METHUEN – Algonquin wrestler Rafael Knapp took care of a little unfinished business.
After falling in the Division 1 State final a year ago, the Titans’ star turned in a dominating performance last Saturday at Klimas Fieldhouse to claim the D1 title at 170 pounds.
Knapp (43-1 this season, 123-14 career) came into the tournament as the top seed. His path to the final included a first-round pin of Natick’s Brady Holcomb, a second-round pin of Methuen’s Joe Bolduc and an injury walkover.
In the final vs. No. 2 seed Jack Walsh of Chelmsford, Knapp was in control throughout, rolling to a 9-4 decision and the championship.
Next up for Knapp will be the all-state tournament, followed by the New Englands. He placed third in each of those competitions in 2022.
As a team, Algonquin placed 19th with 35 points.
St. John’s Curtis Ewing Jr. had a strong tournament at 160, before falling in the final.
Ewing Jr. opened with a second-round pin of Gabe Leskoski of Taunton, then toyed with Andover’s Lucas Oliveira in a 17-2 technical fall. He moved into the final with an injury forfeit over Haverhill’s Bret Nicolosi. But in the final, he ran into a buzzsaw in the person of Rawson Iwanicki of St. John’s Prep (Peabody). Iwanicki was in a class by himself, scoring a 27-12 technical fall.
At the Division 2 state tournament, held at Milton High, Marlborough tied for ninth with 59 points. The Panthers were led by Miguel Borges (third, 152), Nealon Stemple (fourth, 195) and Kevin Desena (fourth, 220).