The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

March 2, 2014

Raiders win 17th region title; 11 locals to Hershey

- — When Reynolds senior Levi Stoyer came off the mat after his 145-pound championship at the Northwest AA Regional Championships, he wasn’t celebrating his second straight crown. Instead, he turned to head coach Casey Taylor and said, “I did it for the team.”

And the team needed it!

Stoyer defeated Brookville’s Zach Vroman, 3-0, and sent Reynolds on its way to the school’s 17th region team title Saturday night at Sharon High School. Reynolds finished with 147 points, to Brookville’s 138.

“That was awesome,” said a relieved Raiders coach Casey Taylor. “Levi has done it before, putting the team on his back probably a dozen times in duals, but here he did it on the biggest stage when we needed it.”

Raider Cole Rickert later won at 220 to put icing on the cake for Reynolds.

Also winning a second straight title was Lakeview heavyweight Sam Breese and the three champions will will lead a solid group of 11 Mercer County matmen to the state tournament in Hershey this coming week.

Moving on as runners-up are Reynolds’ Gage Bayless (106) and Michael Bartolo (126) as well as Jamestown’s Faris Messai (113).

Third-place finishers from the county also advancing are: Seth Hogue (113), Mike Millero (170) and Gene Ringer (285), all of Reynolds; Michael Lineman (106), Greenville; and Mohamed Messai (182), Jamestown.

“We’re taking seven and six are underclassmen, so I’m pretty happy with that,” said Taylor.”

Following is a look at the tourney finals:

106 – Reynolds freshman Gage Bayless took on Distict 9 champ Ryan Carlson of Brockway. Bayless (38-5) scored an early takedown and led 2-1 after one period. Carlson reversed in the second frame to lead, 3-2. The Raider chose neutral in the final frame, but Carlson notched a takedown for a 5-2 margin. Carlson (26-6) then rode out with legs for the victory. Greenville freshman Michael Lineman (39-6) punched his ticket to state by taking third place.

113 – Jamestown sophomore Faris Messai made the finals, but he was overpowered by Brookville sophomore ace Tayler Ortz. After no score in the first period, Ortz (34-3) hooked the Muskie on a roll-through and pinned Messai (29-5) in 2:24. Reynolds’ Seth Hogue, who lost 6-3 to Messai in the semis, came back to place third.

120 – Redbank Valley senior Willis Gruver (32-6) was trying for his third straight region title, but Fort LeBoeuf’s Jarrette Carter had other ideas. Carter notched a reversal with about 30 seconds to go and then hung on to defeat Gruver, 7-6. The Bison sophomore (30-8) now has a shot at a three-peat himself. Northwestern’s Matt Wheeler finished third.

126 – Reynolds junior Michael Bartolo squared off with Kane’s Cody Blankenship here. After no first period points, Blankenship reversed midway through the period. However, Bartolo (33-9) also reversed later in the frame for a 2-2 tie after two. In the third, Bartolo escaped, but Blankenship came up with a quick takedown and a 4-3 lead. Blankenship (30-1) rode out the final seconds for the win. Redbank’s Tanner Altobelli pinned Sharon’s Austin Alfreno in the consy finals to spoil the Tiger senior’s hopes for a trip to Hershey. Alfreno had beaten Altobelli, 12-7, Friday night.

132 – Saegertown’s Tyler Vath has a chance to win four region crowns and join a very elite club. The Panthers’ junior ace (34-6) won his third with a hardfought 2-0 decision over Conneaut Area’s Kyle Lukowich (30-7). Brookville’s Dalton Zimmerman finished third.

138 – Brookville’s Brock Zacherl (37-2) notched a second D-10 title with a dominating performance against Fort LeBoeuf senior George McGuire, who won as a freshman. Zacherl scored early and often on his way to an 11-2 major decision. Third went to Nick Monico of Saegertown.

145 – This was the lone Reynolds-Brookville matchup of the finals as Raider Stoyer, defending region champ, faced Vroman, who beat Stoyer, 3-2, in a regular season meeting. Stoyer drew blood first with a takedown and rode out the opening period. Stoyer then rode out the second period. Vroman put Stoyer on his feet with a 3-0 lead at the opening of the final frame. Stoyer fought off any takedown attempts for the triumph and a big surge for team points.

“Everytime those two meet, it’s a lot of fun to watch,” said Raider Coach Taylor. “I think Zach has him 3 (wins) to 2. But Levi came through when we really needed it. Brookville was coming on strong.”

Reynolds had a 17- point lead over Brookville coming into the finals, but posted three big wins with bonus points to cut the Raider margin to 1 point. So the match was for the title, unless Raider freshman Cole Rickert could come through later in the 220 finals.

152 – Brookville’s Brodie Zacherl dominated Robert Boozer of Cochranton en route to an 11-2 decision, making Stoyer’s win loom even larger. Brad Malinowski of Fort LeBoeuf placed third, edging Reynolds’ Mason McCollum, 3-2, in the consy finals.

160 – Kyle Bova lost in the region and state finals to Reynolds’ Austin Matthews last season so the Coudersport senior is on a mission. Bova (32-0) demonstrated that by pinning Brookville’s Jimmy Miller in 1:28. Oswayo Valley’s Samuel Colbert topped Greenville sophomore Gage Gladysz, 2-1 in overtime to spoil the Trojan’s state hopes.

170 – Kane’s Evan Delong (32-0) won his third region title with a 6-2 victory over Franklin sophomore Dakota Geer (32-1). Reynolds junior Mike Millero finished third to earn a state trip.

182 – Saegertown’s Dylan Reynolds (37-4) won his second straight crown, but not in a way he would have liked. With the match tied 1-1 in the third period, Reynolds notched a takedown on Cranberry’s Zachery Bruce (33-1). Bruce injured his leg on the move and had to default in 4:32. Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai finished third with a 12-1 victory in the consy finals over Reynolds’ Austin Moffett.

195 – Corry’s Ryan Morris won a second region title here with a 6-4 decision over Zach Stafford (31-8) of Cambridge Springs. Morris (26-5) placed only 6th last week at districts, but defaulted to that level to heal from injury. Garrett Reinwald of Fort LeBoeuf topped Lakeview’s Marquis Spence, 3-1, with a sudden victory takedown in overtime in the consy finals.

220 – Reynolds freshman Cole Rickert (30-7) was trailing 3-1 in the second period, but hit a lateral drop and put Conneaut Area’s Connor Overman on his back to jump ahead 6-3 after two periods. Rickert went on to win 8-5 and add to the Raiders’ winning team score.

“He didn’t even make the team for the first match of the year, losing in wrestle-offs,” said Raider coach Taylor. “But he has been progressing all season long.”

Andrew Phelps of North East placed third. Phelps wasn’t even in the tournament after last weekend, but was inserted after District 10 champ Colton Smith of Mercer was pulled out. Overman is also quite a story. Though a senior, this is the first year he ever wrestled.

285 – Lakeview heavyweight Sam Breese won in a breese. He decked Ben Carillo of Redbank Valley in 1:42 for his second straight region crown. “It feels pretty good,” said Breese, who admitted his sights are really on next week as he shoots for a second straight state crown. “One more step,” he said.

“He went out and did the job,” said Lakeview coach Tom Tingley about his big guy who moved to a perfect 32-0 on the season. “Last week he was battling the flu a little bit, but he really looked good this week. He’s back on track and ready for a repeat next week.”

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