Senior captain Chris London continued his spectacular 2011-2012 wrestling campaign by capturing first place in the 170-pound weight class, sparking the Tewksbury High wrestling team to perhaps its best showing of the season Saturday.
The Redmen ran up 141 total points to take second place in the 16-team field at the 2012 Woburn Invitational Tournament at Woburn High School.
"It was a real good day," said TMHS coach Brian Aylward. "We had some high hopes coming in, we were shooting for top three. I thought we did a lot of positive things out there for sure. I thought we represented real well."
London was one of seven Tewksbury wrestlers who finished in sixth place or better, as senior 182-pounder Derek Tarpey had one of his most successful days of the year, winning twice by pinfall before losing the championship match in a narrow, 7-4 decision.
Senior 160-pounder Mike Davidian won four matches, three by pinfall, and took third place in his weight class, and senior Matt Greenwood also won four matches, three by pinfall, to take third place in the 132-pound weight class.
David Allen (195), Nick Jansen (285) and Brendan McCarthy (145) all won multiple matches and took fourth place in their respective weight classes as the Redmen posted their best showing at the Woburn tournament since 1998, when they finished second behind Lowell.
"We talked about the quality of the teams we've wrestled up to this point and how that's going to help us (going forward)," Aylward said. "We've faced some tough competition and had some tough losses, but as long as we learn our lessons from that, we're going to get better."
Sophomore Dan Donovan scored his first two varsity wins in the 220-pound class, while Joe Burger won two matches, both by pinfall, at 138 pounds and junior Rob Daley got his first varsity win at 152 pounds.
But it was London who once again stood tallest on the awards podium, taking home his second major tournament championship of the season after having won the Lowell Holiday tournament three weeks ago.
"He's awesome, he's oozing with confidence right now," said Aylward of London. "He's been lights out. He's been really good."
London pinned Ian Wittrup of Newton North in the first period of his opening round match, then got a first period pinfall over Connor Hussy of Longmeadow to advance to the semi-finals. London pinned David Kou of St. John's Prep in the third period of his semi-final match to advance to the finals. In the championship bout, London dominated Mansfield's Tyler Bodway for two periods, building a 9-0 lead, before Bodway suffered a knee injury and could not continue.
London is now 24-0 in individual matches so far this season, having won 18 of those matches by pinfall.
"I felt good," London said afterward. "I worked on a lot of stuff I've been working on in practice. I just kept working to score points and it wears people down."
The Redmen return to dual meet action on Wednesday when they host the Brooks School at 4:00 p.m. at the Winn Middle School.
HOCKEY TEAM KEEPS WINNING, TOPS HAVERHILL 5-1
Junior forward Derek Petti scored his first career hat trick as the Tewksbury High hockey team extended its unbeaten streak to nine straight games with a convincing, 5-1 win over Haverhill Saturday night at the Breakaway Ice Center.
Petti now has 12 goals and four assists for a team-high 16 points so far this season. The TMHS sharp shooter now has five multiple goal games this year.
Sophomore forward Jack Cash (third of the season) and junior forward Tyler Slavin (second) had the other two goals as Tewksbury jumped out to a 2-1 first period lead, then put the game out of reach by outscoring Haverhill 3-0 in the second period.
Freshman goaltender Kyle Paquette played the first two periods an sophomore Taylor Lirakis held the Hillies scoreless in the third period.
"We're playing well," TMHS coach Derek Doherty said. "They're working hard, that's the biggest thing. And it helps to have three solid lines out there. When you can run with three lines consistently it wears the other team down."
Senior forward George Kuegler had another strong game while senior defenseman Adam DeGregorio and junior defender Shannon Alukonis were once again sold on the blue line.
The Redmen are now 8-1-1 overall, and have been unbeatable in their last nine games (8-0-1). Tewksbury is 4-1-1 against all Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League opponents, and 3-0-1 in MVC/DCL Division 2 action.
TMHS faces a tough week ahead with road games against MVC/DCL Division 1 power Westford Academy on Wednesday and MVC/DCL Division 2 rival Lincoln-Sudbury on Saturday.
"Westford is going to be a challenge," Doherty said. "They're one of the top teams in Division 1 right now. Then we follow that up with another tough league game against Lincoln-Sudbury. We'll know where we stand after this week."
Wednesday's game against Westford is scheduled for a 7:50 p.m. start at Skate 3 in Tyngsboro.