Meagan Schulz Photo
TIOGA – The Purple Tornado wrestlers are the 2017-2018 Section IV Division-II Dual champions after taking two wins in Tioga Thursday, one in which was over the host team in an exciting final that went down to the second to last match of night.
Norwich started the tournament by facing a Spencer-Van Etten/Candor (SVEC) team that handed a loss to the purple earlier season. However this time, Norwich got the best of SVEC with 58-19 victory to advance to the final against Tioga.
In the semi-final match, SVEC took a 10-0 lead after the first two weight classes due to a major decision win over Norwich’s 160 and 170 pound wrestlers. Tornado Ty Rifanburg moved up a weight class to 182 to get points for his team. He grabbed six with a 1:15 pin over Kevin Dobell. Teammate Brennan Slater added another six to the Purple’s point total with a first period pin as well. He took Mandell Davis down to the mat and set him up for the 1:33 fall.
Norwich then scored 22 straight points with a major decision by Tornado Keegan Wright, a forfeit for Dante Geislinger, and two back-to-back pins by Andrew Brown and Nick Glanville.
Izaiah Caballero took a thrilling 3-2 decision match down the final seconds, securing another three points towards the Tornado total.
At this point Norwich held a commanding lead, already landing a spot in the finals. But the match of the dual between the Purple and SVEC was in the 132 pound weight class. Norwich head coach Bob Hagenbuch decided to let Mike Squires wrestle defending Section IV champ Bryant Sexton.