One of the goals set by Reynolds High coach Casey Taylor was for his Raiders to return to the top of the District 10 Class AA wrestling this season after 2 years without a D-10 trophy.
Having already won the D-10 Dual-Meet Championship earlier, the Raiders are well on their way to securing their 19th team title at the postseason D-10 tourney.
Reynolds put 9 wrestlers into today’s semifinals and held a lead in points with 76.5 after opening night action Friday at Sharon High. Fort LeBoeuf is in 2nd with 56, followed by Saegertown 48.
The tourney continues at 8:45 a.m. today with the continuation of the consolation 1st round, starting at 132 pounds. The consolation finals will begin at 3 p.m. with the Parade of Champions starting at approximately 4:30.
The Raiders are led by 3-time defending champ Austin Matthews (152) who seeks to become only the 9th Mercer Countian ever to win 4 crowns.
Others seeking to defend their 2012 titles are: Tyler Vath (120), Saegertown; Jarray Norris (126), Sharon; Cam Cyphert (220), Cochranton; and Jeff Burger (285), Union City.
Following is a look at the tourney by weight class after Friday:
106 – Three Mercer County matmen — Reynolds’s Seth Hogue, Greenville’s Jase Paxson and Jamestown’s Faris Messai — advanced to the semis. Paxson, who edged Hickory’s Justin Walter, 5-4 by rideout in the Ultimate Tie Breaker, meets favorite Devin Brown of Saegertown, while Hogue takes on Messai.
113 – Reynolds’ Michael Bartolo escaped a 1st-round upset with an overtime fall over Saegertown’s Bingbong Elizon and will take on Fort LeBoeuf’s Jarrette Carter, who defeated Bartolo, 10-7, in the D-10 Duals. Sharon’s Cody Buchanan moved on and will face Nate Kline of Cochranton in the other semi.
120 — Saegertown sophomore ace Vath, who won the 106 title last season, will face Slippery Rock’s Dave Huselton in the semis, while Fort LeBoeuf’s Tyler Kuzma meets Matt Wheeler of Northwestern.
126 – A pair of county matmen are looking for a finals rematch from the Section 2-AA tournament where Reynolds’ Mason McCollum upset Sharon’s Norris. The defending D-10 champ, Norris meets Conneaut Area’s Kyle Lukowich, who edged the Tiger senior earlier in the season. McCollum faces familiar foe Nick Monico of Saegertown, who McCollum beat 5-1 at the D-10 Duals.
132 – A pair of locals go at in it the semis today when Grove City’s Luke Walter faces Jamestown’s Nick Floch in a clash of section champions. The other match pairs Seneca’s Adam Fish against Maplewood’s Zak Dennis.
138 – Sharon’s Michael Bonner was a runner-up here last year and wants to climb higher on the medals stand. He faces Chris Hibbler of Seneca, while the other semi shows Jamestown’s Seth Thurber meeting Matt Humes of Saegertown.
145 – This could be a another finals rematch from Section 2 if champion Levi Stoyer of Reynolds and Grove City’s Trey Maher win their semifinal bouts. Stoyer faces Eisenhower’s Louie Head, while Maher, who topped Section 1 champ Brad Malinowski of Fort LeBoeuf, 2-1, Friday will face Section 3 champ Robert Boozer of Cochranton.
152 – Raider superstar Matthews (40-1) goes against a familiar face in Tyler Harrington of LeBoeuf in his drive to become only the 9th 4-time champ from Mercer County. The other semi has Greenville’s Blake Horne tangling with Franklin’s Dakota Geer. Horne nipped Mercer’s Alex Shaffer, 5-2, in the OT tiebreaker periods in the quarterfinals.
160 – Two county grapplers remain here as Ben BuCher of Sharpsville and Reynolds’ Michael Millero advanced to the semis. BuCher will face LeBoeuf’s Taylor Fox, while Millero takes on Ryan Northcott of Cochranton. Northcott won by injury default in the quarters over North East’s Jordan Bryan, who came in with a 28-1 record.
170 – Tourney favorite Tim Vargo (18-1) of Union City pinned Reynolds’ Austin Moffett in the quarters and today meets another Mercer County matman in Greenville’s Zach Miller. On the other side of the bracket, Franklin’s Chris Matthews meets Cochranton’s Austin Andrews.
182 – It’s a Reynolds war here and not just the team. Greenville’s Justin Reynolds faces Saegertown’s Dylan Reynolds in one semifinal, while Jamar Henry of Reynolds takes on Isiah Sterns of Maplewood in the other.
195 – In a wide-open weight class, 2 county grapplers are still alive in the semis. Sharpsville’s Cody Huges takes on Ryan Morris of Corry, while Jamestown’s Jason Shappee faces Trevor Beiter of Seneca. Hughes and Beiter are section champions.
220 – One of the best matches of last year’s finals saw Cyphert edge Fort LeBoeuf’s Evan Daley in overtime, and this year shapes up to be a possible rematch. Daley, the 2011 champion at heavyweight, meets Reynolds’ Logan Rickert in one semi, while Cyphert clashes with Jaykup Durlin of Youngsville.
285 – In one of the best heavyweight classes in years, the semis should be exciting. Defending champion Burger will take on Lakeview’s Sam Breese, while Slippery Rock’s Forrest Christmann meets Reynolds’ Gene Ringer. Ringer edged Greenville’s Braden Gladysz, 3-2, with an escape in the Ultimate Tie Breaker period.
106 – Jase Passon (Greenville) dec. Justin Walter (Hickory), 5-4 UTB; Devin Brown (Saegertown) major dec. Evan Clayton (Lakeview), 21-7; Seth Hogue (Reynolds) dec. Isaac Bengal (Fort LeBoeuf), 3-1; Faris Messai (Jamestown) dec. Preston Hoover (Mercer), 8-4.
113 – Cody Buchanan (Sharon) dec. Logan Gray (North East), 5-2; Nate Kline (Cochranton) pinned Brad Nowakowski (Seneca), 1:36; Jarrette Carter (Fort LeBoeuf) pinned Joey Safner (Greenville), 1:06; Michael Bartolo (Reynolds) pinned Bingbong Elizon (Saegertown), 6:64 OT.
120 – Tyler Vath (Saegertown) major dec. Daniel Simmerman (Maplewood), 13-2; Dave Huselton (Slippery Rock) major dec. Jonathan Hammond (Corry), 11-2; Matt Wheeler (Northwestern) dec. Cyle Yaple (Seneca), 3-1; Tyler Kuzma (Fort LeBoeuf) pinned Nick Nottingham (Reynolds), 2:56.
126 – Nick Monico (Saegertown) dec. Jared Morrison (Cochranton), 5-2; Mason McCollum (Reynolds) dec. Adam Borgia (Fort LeBoeuf), 7-5; Kyle Lukowich (Conneaut Area) dec. Justin Tomcho (Union City), 1-0; Jarray Norris (Sharon) tech fall Adam Ballew (North East), 4:00, 23-8.
132 – Luke Walter (Grove City) pinned Mack Heitzenrater (Harbor Creek), 4:53; Nick Floch (Jamestown) pinned Troy Hejazi (Sharon), 1:20; Adam Fish (Seneca) dec. Trevor McCray (Girard), 5-3; Zak Dennis (Maplewood) pinned Gavin Kroesen (West Middlesex), 3:30.
138 – Seth Thurber (Jamestown) dec. Hunter Proctor (Corry), 12-8; Matt Humes (Saegertown) dec. Rodney Brant (Mercer), 4-3; Michael Bonner (Sharon) pinned Zach Krein (Cambridge Springs), 1:30; Chris Hibbler (Seneca) major dec. Gage Dalton (Girard), 14-3.
145 - Robert Boozer (Cochranton) pinned Andrew Campbell (Sharon), 1:19; Trey Maher (Grove City) dec. Brad Malinowski (Fort LeBoeuf), 2-1; Levi Stoyer (Reynolds) dec. Aaron Jackson (Saegertown), 1-0; Louie Head (Eisenhower) dec. Talor Ellis (Conneaut), 10-6.
152 – Taylor Harrington (Ft. LeBoeuf) dec. Chet Simoni (Grove City), 6-2; Austin Matthews (Reynolds) pinned Sebastian Rinehardt (Northwestern), 1:00; Blake Horne (Greenville) dec. Alex Shaffer (Mercer), 5-2 TB; Dan Geer (Franklin) major dec. Matt Newara (Harbor Creek), 17-6.
160 – Ben BuCher (Sharpsville) dec. Josh Reinke (Union City), 6-3; Taylor Fox (Ft. LeBoeuf) dec. Gage Gladysz (Greenville), 3-1; Ryan Northcott (Cochranton) injury def. over Jordan Bryan (North East), 2:26; Michael Millero (Reynolds) dec. Andrew Boylan (Saegertown), 9-5.
170 – Chris Matthews (Frankin) major dec. Jeremy Mitchell (Saegertown), 10-1; Austin Andrews (Cochranton) dec. Shane Taubert (Corry), 3-1; Tim Vargo (Union City) pinned Austin Moffett (Reynolds), 3:01; Zach Miller (Greenville) dec. Marquis Spence (Lakeview), 4-2.
182 – Justin Reynolds (Greenville) dec. Chris Mueller (Sharpsville), 7-1; Dylan Reynolds (Saegertown) dec. Joe Hines (Hickory), 9-2; Jamar Henry (Reynolds) tech. fall over Vitaliy Kleschevinikov (Girard), 21-6, 5:43; Isiah Stearns (Maplewood) pinned Stone Sivak (Youngsville), 3:46.
195 – Cody Hughes (Sharpsville) dec. Garrett Reinwald (Ft. LeBoeuf), 2-1 TB; Ryan Morris (Corry) pinned Zach Stafford (Camb. Springs), 0:14; Trevor Beiter (Seneca) dec. Denton Zeronas (Reynolds), 6-4; Jason Shappee (Jamestown) dec. Dan Geer (Franklin), 6-5.
220 – Evan Daley (Fort LeBoeuf) major dec. Keamus Schuhlen (Jamestown), 14-0; Logan Rickert (Reynolds) dec. Tim Suydan (Corry), 3-0; Cam Cyphert (Cochranton) pinned Storm McDonald (Union City), 1:12; Jaykup Durlin (Youngsville) pinned Colton Smith (Mercer), 4:58.
285 — Jeff Burger (Union City) pinned Kaleb Robertson (Sharpsville), 1:21; Sam Breese (Lakeview) pinned Evan Miller (Cochranton), 1:17; Gene Ringer (Reynolds) dec. Braden Gladysz (Greenville), 3-2 UTB; Forrest Christmann (Slippery Rock) dec. Nate Conti (Ft. LeBoeuf), 5-1.
106 – Walter tech. fall Tyler Nowakowski (Seneca), 17-2, 3:12; Clayton pinned Raven Mangrino (Conneaut), 0:18; Bengal pinned Austin Howard (Northwestern), 5:24; Hoover major dec. Dustin Weilacher (Union City), 10-2.
113 – Gray pinned David Marvin (Maplewood), 0:43; Nowakowski dec. Aiden Bellucci (West Middlesex), 7-0; Safner dec. Austin Szugye (Sharpsville), 1-0; Elizon dec. Bruce Copeland (Northwestern), 4-2 OT.
120 – Simmerman pinned Dreux Harper (Franklin), 4:57; Hammond pinned Dave Schwab (Cambridge Springs), 3:31; Yaple dec. Jake Heim (Lakeview), 5-4; Nottingham bye.
126 – Morrison pinned Sanford Dessaw (Hickory), 5:11; Borgia dec. Isaac Howard (Northwestern), 9-4; Tomcho major dec. Ryan Grace (Grove City), 10-0; Norris pinned Henry Coyle (Maplewood), 1:12.
132 - Heitzenrater dec. Ian Pettis (Northwestern), 4-1; Hejazi dec. Garrett Zuver (Saegertown), 4-3; McRay pinned Cam Cianci (Reynolds), 5:27; Dennis dec. Tyler Gourley (Eisenhower), 6-4.
138 – Proctor dec. Matt Leise (Reynolds), 11-6; Brant major dec. Jacob Riffe (Greenville), 14-0; Krein dec. Shane Newell (Ft. LeBoeuf), 3-2; Hibbler dec. Chris Enos (Sharpsville), 5-2.
145 – Campbell pinned Jacob Kruize (Iroquois), 1:57; Maher tech. fall Jeremy Parsons (Maplewood), 17-1, 2:43; Jackson dec. Jacob Rickert (Greenville), 5-2; Head dec. John Sims (Hickory), 12-5.
152 – Simoni dec. Caleb Peterson (Cochranton), 12-10; Rinehardt pinned Robbie Wilston (Eisenhower), 4:58; Shaffer dec. Lance Neuscheler (Saegertown), 4-0; Geer tech. fall. Tyler Osborne (Comm. Perry), 17-2, 6:00.
160 – Reinke major dec. Christian Bock (Girard), 12-0; Fox pinned Derek Steetle (Franklin), 1:06; Northcott dec. Clay Ruffo (Mercer), 3-0; Boylan dec. Jeff Parsons (Maplewood), 3-2.
170 – Mitchell dec. Mohammed Messai (Jamestown), 8-1; Taubert pinned Zane Wolf (Slippery Rock), 3:15; Moffett dec. Garrett Behringer (Northwestern), 6-4; Miller dec. Jack Middleton (Ft. LeBoeuf), 9-2.
182 – Mueller dec. Alex Suydan (Corry), 9-7; Hines pinned Paul Beresford (Conneaut), 1:33; Kleschevinikov pinned Cody Thomas (Union City), 3:58; Sivak pinned Ryan Brunson (Merecer), 4:06.
195 – Reinwald pinned Alex Ho (Greenville), 3:04; Morris dec. Andrew Clayton (Lakeview), 12-6; Zeronas major dec. Dan Daugherty (Girard), 14-5; Shappee dec. Jake Johnson (Eisenhower), 6-2
220 – Schulen pinned Jeff Rial (Franklin), 3:18; Suydan dec. Ryan Cardman (Fairview), 6-4; McDonald pinned Jake Llewellyn, 3:34; Smith pinned James Wilkerson (Greenville), 1:39.
285 – Robertson pinned Tim Galford (Maplewood), 1:12; Miller dec. Dylan Raines (Eisenhower), 4-2; Ringer pinned John Macken (Saegertown), 2:24; Christmann pinned Brian Lipps (Conneaut), 1:51.
Consolation 1st Round
106 – Hoover tech. fall Nowakowski, 2:57, 16-0; Bengal pinned Mangrino, 0:20; Clayton pinned Howard, 0:59; Weilacher pinned Walter, 2:05.
113 – Elizon pinned Marvin, 4:15; Safner dec. Bellucci, 6-3; Nowakowski dec. Szugye, 4-0; Gray pinned Copeland, 3:58.
120 – Nottingham dec. Harper, 6-4; Yaple dec. Schwab, 5-0; Heim maj. dec. Hammond, 12-1; Simmerman bye.
126 – Ballew dec. Dessaw, 12-8; Tomcho dec. Howard, 1-0; Borgia dec. Grace, 9-2; Morrison major dec. Coyle, 13-0.
One of the goals set by Reynolds High coach Casey Taylor was for his Raiders to return to the top of the District 10 Class AA wrestling this season after 2 years without a D-10 trophy.
Breese defends heavyweight title at PIAA Championships
HERSHEY, Pa. — Move over Rod Wright!
Lakeview senior heavyweight star Sam Breese had a goal coming into the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center — besides winning a second state crown, that is.
WM knocks off Neshannock in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — The notion of Trey Staunch sneaking up on opposing teams is laughable. At 6-foot-3 and approximately 225 pounds, the stout Staunch is not sneaking up on anyone.
However after posting a game-high 31-point, 18-rebound performance in West Middlesex High basketball team’s 76-66 PIAA Class AA playoffs opening-round win over Neshannock Saturday night, Staunch said opponents may have been overlooking the Big Reds.
Hickory girls 26-0, oust Johnstown
SLIPPERY ROCK — At Morrow Field House Saturday evening, the Hickory Lady Hornets kept the perfect season alive with a 63-37 state playoff first round win over the Greater Johnstown Trojans from District 6.
“It feels great to get the win (Saturday),” said veterans Hickory coach Jeanette Whitehead. “We’ve been at this place over the last few years and we’ve been sent home in the first round so it was a huge win for us. I’m very proud of our team effort."
KC girls roll past California in PIAA playoffs
SLIPPERY ROCK — Kennedy Catholic High girls’ basketball team was in the ’hood Saturday afternoon.
Led by senior Taylor Hood, the Lady Golden Eagles eased past California, 53-34, in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Lakeview's Breese to defend PIAA title
HERSHEY, Pa. — If you are Major League Baseball player, a .333 batting average is great. But in wrestling at the state tournament — not so much!
Out of the dozen wrestlers that Mercer County sent to Hershey for the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships, only four (.333) will reach the medal stand today — led by Lakeview senior Sam Breese who shoots for a second straight gold medal.
Farrell edges Montour, 60-57, in PIAA opener
Montour High boys’ basketball coach Adam Kaufman lamented another season-ending setback. However there are several hundred coaches across the Commonwealth who envy his program’s recent success and would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
But during Friday night’s PIAA Class AAA playoff opener, Kaufman & Co. could not overcome those streaky Steelers ... those survivin’ Steelers.
“ ... Hey, survive and move on,” summarized Steelers’ skipper Roland Shannonhouse following Farrell’s 60-57 win at Sharon High.
GCC ousts Mercer in 1st round of PIAAs
The Mercer Lady Mustangs were outscored 16-4 in the final quarter of the first round of the state playoffs by the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions, ending their season Friday night 56-31 at Sharon High School.
Senior Lexie Arkwright had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double performance for the Lady M’s. She also snagged three steals. Adelyn Cook and Haylie Glass each added 4 points for Mercer.
5 area matmen to quarterfinals in Hershey
HERSHEY — Mercer County matmen had mixed results on the opening day of action in the PIAA State Class AA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Only 5 of the county’s dozen entries — led by defending state champ Sam Breese of Lakeview (285) — won their preliminary matches to move into the tournament quarterfinals which begin at 9 a.m. today. However the other 7 lost their first matches, although 3 are still alive in the consolations heading into this morning’s action.
Coach Chad Mild's Big Reds are road warriors
West Middlesex High boys basketball team did not play its first home game until after the first of the year, but competing at New Castle, Farrell and Youngstown’s Covelli Centre has served it well.
Witness West Middlesex’s 55-54 win over Fairview in last weekend’s District 10 Class AA championship game — at Edinboro University’s McComb Field House.
Boys PIAA basketball preview boxes
Who: Farrell (22-3) vs. Montour (16-8).
What: Opening round.
When: 7:30 p.m. today.
Where: Sharon High’s Tiger Gymnasium.
Hickory, Mercer, KC girls PIAA playoff boxes
Who: Hickory (25-0) vs. Greater Johnstown (11-14).
What: PIAA Playoffs, 1st round.
When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Slippery Rock University.
Shannonhouse's Steelers set for statewide stage
With the approaching spring, a young man’s fancy turns to ... what else? The PIAA playoffs. And when Shenango Valley scholastic basketball aficionados think of the postseason they think of Farrell.
Recently at E.J. McCluskey Gymnasium, the banners above were blowing in the breeze — ’52 ... ’54 ... ’56 ... ’59 ... ’60 ... ’69 ... ’72 — swaying as sprinting players created a vacuum of air rising from the floor. Melodramatic maybe, but there’s a feeling at Farrell that harkens back to the heyday when playoff success was a rite of passage.
Breese eyes repeat at state mat tourney
There is no doubt that winning a state championship in wrestling is a difficult thing to do. Winning two is even tougher.
“There’s a target on your chest,” pointed out Lakeview High coach Tom Tingley in preseason this year, referring to his star wrestler Sam Breese who won a state heavyweight crown as a junior last year.
Obviously that target hasn’t bothered the Sailors big man who is a perfect 32-0 this season as he attempts to become only the 12th Mercer County matman to win multiple titles.
WRESTLING NOTEBOOK: It's a young group of county matmen headed to state
THERE’S definitely a youth movement in Mercer County wrestling as demonstrated by the group of 11 matmen who are advancing to the PIAA State Class AA Championships on Thursday.
Eight of the locals are underclassmen. The only seniors are Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285), Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer (145) and Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai (182).
Breese and Stoyer are the only returning state place-winners. Breese, who has verbally committed to Kent State University to wrestle next season, won the heavyweight class and is seeking a second gold medal. Stoyer placed 7th at 145 and wants to climb much higher on the medals stand.
Kennedy boys forfeit win, are out of playoffs
The PIAA basketball playoffs do not begin until Friday, but Mercer County already lost a team.
Kennedy Catholic High disclosed Monday the discovery of an academically-ineligible player, who competed in last Friday’s District 10 Class A consolation contest.
Kennedy Catholic edged Eisenhower in double-OT, 66-62, earning a berth in the statewide tournament. The Golden Eagles were to meet District 9 champion Ridgway Friday at Clarion University’s Tippin Gymnasium in the opening round; instead, Eisenhower will represent D-10 as its 3rd-place team.
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