SHARON – District 9 champion Derek Brothers of Curwensville opened his bid for a second consecutive PIAA Northwest Region Class AA Wrestling Tournament title with a 15-3 major decision over Levi Morton of North East in Friday night\’s quarterfinals at Sharon Area High School.
The Golden Tide sophomore 112-pounder, who won region gold at 103 last year, took down the District 10 fourth place finisher and tilted him for two and a 4-0 lead after one period.
Three tilts in the middle period boosted Brothers\’ advantage to 12-1, and he added an escape and reversal in the third period to improve to 29-3.
Brothers exhibited the confidence gained in a similar 19-5 victory over Morton (30-10) in the quarterfinals of the 25th Fred Bell Memorial Tournament at Grove City in late January.
\”We had a pretty good idea how to handle him, and Derek pretty much wrestled him the way he had before,\” Curwensville coach Duane Wriglesworth II said. \”Derek looked very sharp. I was really pleased with the amount of control he had on top, and he\’s going to need that in his next match.\”
Brothers\’ semifinal opponent Saturday morning will be Ridgway\’s Derek Konen (33-10) in another rematch. The Golden Tide bantam nipped the Elker senior 5-4 in the District 9 duals.
Konen, who was the D-9 champ and a state qualifier at 112 last year, surprised D-10 runner-up Luke Marshall (31-14) by taking him down and locking up a crossface cradle for a first-period fall.
\”Konen looked real good,\” Wriglesworth said. \”We anticipate a real tough match. He took us down twice the last time, so we\’re concerned about wrestling him on his feet.\”
The upper half of the 112 bracket produced two surprises, including one of the biggest of the session.
Commodore Perry freshman Nate Dias (30-11), who finished sixth in the D-10 tourney but filled the No. 5 slot because Grove City\’s Johnny Pas was unable to wrestle because of a broken hand, upset D-10 champ Shane Rankin (33-3) of Union City in overtime.
Dias will take on Reynolds\’ D-10 third placer Adam Matthews (27-14), who upended D-9 runner-up Trevor McCauley (30-9) of Redbank Valley.
Brothers beat Pas 9-6 in the Redbank Valley Christmas Tournament finals and after downing McCauley 5-1 in the semis. Last week, he nipped McCauley 2-1 in overtime for the district crown.
The semifinal and consolation first round start at 9:15, with the consolation semifinals at noon, the consolation finals at 4:15 and the championship bouts at 6.
The top three finishers at each weight will advance to the PIAA Class AA Championships at Hershey next weekend.