Noble’s Logan Remdell prepares to pin Abdullah Abdullah of Portland/South Portland in a Class A South 152-pound consolation semifinal Saturday in Waterboro. Remdell secured a top-four finish and was one of 10 Noble wrestlers who qualified for the state championships. Steve Craig photo

WATERBORO — It looks like Noble High’s wrestling team might have the firepower to turn a regional championship plaque into state championship gold.

The Knights won the Class A South regional for the third straight season, roaring past runner-up and host Massabesic on Saturday with 225 points, compared to the Mustangs’ 160.5. Marshwood (103) edged Bonny Eagle (101) for third place.

The past two years, Noble won the South with its depth, raking in a bunch of third- and fourth-place finishes while most of the other teams struggled with small rosters. That worked for a regional title, but not at the state championships. A year ago, Noble was fourth at the state meet.

Noble is looking for its first state title since 2011, when it won its 11th in 13 seasons.

“This year, we’ll have a lot more guys seeded one or two,” said senior Jacob Mulligan, who won the 182-pound class.

Mulligan did not even qualify for states as a junior. He and classmate Blake Ouellette, the 220-pound champ, both started wrestling as sophomores. Now, their skills have advanced enough to be able to support more experienced teammates like senior Sam Martel (145 pounds), who won his fourth regional title, junior Josh Cote, a two-time state champion who won at 132, and freshman Derek Cote, the 113-pound winner.

Instead of two winners and one runner-up like last season, this time the Knights will take five champions and two second-place finishers (Chris Pilcher at 160 and Patrick Exel at 285).

“I think all of us as a team, we know what it feels like to come up short at states, and since Day 1 this year we’ve been working to win it this year,” Mulligan said.

Noble qualified 10 wrestlers for the state championships next Saturday at Sanford High, where the Knights will try to knock off defending champion Mt. Ararat/Brunswick.

“As we are, we’re 100 percent capable of taking home a state title, both next week and the week after at the team dual championship.”

Noble will also have to keep an eye on Massabesic, which qualified nine wrestlers, led by 160-pound champion Noah Beal-Hernandez.

“That’s big for us. We were hoping to get about seven guys to states,” said Beal-Hernandez, a junior who was the state runner-up at 152 last season.

Bonny Eagle did its damage in the four lowest weight classes. Caden Frost (106), Chris Rankin (120) and Colby Frost (126) won titles, and Cameron Frost was the runner-up to Derek Cote in the 113 final.

Marshwood, which won six of seven titles from 2012 to 2018, had three individual champions: seniors Carsen Goodwin (138) and Zach Mercier (285) and freshman Colby Isabelle (152).

Isabelle, unbeaten against in-state competition, overpowered Massabesic senior Matthew Pooler for a 10-2 win, scoring the final 10 points of the match, including eight in the third period. Last season, Pooler won the regional and New England qualifier tournaments and placed sixth at the New England championships at 170 pounds.

Isabelle said his goal is to become Marshwood’s sixth four-time state champion.

“But at the same time, I have to remember I’m just a freshman and I need to work hard every day,” Isabelle said.

The heavyweight match turned into a wild battle. Both wrestlers escaped near pins in the opening minute, then Noble’s Exel built a 12-3 lead. Mercier worked his way back gradually and, when trailing 14-11 with about 30 seconds left, threw Exel to his back and finished the move with a pin.

“I got behind big early and I just didn’t give up,” said Mercier, a senior, after his first regional title.

Westbrook’s Henri Kuntz (170) and Cheverus’ Sebastian Merrill (195) also earned individual championships.

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