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Monty Tech’s Paulino Makes His Mark at Bossi Tourney

January 1, 2019

LOWELL -- The George Bossi Lowell Holiday Tournament has been affectionally called the toughest regular-season wrestling tournament in the Northeast region, and with good reason.

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The two-day tournament, which this past Thursday and Friday brought 76 teams from across New England to the Tsongas Center, has become the ultimate litmus test for wrestlers to see where they are in their dreams of postseason success -- and where fans and opponents are put on high alert about wrestlers to watch for the rest of the year.

That’s exactly what Monty Tech’s Isaic Paulino did, showing off his skills in the 106-pound category as he went 5-2 on his way to placing seventh in the toughest tournament in the region. Also for Monty Tech, Xavien Natal (120 pounds) went 2-2 and made it to the second day for the Bulldogs, while Bryce Shufelt (126 pounds) went 1-2.

After receiving a bye in the first round, Paulino took on Zach Peters of Canton in the round of 32. After Paulino went in going for some throw byes, without much coming to fruition, he transitioned into a head-and-arm throw for a early takedown and three back points on the edge of the mat, before transitioning into a tilt for two quick back points and going out of bounds to put himself up 7-0 early into the match.

Going back into the circle, Peters tried to stand up for a quick escape before Paulino kicked his legs out from under him, and Peters couldn’t get out. Paulino got a quick tilt for three back points to end the period ahead 10-0. Paulino chose bottom in the second period and scored a quick escape to go up 11-0. Then Paulino was finally able to get his throw bye move he was going for at the beginning of the match to score a takedown and get up 13-0. Paulino then sunk in legs on top and turned Peters for three back points and a tech fall to move himself into the round of 16.

In the round of 16, in a rematch of the Tyngsboro Big Red final two weeks ago, Paulino took on Evan Kinney of Chelmsford -- at that point, the only wrestler to have beaten Paulino all season. Paulino showed much improvement in this match though. After losing to Kinney 20-6 in the Big Red final, he this time fell by a narrow 5-3 final, falling seconds short of tying it up and forcing overtime.

In the first round, after some tie-up action and with both wrestlers looking to get under hooks, Paulino, believing he saw an opening, went for a head and arm throw. Kinney, being the longer and bigger wrestler, was able to step back and not go with the motion and score his own takedown. The round ended with Kinney on top.

Kinney was given choice of position in the second period and took bottom and scored a quick escape to get up 3-0. Paulino then went in for a shot and got deep in on a single leg and finished on the edge of the mat to cut the score to 3-2. Going back into the circle with Kinney on bottom, Kinney scored a quick reversal to get up 5-2. Kinney rode him out to end the second round.

Paulino chose bottom in the third period and scored a quick escape to cut the deficit to 5-3. The two traded shots in the third, with Kinney trying to ice the match and Paulino trying to tie it and hopefully force overtime. Neither got an advantage over the other until deep into the third period, with 30 seconds left to go in the match. Paulino got deep in on a single leg and kept working to finish it, but Kinney’s length advantage allowed him to both spread out his body and get deep in on a whizzer, not allowing Paulino to finish on the single leg and pushing Kinney to the quarterfinals and Paulino into the consolations. Kinney went on to win the tournament.

The next round of consolations was originally meant to be wrestled Thursday night, but the tournament directors decided to save it for the next day of the tournament, forcing Paulino to wait for his redemption. Then the next day his next match for the tournament, Pj Cullivan of Weymouth, had medically defaulted out of the tournament.

Paulino eventually got his match against Daniel McLaughlin of Springfield Central. After some head fakes between both, McLaughlin went for a leg attack that Paulino got a front headlock on and throw bye to get a takedown. Paulino went for a tilt at the end of the first to try to get some back points, but couldn’t elevate enough as the bell sounded and the first period ended 2-0.

Paulino chose bottom in the second and scored a reversal to get up 4-0. McLaughlin answered with a escape to cut the score to 4-1. McLaughlin went for a double leg, but Paulino got his hips wide and spindled himself out and scored a takedown of his own off it to get up 6-1. Paulino got a tilt or 2 back points to get up 8-1 to end out the second period.

McLaughlin chose neutral in the third. McLaughlin got quick in on a single leg, Paulino tried to use the edge of the mat to get out of bounds, but McLaughlin finished on the edge to cut the score 8-3. McLaughlin let Paulino up to make the score 9-3 and try to score more takedowns. McLaughlin then scored another single leg on the edge of the mat to cut the deficit 9-5. McLaughlin cut Paulino again for a escape to make the score 10-5. Paulino gave up a stall call to make the score 10-6 near the end of round, but by then the game was set and match and Paulino moved onto the blood round and needed one more win to place at the prestigious tournament.

The man standing in his way was Austin Montiero of Minnechaug, making for a rematch of the Athol Red Raider final three weeks ago. Paulino scored his first points using a front headlock sprawl to a go behind off Monteiro’s leg attack. Paulino was given choice of position in the second period and took bottom.

Paulino scored a quick escape to then put himself up 3-0. He then got in deep on a single leg and got a quick finish to get up 5-0. Paulino then cut Montiero for an escape to make it 5-1. Paulino immediately shot right in after letting Montiero up on a low single that he transitioned into a double leg and brought Montiero down to make the score 7-1. Paulino then sunk in legs and turned Montiero for three back points to make the score 10-1.

The period ended and Montiero took neutral in the third. Paulino then got in on a high crotch early in the period and finished to get up 12-1. Paulino then cut Montiero again to make the score 12-2. Monteiro threw everything and the kitchen sink at Paulino to try for a miraculous comeback, but Paulino’s defense proved too impeccable and Paulino was able to move on to the medal rounds as time expired.

In the consolation of 4, Paulino took on Zach Soda of Burlington, which proved a tough match for Paulino as he lost 7-3.

Paulino, however, rebounded in his match for seventh place against Lisandro Martinez of Hampden Charter. Paulino in the first period got in deep on a single leg before transitioning to a double leg to get up 2-0. Martinez got an escape near the end of the period to cut the score to 2-1. Paulino responded with a fireman’s carry takedown to finish the period 4-1 in his favor.

Paulino was given choice in the second and after some switches, Martinez was unable to follow Paulino any longer and instead of giving up a reversal, elected to let Paulino up to make the score 5-1. Paulino then scored quickly after that on a front head lock for a takedown to make the score 7-1 Paulino. Martinez scored an escape to end the period and make the score 7-2 going into the third.

Martinez took bottom in the third and scored an escape to make it 7-3. Paulino then got a double leg to Martinez’s back for two backpoints to make the score 11-3. Martinez scored an escape soon after to make the score 11-4, and Paulino responded with a deep single leg finish for a takedown to make the score 13-4. Paulino then cut Martinez to make the score 13-5 and Paulino scored a quick double leg takedown to end out the period and make the final score 15-5 and give Paulino his seventh-place medal.