ELLSWORTH — After a season’s worth of wins against all comers, Hancock County’s top wrestlers now have state titles to their names.
Bucksport’s David Gross and Ellsworth’s Logan Lord won Class B championships in their respective weight classes over the weekend with first-place finishes at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln. It was the second state title for Gross and the first for Lord.
Gross, who won the 285-pound championship in 2017 before sitting out last year’s state championships with an injury, began his day by pinning Maine Central Institute’s Kahlden Briggs in 16 seconds. After winning via default in the semifinals, he pinned Alexander Demers of Winslow with no time left on the clock in the first period to reclaim his crown.
Bucksport also got a consolation title from Kaleb Nightingale at 113 pounds and a fourth-place finish from Ricky Perkins at 152 pounds. The Golden Bucks placed eighth as a team with 53 points.
Lord, who also sat out last season’s championships, looked to return to the title match after finishing as state runner-up two years ago. Competing at 138 pounds, he beat Caden Gibson of Wells via tech fall in the first round, pinned Maine Central Institute’s Cole Steeves 28 seconds into the final period in the semifinals and topped Mountain Valley’s Evrit Roy 14-0 to take the championship.
Matt Reid (120 pounds), Noah Hughes (160) and Charlie Hughes (182) earned one win apiece for Ellsworth. The Eagles placed 11th as a team.
Gross and Lord will compete in the New England qualifiers, also known as the All-State tournament, Saturday, Feb. 23, at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris.
Correction: The original version of this story listed the incorrect order for Bucksport’s David Gross. Gross pinned Kahlden Briggs of Maine Central Institute in 16 seconds in the quarterfinals and beat Jared Atkinson of Foxcroft via default in the semifinals.