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General Brown finally adds North Country Invitational trophy to case

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PHILADELPHIA — For everything the General Brown wrestling program has accomplished, it was missing a win in the 42-year history of the North Country Invitational.

On Saturday, the Lions added that to the list.

Ryan Snow (126 pounds), Tyler Silverthorn (160), Corey Gaffney (220) and Connor Schissler (106) each won their respective weight classes to help the Lions to a team score of 216.5, well ahead of Indian River’s 166.5.

“We have, by far, the best coaches in the state,” Snow said. “They’re always willing to stay after practice. We drill before practice, before school in the morning, they’re always there.”

General Brown snapped host Indian River’s four-year win streak in the annual area tournament. Last year, the Warriors beat the Lions by just five points.

The teams had four head-to-head matchups in the finals, three of which were won by General Brown to secure the title.

Snow’s 6-5 decision over Indian River’s Nick Toutant proved to be the highlight.

The two were never separated by more than three points throughout the match. Snow scored two points on a takedown in the final second of the first two-minute round, breaking a 2-2 tie and giving Snow the lead that he never relinquished over the next four minutes.

“I saw there was an opening, I didn’t really have a clue how much time was left,” Snow said.

In the other head-to-head matches, Silverthorn earned a 19-4 technical fall victory over Logan Running, Gaffney beat Thomas Gitlin by a 9-3 decision, and Indian River’s Sonny McPherson (170) beat Colton Erb by decision, 4-1.

“It means taking the next step for our program,” General Brown coach Mike Hartle said. “Each year we’ve gradually gotten a little bit better and this year it just shows that the boys are still believing.”

“I’m extremely proud of our kids, the way that they’re believing in us and following suit, and stepping up and filling big footsteps from what we lost last year,” he added.

Despite Indian River having its win streak snapped, senior Derrick Gray (138) kept his personal streak alive by winning his third consecutive individual title.

He received byes to the semifinals, and won both of his matches by pinfall, needing just 47 seconds to get the pin in his finals match. He earned most outstanding wrestler for the lighter weight classes (99-145). He also won the award as a sophomore.

“Nothing better than a win,” Gray said.

Gouverneur placed third overall with 133 team points. The Wildcats had three individual champions — Dillon Stowell (120), Zach Ayen (132) and Hunter Ayen (195). All three won their respective bouts by pinfall.

“Our team is real young and real light, but they fight real hard,” said Hunter Ayen, who earned Most Outstanding Wrestler for the heavyweight classes (152-285).

Outside of the top three teams, Carthage was the only other school with multiple champions.

Andrew McFarland won at 113 and Colin Ryan claimed the 152 final.

Massena placed fourth, Sandy Creek was fifth and Lowville took sixth.

Beaver River senior Isaiah Riccio (145) won his weight class for the second straight year, and has four top three finishes at the invitational in the last five years.

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