SANFORD — High school wrestlers in Maine – especially those from Sanford High – know the significance of winning the Spartan Tournament, considered the toughest in Maine because the competition is bolstered with out-of-state powers.

So winning meant more for Sanford seniors Isaac Plante and Sol Demers in the event’s first year at Sanford’s new $100 million high school.

“That was the biggest win of my career,” said Plante, the 182-pound champ.

Demers’ second straight 220-pound title was made better, he said, because the competitive field was not decreased by bad weather.

Last year, Timberlane Regional of Plaistow, New Hampshire, attended but Danbury and Xavier from Connecticut and North Providence and Cumberland from Rhode Island had to cancel.

“It does mean a lot more because more of the out-of-state teams did show up,” Demers said.

Danbury won the team title with 243 points, followed by Timberlane (217.5), Cumberland (169), Xavier (152), defending Maine Class A champ Marshwood (123), Wells (117) and Camden Hills (106).

Demers also won the Most Outstanding Wrestler award and had the most pins (four) in the least amount of time (five minutes, 53 seconds), capped by a 3:30 pin of Timberlane’s Chris Lund.

A second-year wrestler, Demers said it’s time to reassess his own goals.

“I have to win states now. States or bust,” he said.

Plante missed last year’s meet because of a shoulder injury. In a 12-5 championship win against Wells sophomore Jonah Potter, Plante used his strength and counter moves to repeatedly score points when Potter attacked, improving to 15-0 this season.

“I had wrestled him three days ago and we had a close one then,” Plante said. “I have a lot of respect for that kid.”

Nine of Maine’s 10 finalists were in the upper weights.

Marshwood senior David Spinney defeated Massabesic’s Matthew Pooler in the 152-pound final, 5-2. Spinney clinched the win with a late reversal. Portland senior Zack Elowitch won his second straight Spartan title, 6-1, against Massabesic’s Noah Hernandez at 160.

Wells senior Nathan Curtis came from behind to pin Danbury’s Jesse Patton with 13 seconds remaining. Wells, the two-time Class B champion, was making its first appearance in this event since 2004.

“I was pretty excited because it’s close to home and I knew it was a lot of out-of-state teams and New England champion teams that come here,” Curtis said. “I knew there would be a lot of good competition and good exposure. I had no idea (about winning).”

In the 285-pound final, Scarborough’s Addison Boisvert lost 3-1 against Reuben Hancock of Cumberland.

The lighter weights featured titles by two-time New England champions Connor McGonagle of Timberlane (132) and Danbury junior Ryan Jack (126). McGonagle has signed a national letter of intent to wrestle at Lehigh. Jack has verbally committed to North Carolina State.

Marshwood sophomore Sean Moriarty at 120 pounds was the only Mainer to reach a final in the seven lightest weights. The 113-pound champion as a freshman, Moriarty got caught in a cradle and was pinned by Danbury junior Tyler Johnson at 1:00.

“Whenever I lose, I go back to practice and work on what I messed up on. I still have a lot to work on, (like) cradle counters. Once he caught me in it, I wasn’t able to get out of it,” Moriarty said.

Noah Lang of Camden Hills placed third at 145, a week after rolling to the title at the Noble Invitational without allowing a point.

“It’s one thing to pin your way through a tournament, but you don’t really learn much,” Lang said. “A tournament like this, you have to be on your toes the full six minutes or it’s going to cost you, and it did for me today. It’s definitely about developing mental maturity.”

Other third-place finishers from Maine were: Carsen Goodwin (126) and Dylan Strong (182) of Marshwood, Josiah Garcia (138) of Biddeford, and Morgan Welch-Thompson (195) of Wells.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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