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Mitch Finesilver earns Keystone Classic title for Duke wrestling

<p>Duke wrestling has been out of sorts lately.</p>

Duke wrestling has been out of sorts lately.

Redshirt senior Mitch Finesilver continued his hot streak this weekend.

Finesilver won his second consecutive tournament at 149 pounds at The Palestra in Philadelphia in the Keystone Classic on Sunday. Mitch's brothers Josh and Matt also reached the finals and finished as runner-ups at 141 and 174 pounds, respectively. Sophomore Kaden Russell placed third at 184 and the Blue Devils scored 70.5 team points to finish in sixth, a three-place improvement from last year. 

Mitch stayed in control throughout his path to the title, never trailing or even giving up a takedown in any of his matches. He kicked off his day with a 4-0 shutout over Luke Gardner of top-ranked Penn State before lighting up the scoreboard in a 19-4 tech fall victory over Franklin & Marshall’s Wilfredo Gil. In the semifinals, the No. 8 Blue Devil locked horns with Penn’s freshman star Anthony Artalona. Mitch earned a second period escape, a third period takedown and a riding point to win 5-2. Penn State’s No. 15 Brady Berge made the finals from the other side of the bracket, but medically forfeited, making Mitch the Keystone Classic champion.

Twins Josh and Matt each battled through some close matches to punch their tickets to the finals. After two dominant bonus-point victories, Josh met Dom Giannangeli of Penn State in the quarterfinals. The two traded takedowns and escapes early, tying the score at 3-3 before Giannangeli scored another takedown late in the first period to take the 5-3 lead. In the second period, Josh started his rally and picked up two nearfall points. He proceeded to add a third period escape, takedown and ride-out to secure a riding time point and 9-4 comeback win. Josh then scored the lone takedown in his 2-0 semifinal win against Irvin Enriquez of Appalachian State before falling to Penn State’s No. 4 Nick Lee.

Coming off of a Hokie Open title, Matt also cruised in his first two matches, winning via technical fall in the round of 16 and by fall in the quarterfinals. His semifinals bout against Dean Sherry of Rider proved to be a tougher battle. Late in the match, the No. 18 Duke sophomore scored a last-second takedown to secure the 5-4 win. In the finals, Matt kept it close with two-time NCAA finalist Mark Hall of Penn State, scoring two escapes and a third period takedown but ultimately lost 6-4. 

Russell won four matches en route to his first finish on the podium at a collegiate tournament. The sophomore won his matches in commanding fashion, posting two first-periods falls and two major-decisions. Barring his semifinals loss to No. 4 Shakur Rasheed of Penn State, Russell outscored his opponents 32-7. In the third-place match against Harvard’s Clifton Wang, the Blue Devil jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first period with a takedown followed by four nearfall points. He then tacked on a second period escape and a riding time point to close out an 8-0 major-decision victory.

Sophomore Anthony DeMartino won his first match of the season by 5-0 decision over Virginia Military Institute's Zach Schmitt at 149 pounds. He was the only non-placing Blue Devil to win a match in Philly. 

Duke is back in action Dec. 1 at the Cliff Keen Open in Las Vegas.


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