Ranked Wrestlers in Path of Golden Tide’s Three Region Qualifiers
CURWENSVILLE — Surviving the Northwest Region Class AA Wrestling Tournament for a berth in the state championships always is a difficult undertaking, and the three Curwensville Area High School’s hopefuls are sure to encounter their share of roadblocks at Sharon High School this weekend.
District 9 champion Jake Lancaster, bronze medalist Sam Bressler and fourth placer Trey McKenzie all must finish ahead of a trio of state-ranked standouts in their brackets if they are to end the 2012-13 season in the Hershey Giant Center next week.
With no District 8 entries because of Pittsburgh city school consolidations last year, the regional will showcase 10 qualifiers at each weight, four from District 9 and six from District 10.
Byes go to the top three district finishers for the preliminaries that are set for 5:15 p.m. Friday. The quarterfinals will follow immediately.
Lancaster (23-10) will meet the winner of the 126-pound prelim bout between 10-4 Kyle Lukowich (30-8) of Conneaut or 10-6 Dustin Tomcho (21-10) of Union City.
The Golden Tide sophomore met Lukowich twice in the Fred Bell Memorial Tournament at Grove City in late January, winning 2-0 in the consolation semifinals in a six-bout run to third place after being pinned in 39 seconds by the Eagle junior.
The other bout in the top half of the bracket pits 10-2 Mason McCollum (27-14) of Reynolds against 9-3 Brett Himes (19-10) of Ridgway. McCollum is No. 11 in this week’s Off The Mat rankings published by Mark Dugan, who was a two-time PIAA Class AA champion at Moshannon Valley.
Lurking in the bottom bracket are No. 8-ranked Jarray Norris (32-2) of Sharon and No. 16-ranked Nick Monico (29-11) of Saegertown.
Norris, who majored McCollum 12-3 for his second D-10 title, gets the winner of the prelim between 9-4 Jack Glasl (23-7) of Brockway and 10-5 Jared Morrison (26-13) of Cochranton. McCollum will go against D-9 runner-up Mitch Blose (21-12) of Redbank Valley.
Lancaster owns three wins over Blose, a 43-second fall in the January 10 dual meet, a 1:53 fall in the Fred Bell tourney consy finals and a 4-3 decision in the district finals Saturday.
In the quarterfinals at 106, Curwensville soph Bressler (21-10) bumps into Reynolds’ No.14-ranked freshman Seth Hogue (27-12), the D-10 runner-up to No. 1-ranked Devin Brown (41-1) of Saegertown.
No. 9-ranked Taylor Ortz (30-6) of Brookville also is in the top bracket. The D-9 champ, who majored Bressler 15-3 in the semis, will take on the winner of the prelim between 10-4 Evan Clayton (28-8) of Lakeview and 10-6 Faris Messai (23-9) of Jamestown.
Brown, who pinned Hogue at 3:06 in the D-10 finals, awaits the outcome of the early match between 9-4 Ryan Carlson (19-11) of Brockway and 10-5 Jase Paxton (31-12) of Greenville. The other lower bracket quarterfinal pairs 9-2 Casey Vollmer (28-3) of Port Allegany and 10-3 Isaac Bengel (26-14) of Fort LeBoeuf. Bressler nipped Carlson 2-1 in the D-9 consy finals.
Curwensville’s McKenzie (18-11) gets 10-5 Trey Maher (32-10) of Grove City in a prelim at 145, with the winner to meet D-10 champ and No. 7-ranked Levi Stoyer (36-6) of Reynolds in the quarterfinals.
Three-time D-9 runner-up Ty Haines (30-4) of Redbank Valley draws 10-3 Brad Malinowski (32-13) of Fort LeBoeuf in the other top bracket quarterfinal.
In the lower bracket quarterfinals, two-time D-9 champ and No. 11-ranked Zach Vroman (26-4) of Brookville will wrestle either 10-4 Taylor Ellis (30-7) of Conneaut or 10-6 Louie Head (24-12) of Eisenhower and 9-3 Zac McKnight (22-10) of Ridgway will test 10-2 Robert Boozer (31-6) of Cochranton.
McKenzie has a history this season with four of his potential opponents, including a pair of 3-1 losses in the district tourney and a 5-3 loss in the Ridgway dual meet to McKnight.
The Golden Tide junior lost 10-0 in the Redbank Valley dual meet and 23-8 in 2:23 at the Fred Bell tourney to Haines, was pinned at 2:00 by Vroman in the Brookville dual meet and was edged 2-0 by Boozer at the Fred Bell tourney.
On Saturday, action resumes at 9 a.m. with the semifinals and then consolation rounds.
The consolation finals will start at 3:15 p.m. The Parade of Champions are slated for 4:45 p.m. with the championships to follow.