Whether District 10 recognizes sectional team champions or not, there no’s arguing the fact that Reynolds was the dominant force in Section 2-AA Saturday at Sharon High School.
Albeit unofficial by D-10 standards, the Raiders won their 43rd section crown by a landslide, posting 248.5 points and advancing all 14 wrestlers to the District 10 Class AA Championships this coming weekend at Sharon High. The two four finishers in each weight moved on. Sharpsville was second with 108.
“This is always one of our goals,” said Reynolds coach Casey Taylor. “To win sections and to get all 14 wrestlers through to next week. I’m really proud of the job the kids did, especially three or four of them who had tough matches in the consolations rounds and came through.
“This is our 43rd title in 54 years of the program and it makes me think about Coach (Neal) Lineman who got it all started and Coach (Brian) Hills. There have been some others along the way as well, but those are the two that really compiled most of those titles.
“In recent years we slipped and one or two kids didn’t make it. So to get the whole team moving on is great.”
Leading the way for the Blue and Gray were seniors Austin Matthews (152) and Jamar Henry (182), who each recorded their third straight section titles. Other Raiders to reach the top of the medal stand were: Seth Hogue (106), Mason McCollum (126), Levi Stoyer (145), Logan Rickert (220).
Sharpsville’s Ben BuCher (160) annexed his third section crown and could become a 4-timer next season. Other winners Saturday were: Cody Buchanan (113) and Michael Bonner (138), both of Sharon; Dave Huselton (120), Slippery Rock; Luke Walter (132), Grove City; Chris Matthews (170), Franklin; Sharpsville’s Cody Hughes (195); and Lakeview’s Sam Breese (285)..
Following is a look at the tournament by weight class:
106 – Reynolds freshman Seth Hogue (25-11) nailed an early takedown on Lakeview senior Evan Clayton (24-6) and made it hold up for a 4-1 victory over the tourney top seed. Hogue defeated second-seed Justin Walter of Hickory in the semis.
113 – Sharon senior Cody Buchanan (23-4), a section winner in 2011, grabbed a takedown with 1 second left in the opening period on Raider Mike Bartolo (23-7) for the lead and never trailed on his way to a 6-3 win. It was Buchanan’s 100th career win.
120 – Slippery Rock junior Dave Huselton (25-5), the top seed, dumped Raider Nick Nottingham to his back on the first-period takedown for a 5-0 lead. In the second period, the unseeded Nottingham hit a Peterson in the second period for a reveral and back points to tie the count at 5. They then traded reverals for a 7-all deadlock at the third-period turn. The final frame was a series of neutrals and takedowns with the Rocket ace prevailing in a 12-8 thriller.
126 – Sharon junior standout Jarray Norris saw his bid for a third straight title sidelined by a determined Reynolds junior Mason McCollum. Norris led 6-5 late in the match, but McCollum picked up a takedown with a leg cradle and held on for a 7-6 upset victory. Norris fell to 28-2, while McCollum moved to 25-13 after wrestling much of the year at 132.
132 – A pair of sophomores, Grove City’s Luke Walter and West Middlesex’s Gavin Kroesen squared off in a tight bout that ended 3-3 in regulation. Walter (25-7) hit a single leg takedown in OT for a 5-3 victory.
138 – Sharon senior Michael Bonner put on a takedown clinic against Mercer sophomore Rodney Brant. The lightning quick Tiger notched 13 takedowns en route to a 27-12 technical fall in 4:37. Bonner moved to 28-2 on the year.
145 – Grove City senior Trey Maher led 2-1 after the opening period against Reynolds junior Levi Stoyer and built a 5-1 margin. But Stoyer roared back and deadlocked it at 5 in the final frame. Stoyer (33-6) came up with a 3-point tilt in the final 10 seconds for an 8-5 triumph.
152 – Raider senior superstar Austin Matthews, a three-time state place-winner, grabbed a cradle off the takedown on Franklin freshman Dakota Geer for a 5-0 lead. Matthews (39-1) went on to a 16-0 tech fall in 3:53.
160 – Sharpsville junior Ben BuCher (31-4) picked up his third crown with a hardfought, workmanlike victory over Mike Millero of Reynolds. BuCher notched the first takedown en route to a 3-1 win. “He’s the first three-time champ for Sharpsville, I believe,” said a proud Blue Devils coach John Whalen. “He’s patient and very methodical, he doesn’t make many mistakes. We’d like to get a district title next and set outselves up for regions. We’d like to eat some chocolate this year.”
170 – Franklin senior Chris Matthews (28-4) only needed 3:45 to record the first fall of the night in the finals, decking Lakeview sophomore Marquis Spence. This marked Franklin’s first appearance in the AA tournament after several years in Class AAA.
182 – Raider Jamar Henry picked up a trifecta of section crowns with a tough, 3-2 triumph over Hickory’s Joe Hines. Henry (32-8) scored an escape and takedown in the second period for a 3-0 front and made it hold up. He had to battle off a single leg takedown shot at the end of the match for the win over Hines (25-5).
195 – A pair of seniors, Franklin’s Dan Geer and Sharpsville’s Cody Hughes, tangled here. With the bout tied at 1 in the third period Hughes spun behind for a takedown. He went on to win 3-2 for a second Blue Devil championship of the evening.
220 – Mercer freshman Colton Smith came in as top seed, but was overpowered by Reynolds’ Logan Rickert. Rickert led 7-1 after one period and 14-2 after two on his way to a 19-5 win.
285 – This was one of the most anticipated matches of the night as two of the top heavyweights in the state went at it – Slippery Rock senior Forrest Christmann and Lakeview junior Sam Breese. Christmann (26-3), who defeated Breese during the season, scored a second period escape after a scoreless opening frame. However, Breese (27-3) picked up a reversal in the third and rode out for the 2-1 victory.
“Winning sections of course is important to us,” said Coach Taylor. “And we’ve done some really nice things this year. But we still want to win districts. It’s been two years without it. Still, the most important thing to us is to get kids to advance. We want them to pick up bonus points for the team, but winning matches and advancing as individuals is the most important thing.”
“I have to give a lot of credit to my coaches (Joe Reichard, Mark Bartolo and Marty Taylor) for the job that they do in getting the kids ready.”
Team totals: Reynolds (R) 248.5; Sharpsville (SV) 108; Mercer (Mr) 101; Franklin (F) 99.5;Sharon (Sn) 97.5; Lakeview (L) 88.5; Grove City (GC) 67.5; Hickory (H) 55; Slippery Rock (SR) 55; West Middlesex (WM) 32.
106 – Seth Hogue (R) dec. Evan Clayton (L), 4-1.
113 – Cody Buchanan (Sn) dec. Mike Bartolo (R), 6-3
120 – Dave Huselton (SR) dec. Nick Nottingham (R), 12-8
126 – Mason McCollum (R) dec. Jarray Norris (Sn), 7-6
132 – Luke Walter (GC) dec. Gavin Kroesen (WM), 5-3 OT
138 – Michael Bonner (Sn) tech fall Rodney Brant (Mr), 27-12, 4:37
145 – Levi Stoyer (R) dec. Trey Maher (GC), 8-5
152 – Austin Matthews (R) pinned Dakota Geer (F), 16-0, 3:53
160 - Ben BuCher (Sv) dec. Mike Millero (R ), 3-1.
170 – Chris Matthews (F) pinned Marquis Spence (L), 3:45
182 – Jamar Henry (R) dec. Joe Hines (H), 3-2
195 – Cody Hughes (Sv) dec. Dan Geer (F), 3-2
220 - Logan Rickert (R) maj. dec. Colton S mith (Mr), 19-5
285 – Sam Breese (L) dec. Forrest Christmann (SR), 2-1
106 – Jason Walter (H) dec. Preston Hoover (Mr), 2-0; 113 – Austin Szugye (Sv) dec. Austin King (Mr), 4-2 OT; 120 – Jake Heim (L) pinned Dreux Harper (F), 2:53; 126 – Ryan Grace (GC) pinned Stanford Dessaw (H), 2:38; 132 – Cam Cianci (R) dec. Troy Hejazi (Sn), 5-3 OT; 138 – Matt Leise (R) dec. Chris Enos (Sv), 3-1; 145 – Andrew Campbell (Sn) dec. John Sims (H), 6-2; 152 – Alex Shaffer (Mr) dec. Chet Simoni (GC), 4-0; 160 – Clay Ruffo (Mr) pinned Derek Steetle (F), 4:34; 170 – Austin Moffett (R) maj. dec. Zane Wolf (SR), 17-6; 182 – Chris Mueller (Sv) dec. Ryan Brunson (Mr), 3-1 TB; 195 – Denton Zeronas (R) pinned Andrew Clayton (L), 2:11; 220 – Jake Llewellyn (R ) dec. Jeff Rial (F), 7-4; 285 – Gene Ringer (R ) pinned Kaleb Robertson (Sv), 1:34.
106 – Walter pinned Mitchell Murray (WM), 2:16; Hoover pinned Andy Ryan (Sv), 2:25; 113 – Szugye dec. Aiden Bellucci (WM), 5-1; King dec. Zach Sharrer (F), 6-4; 120 – Heim pinned Austin Alfreno (Sn), 3:23; Harper dec. Ben Shaffer (Mr), 6-0; 126 – Grace pinned Brandon Dick (WM), 4:09; Dessaw maj. dec. Joe Sofranko (Sv), 13-4; 132 – Cianci dec. Dustin Schleifer (L), 6-5; Hejazi dec. Hunter Cook (F), 6-1; 138 – Leise dec. Noah Bianco (H), 4-3; Enos dec. Jared Sample (GC), 3-1; 145 – Campbell dec. Tyler Carey (F), 6-0; Sims dec. Joey Pagliaroli (Sv), 6-5; 152 – Simoni dec. Cory Buchanan, 4-1; Shaffer ma, dec. Shane Beatty (H), 8-0; 160 – Steetle pinned Dalton Hilliard (SR), 4:34; Ruffo pinned Luke Hemminger (WM), 1:31; 170 – Moffett forfeit; Wolf dec. Austin Slagle (Mr), 5-3 OT; 182 – Mueller dec. Shane Slater (SR), 1-0; Brunson dec. Beau Dignall (Sn),k 5-3; 195 – Clayton pinned Brian Phillips (Mr), 3:32; Zeronas pinned Brad Garmen (H), 3:59; 220 – Llewellyn pinned Tim Kerr (SR), 2:47; Rial pinned Jeff Spencer (WM), 2:09; 285 – Ringer dec. Jon Hennegan (Mr), 5-2; Robertson pinned Mike Wisner (F), 3:09.
106 – Clayton dec. Hoover, 3-2; Hogue dec. Walter, 4-2 OT; 113 – Buchanan maj. dec. Sharrer, 16-5; Bartolo pinned Szugye, 4:08; 120 – Huselton dec. Alfreno, 8-7; Nottingham dec. Harper, 8-4; 126 – Norris pinned Dessaw, 3:09; McCollum maj. dec. Grace, 11-3; 132 – Walter dec, Schleifer, 2-1 TB; Kroesen pinned Cook, 1:06; 138 – Bonner pinned Leise, 4:30; Brant dec. Enos, 7-1; 145 – Stoyer pinned Sims, 5:55; Maher maj. dec. Campbell, 9-0; 152 – Matthews pinned Shaffer, 1:56; Geer dec. Simoni, 5-2; 160 – BuCher pinned Ruffo, 3:19; Millero dec. Steetle, 10-6; 170 – Matthews dec. Slagle, 7-4; Spence dec. Lucich, 6-5; 182 – Hines pinned Mueller, 1:40; Henry pinned Dignall, 3:45; 195 – Geer pinned Phillips, 1:19; Hughes dec. Zeronas, 2-1 TB; 220 – Smith pinned Rial, 1:03; Rickert pinned Llewellyn, 3:22; 285 – Christmann pinned Ringer, 3:07; Breese pinned Robertson, :39.
106 – Murray pinned D.J. Templeton (Sn), 1:55; Ryan pinned Chad Bable (GC), 1:24; 113 – Bellucci bye; King pinned Colton Pellis (H), :55; 120 - Heim forfeit; Shaffer dec,. Dustin Kosar (Sv), 4-3; 126 - Dick bye; Sofranko dec. Trevor Fowler (Mr), 6-2; 132 – Cianci maj. dec. Kevin Boyd (H), 8-0; Hejazi dec. Matt Andrascik (H), 9-4; 138 – Bianco pinned Brandon Persch (L), 2:19; Sample maj. dec. David Cook (WM), 12-0; 145 – Carey pinned Manny Johns (SR), 2:48; Pagliaroli dec. Kevin Reno (Mr), 11-4; 152 – Buchanan pinned Jason Ash (WM), 1:39; Beatty pinned Findley, 4:09; 160 – Hemminger dec. Robbie Thomas (H), 6-2; Hilliard pinned Isaiah Chavez (Sn), 4:16; 170 – Moffett pinned Chris Williams (Sv), 4:45; Wolf dec. Dom Lenzi (H), 8-3; 182 – Brunson bye; Slater bye; 195 – Garmen bye; Clayton pinned Stephen Boyle (GC), 2:26; 220 – Kerr pinned Austin Stelene (GC), 1:27; Spencer dec. Marcus Bowser (L), 3-1; 285 – Hennegan pinned Anthony Leak (Sn), :32; Wisner dec. Lucas Combine (WM), 7-2.
Whether District 10 recognizes sectional team champions or not, there no’s arguing the fact that Reynolds was the dominant force in Section 2-AA Saturday at Sharon High School.
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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