semifinals at Beacon High School.
A fifth seed, Hopkins is one of only a few wrestlers seeded outside the top four to reach the semis. There were no major upsets on the first day of the tournament, with Westlake’s Joe Vasquez (170) and Putnam Valley’s Christian Gonzales (138) and Denis Kelly (195) the lowest seeds still alive as No. 6s.
Nanuet freshman Connor Breit shook up the 195-pound bracket by deciding to wrestle there after competing at 182 pounds for most of the season.
“It was my coach’s choice, and I’m just doing whatever I can to get to states,” Breit said after pinning Croton-Harmon’s Devin Lewis in the quarters. “(I’m giving up) a little bit of weight, but it’s not much. I’m a little bit quicker than them because they have more size, but I don’t really feel much of a difference.”
Nanuet is a three-time defending sectional champ, but it was Putnam Valley that sat in the lead going into the semis.
Putnam Valley senior A.J. Mirabal was looking like a heavy favorite at 132 pounds after losing in the sectional finals last season.
“It’s just been eagerness, basically,” Mirabal said after a technical fall against Hastings’ Nick Sestito in the quarters. “Ever since last year, I’ve just been waiting for this time. I’m just excited and ready to go.”
Mirabal’s teammate Angelo Zegarelli is in line to wrestle Pleasantville senior Thomas Marrone in what would be a highly anticipated 160-pound final. Marrone is currently 30-2, while Zegarelli is 30-3.
“I just want to take it one match at a time, but I know he’s a tough wrestler,” Marrone said after pinning Pawling’s Miguel Perez in the quarters. “It’ll be a good match if we see each other.”
The most crowded field in the tournament may be at 120 pounds, where Nanuet’s Joe Dillon, Croton-Harmon’s Andrew Barsuch, Putnam Valley’s Noah Kelvas and Ardsley’s Adam Samolsky make up a potent top four.
Dillon is considered the favorite after beating Kelvas and Barsuch during the regular season, but Kelvas is a defending sectional champ and Barsuch was a sectional finalist last season.
“It makes the tournament more exciting,” Barsuch said after pinning Edgemont’s James Hammond in the quarterfinals. “It keeps it competitive. I can’t go out there and dilly-dally — I have to be serious. And if I win it, it makes everything more glorified.”