CLARION — The Curwensville Area High School wrestling team emerged from an up-and-down first day of the 2013 District 9 Class AA Championships with three semifinalists and four consolation quarterfinalists for action in Clarion University’s Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium Saturday.
The Golden Tide lineup took a hit when senior 182-pounder Austin Pollick, seeded No. 5, was unable to go because of a knee injury he suffered in a dual meet last week and another senior elected not to compete.
That left coach Duane Wriglesworth and assistants Mike Bookhamer and Steve Keller with 10 hopefuls who certainly didn’t disappoint them.
No. 2 seed Jake Lancaster (21-10) at 126 and No. 3 seed Tyler Mays (14-11) at 120 matched falls in the preliminary round and come-from-behind decisions in the quarterfinals to advance to the 9:30 a.m. semifinals.
Lancaster, whose path to a gold medal was cleared somewhat when Clarion’s Riley Gunter knocked off No. 1 seed Cole Clever of Brookville 3-2 in the quarters, decked Johnsonburg’s Cole Myers at 1:11 with a half nelson and arm bar and bested Cameron County’s Paul Etchepare 12-6. Trailing 6-5, Lancaster reversed with 24 seconds left in the middle period and picked up his second near fall of the match at the buzzer. He added another reversal early in the third period.
Mays cradled Keystone’s Austin Curtis for a 1:08 fall in his opening bout and then pulled out a thrilling 6-4 victory over Kane’s Dalton Caden (26-6) with a takedown and two-point near fall in the last five seconds. Prior to that desperation move, it appeared the sixth-seeded Red Raider was on his way to an upset with takedowns in the second and third periods.
Sam Bressler (19-9), the No. 4 seed at 106, needed only one win to remain in the hunt for a title. After receiving a bye in the prelims, he reversed No. 5 seed Austin Woolcock (16-4) of Kane on the third period whistle for a 2-0 squeaker.
Each of the Golden Tide’s gold medal contenders must win one more bout to lock up a top-four finish and a trip to Sharon next week for the Northwest Region Tournament.
If No. 8 seed Greg Koptchak at 113, No. 5 seed Trey McKenzie at 145, No. 6 seed Ricky Magnuson at 220 and unseeded A.J. Bloom at 285 want to join them, they must win back-to-back consolation matches Saturday.
Tough, two-point losses to higher seeds in the quarters kept McKenzie and Magnuson from making it a banner first session for Curwensville.
No. 4 seed Zac McKnight double-legged McKenzie in the second period for the key move in a 3-1 win.
McKenzie, who couldn’t quite turn the Elker in the third period, bounced back to pile up an 11-0 lead on Cameron County’s Casey Clingan before pinning him 16 seconds into the second period. In the prelims, McKenzie was ahead 7-0 when he turned Kane’s John Welch with a half nelson to registered a fall at 5:55.
Down 3-2 to No. 3 seed Matt Baugher (16-2) of Cranberry late in the third period, Magnuson just missed a go-ahead takedown at the edge of the mat and then gave up two points when he tried a desperation throw in the waning seconds of the 5-3 loss.
Magnuson stayed alive by pinning Johnsonburg’s John Haupright at 3:19 with a half nelson and press.
Bloom pulled off one of only three upsets in the prelims by making a first period takedown stand up for a 2-1 win over No. 5 seed Kaleb Tucker of Cranberry. That got him a bout with Cameron County’s No. 4 seed Jack Karsten, who logged a fall in 36 seconds.
Koptchak was pinned in 47 seconds by defending 113 champ Willie Gruver and then received a bye in the consy second round.
Curwensville might have had a fifth wrestler in the consolations if not for a neck injury that ended senior 170-pounder Nate Wriglesworth’s season, and career.
The No. 7 seed, who had defeated Sheffield’s Cody Anderson 9-6 in the prelims, sustained the injury in his quarterfinal bout with No. 2 seed Brandon Bailey of Redbank Valley. Bailey led 10-4 when the bout was stopped at the 3:07 mark.
Following a lengthy stoppage for precautionary reasons, Wriglesworth was placed on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to Clarion Hospital. He was released later.
Golden Tide underclassmen Shawn Ebersole (138) and Dakota Royer (152) were 0-2.
Two No. 3 seeds and five No. 4 seeds were upended in the quarterfinals along with Clever.
Consolation finals for Class AA and Class AAA will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by District 9 Hall of Fame Inductions, the Parade of Champions and the gold medal bouts.
Results for Curwensville wrestlers, with seeds in parentheses:
KEY – Brockway (Bw), Brookville (Bv), Cameron County (CC), Clarion (Cl), Coudersport (Cou), Cranberry (Cr), Curwensville (Cur), Johnsonburg (J), Kane (K), Keystone (Key), Oswayo Valley (OV), Port Allegany (PA), Ridgway (R), Redbank Valley (RV), Sheffield (Sh), Smethport (Sm).
CHAMPIONSHIP PRELIMINARY ROUND
120 – (3) Tyler Mays, Cur, pinned Austin Curtis, Key, 1:08.
126 – (2) Jake Lancaster, Cur, pinned Cole Myers, J, 1:11.
138 – (3) Darren Brown, K, pinned Shawn Ebersole, Cur, 1:45.
145 – (5) Trey McKenzie, Cur, pinned John Welch, K, 5:55.
152 – (7) Steve Gregerson, Sh, pinned Dakota Royer, Cur, 3:10.
170 – (7) Nate Wriglesworth, Cur, dec, Cody Anderson, Sh, 9-6.
285 – A.J. Bloom, Cur, dec. (5) Kaleb Tucker, Cr, 2-1.
106 – (4) Sam Bressler, Cur, dec. (5) Austin Woolcock, K, 2-0.
113 – (1) Willie Gruver, RV, pinned (8) Jason Koptchak, Cur, :47.
120 – Mays, Cur, dec. (6) Dalton Caden, PA, 6-4.
126 – Lancaster, Cur, dec. (7) Paul Etchepare, CC, 12-6.
145 – (4) Zac McKnight, R, dec. McKenzie, Cur, 3-1.
170 – (2) Brandon Bailey, RV, won by injury default over Wriglesworth, Cur, 3:07.
220 – (3) Matt Baugher, Cr, dec. (6) Ricky Magnuson, Cur, 5-3.
285 – (4) Jack Karsten, CC, pinned Bloom, Cur, :36.
138 – John Wildnauer, R, pinned Ebersole, Cur, 1:24.
152 – Addison Hockins, Cl, pinned Royer, Cur, :48.
CONSOLATION SECOND ROUND
113 – Koptchak, Cur, bye.
145 – McKenzie, Cur, pinned Casey Clingan, CC, 1:16.
170 – Austin Clinger, Bv, won by injury default over Wriglesworth, Cur.
220 – Magnuson, Cur, pinned Justin Haupright, J, 3:19.
285 – Bloom, Cur, bye.
Complete results courtesy Escape Sports: http://liveresults.escapesports.com/PIAA/2013_District_9_AA_Tournament.html