Top seeds roll at first day of Henlopen wrestling

DOVER — It was a quick day for most of the top seeds at the first day Henlopen Conference wrestling tournament on Friday.

All of the No. 1 seeds advanced to the semifinals. A combined 10 of them didn’t have to go the distance in their quarterfinal match, with five wrestlers earning pins and five recording tech-falls, after all had first round byes.

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The second day continues today with the semifinals and finals at Dover High. The semifinals are scheduled for approximately noon and the championship round will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for today’s matches are $10.

Almost all of the second seeds also qualified for today’s semifinals too. Thirteen of the 14 No. 2 seeds moved on, all except one at 152 pounds — where chaos reigned on Friday,

Cape Henlopen’s Dante Jacquet upset Milford’s Chase Taylor, the second seed, in the quarterfinals in a wild, high-scoring affair 18-17 for a berth in the semifinals.

That was just the beginning of an interesting night at 152 pounds where two of the quarterfinals went to overtime. Caesar Rodney’s Tommy Gallucci knocked off Smyrna’s Dakota Kerr with a 3-1 decision, thanks to a two-point takedown in the final second of overtime.

“It was fun,” Gallucci said. “Overtime with a great wrestler, it’s always great to come out on top.”

Kerr had the third seed and was awarded a first round bye but like during the regular season’s dual meet, Gallucci edged him in overtime.

If Kerr and Taylor win their first consolation matches today (10:30 a.m. round begins), they will face off in the following consolation round with a spot in the state tournament on the line.

Polytech’s Jaden McCove also captured a two-point win in overtime at 152 pounds. He defeated Sussex Tech’s Kris Cannon with a sudden victory at 6-4. Top seed Brandon Bautista (Sussex Central) was able to avoid trouble with a 23-8 tech-fall early in the third round of his lone match after a first-round bye.

Bautista will face McCove and Gallucci will meet Jacquet in the semifinals.

“It’s up for grabs,” Gallucci said of his weight class. “I’ve lost to kids and beat the best so it’s wide-open. All of them are really great wrestlers and nice people in general. I’m really looking forward to wrestling some good matches.”

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Smyrna, the Division I dual meet state champions, advanced the most wrestlers to the semifinals with 11. Sussex Central was second with nine.

With five of the six teams who competed in Tuesday’s Division I state tournament from the Henlopen Northern Division, and Milford the Division II champions, these wrestlers knew this weekend was going be a challenge.

“In my opinion this is the toughest conference in the state,” said Smyrna’s 132-pounder Chase Archangelo. “We’ve got all the best teams here at the same tournament. It makes it a better challenge and shows that Henlopen is where the powerhouses are.”

Archangelo was one of the top seeds who earned a first round pinfall. He joined his teammates Nate Bryant (138), Kalen Wilson (160) and Terren Carter (285) as the top seeds who won on Friday.

Other No. 1 seeds who all moved on were Milford’s Robbie Rosser (106), Alex Creasey (126) Bart Dalious (145), Caesar Rodney’s Cam Hayes (113) and Mike Clavier (195), Dover’s Tykwan Joyner (120), Sussex Central’s Lucas Hudson (170), Sussex Tech’s Colin Bergh (182) and Polytech’s Justin Land (220).

Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at or 741-8224.

Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.

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