Blaha brothers help Ridgefield finish ninth in Class LL
Top-six performances in four weight classes led the Ridgefield wrestling team to a ninth-place finish at the Class LL state championships Saturday at Trumbull High School.
The Tigers had 94 points, 10 more than 10th-place Newtown and six fewer than eighth-place Manchester.
Alex Blaha had Ridgefield’s best individual finish, placing second at 106 pounds. Seeded third, Blaha pinned his first two opponents and then earned an 8-5 decision over second-seed Luca Manfredi of Newtown in the semifinals.
Blaha then lost on a technical fall (23-6) to top-seed Michael Longo of Trumbull in the championship match.
Blaha’s brother, Nate, added a third-place finish at 113 pounds. Blaha, the fourth seed, got a pin and a 5-3 decision to reach the championship semifinals, where he was pinned by top-seed Kailan O’Dell of Danbury.
An 11-2 major decision over sixth-seed Jacob Pressler of Fairfield Ludlowe in the consolation semifinals sent Blaha into the match for third-place, which he won on an 8-5 decision over second-seed Nick Urso of Conard.
Lucas Ferreira (132 pounds) and Liam Keppler (170) contributed fifth-place finishes for the Tigers.
Ferreira, the 11th seed, recovered from a 4-3 loss in his first bout by winning three straight matches — two pins and a major decision — to advance to the consolation semifinals. After losing on a pin, Ferreira edged 14th-seed Jacob Long of Hall, 7-5, in the match for fifth place.
Seeded fourth, Keppler won a 14-4 major decision and a 5-3 decision to reach the semifinals. Top-seed Thomas Mazur of Westhill pinned Keppler, who dropped to the consolation bracket and was pinned by sixth-seed Jaylen Hawkins of Danbury.
Keppler then pinned fifth-seed Robert Clarke of Manchester to finish fifth in the weight class.
Notes: Andrey Kosygin (138 pounds), Philip Ferreira (145), and Stephen Chen (160) each won two matches for Ridgefield. Tiger DeFranco added one victory at 126 pounds.
Danbury won the team championship with 269 points. Fairfield Warde was second with 227 points.