Golden Tide’s Streaks of District Champs, Region Qualifiers Ends in 9-AA Tourney

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CLARION — A weekend that started out so promising for the Curwensville Area High School wrestling team at the District 9 Class AA Tournament ended with nothing but disappointment.

For the first time since 2002, the Golden Tide did not have a champion.

And their even longer streak of sending at least one qualifier to the Northwest Region Tournament also came to a screeching halt with five losses in the consolation semifinals Saturday afternoon in Tippin Gym on the Clarion University campus.

“Honestly, I thought we were gonna punch a few tickets in that fourth consy round, and it didn’t happen,” Curwensville coach Duane Wriglesworth said. “I knew we were up against some quality opponents, but it was just surprising to see some of the troubles we had because of how well we wrestled yesterday and this morning.”

Walking away just one win shy of a trip to Sharon High School Friday were junior 126-pounder Sam Bressler, senior 132-pounder Tyler Mays, junior 138-pounder Jake Lancaster, junior 170-pounder Jake Stiles and sophomore 182-pounder Ben Junod.

Familiar foes were the roadblocks for Mays and Lancaster.

Preventing Mays (18-13) from moving on was Cameron County’s Brandon Saline, who maintained his hex in that duel with an 8-0 major decision. The bout was scoreless until the Red Raider picked up three points with a double-arm bar late in the middle period. He quickly came off the bottom in the third period and added another near fall.

“Saline kept us out of regionals last year, and we lost to him at the Big Dog Tournament and in the dual meet this year,” Wriglesworth pointed out. “I really hoped he was gonna win today.

“My heart goes out to Tyler because he worked so hard this year and in the off season. He’s been struggling with a health problem and I hope he can get it straightened out.”

Mays, who lost 2-0 to Saline last February with a berth in the regionals on the line, finished his four-year career with 62 victories, including a 10-3 decision over Clarion sophomore Leo Aiello in the morning consy quarterfinals.

Lancaster, the district champion at 126 last year and Curwensville‘s lone semifinalist, was unable to bounce back from a technical fall by Brookville standout Brock Zacherl as he failed to avenge a Big Dog tourney pin by Redbank Valley’s Luke Gallo.

Through two periods, Lancaster (18-11) had the upper hand with a 4-3 lead via a takedown and reversal and even regained a 9-8 advantage with a reversal and near fall after being headlocked in the third period. However, Gallo answered with a reversal and near fall of his own to win 12-9. When the two were scrambling for the crucial takedown, there was a point when Lancaster appeared to have Gallo stacked on his shoulders for a pin even though he didn‘t have complete control.

“I knew that was gonna be a tough match, but it was really disappointing,” Wriglesworth said.

Bressler, who joined Lancaster at the 2013 regionals as the third place finisher at 106, never could get any offense going against Brockway’s Jack Glasl. He was taken down three times by the Rover junior in an 8-2 setback.

Earlier, Bressler (13-5) sidelined Clarion’s Tristan Shaffer 6-2 to atone for a late-season 6-3 dual meet loss that cost him a seed. All of the scoring came in the third period, the first three on a tilt by Bressler, who added an escape and late takedown after Shaffer reversed. 

“Sam was in one of the toughest weight classes I’ve seen here in years,” Wriglesworth noted. “There were so many quality wrestlers who weren’t even seeded.”

No less than 13 of the 126-pound entries boasted winning records.

Down 2-0 after one period in his match with Keystone fourth seed Zach Stiglitz, Stiles was turned four times in the first minute of the second period and was the victim of a 17-0 technical fall. Stiles (13-17) posted his third fall of the tourney in the previous round, decking Johnsonburg senior Matt Reeves in 1:13.

Junod appeared on his way to keeping alive Curwensville’s streak of advancing at least one wrestler out of districts when he built a 5-2 lead against Kaven Hornberger, but he got too high on his second period ride and the Redbank Valley senior rolled him to his back for a fall at 1:37.

Junod (14-16) had ousted Smethport’s Devon Brown 5-2 earlier as he ended the season with 11 wins in his last 14 bouts.

“I thought both of our heavier weights wrestled above their potential,” Wriglesworth said. “I don’t think many people expected them to go as far as they did. They really showed a lot of improvement, and I was happy for them.

“Ben was so close. He dominated until he got rolled to his back, but I think Ben came out of the tourney with a lot of confidence.”

Two Golden Tide matmen bowed out in the morning round, sophomore 152-pounder Hunter Lancaster (10-13) headlocked by Clarion’s Jacob Troutman in 49 seconds and senior 160-pounder Dakota Royer decisioned 6-1 by Brockway’s Mike Martino.

“Hunter had a good tournament, and Dakota went into it with two wins, one a forfeit, and definitely wrestled his best of the year,” Wriglesworth said.

With just 45 points, the Golden Tide wound up 12th in the 16-team field.

Brookville, which had six gold medalists and four runners-up, easily walked off with its third title in the last four years and it’s eighth overall by amassing a record 231.5 points, topping the previous high of 223.5 established by the 1997-98 Ridgway juggernaut.

Individually, the spotlight was on five seniors who joined the fraternity reserved for three-time champions, including a trio ranked No. 1 in the state by Off the Mat in Brock Zacheral of Brookville, Kyle Bova of Coudersport and Evan Delong of Kane.

Zacherl reigned at 138 for the third year in a row with a pair of first-period pins in addition to the tech fall over Jake Lancaster, two-time 152 champ Bova coasted through the 160 weight class with three falls and a 25-11 major decision in the finals and Delong dominated at 170 with three pins in the aggregate time of 3:01 and a technical fall in 4:05.

Delong, who ruled at 145 two years ago and 160 last year, earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award voted by the head coaches when he punctuated the much-anticipated match-up of returning champs with Brockway’s Anthony Benson by exploding off the bottom with a Granby Roll and quickly switched to a Peterson for a stunning pin eight seconds into the second period.

Kane’s Cody Blankenship matched the three crowns worn by his father, Duane, in the 1980s by holding three opponents scoreless, including Brookville’s Cole Cleaver 2-0 in the finals, en route to the 120 championship. He won at 106 and 113 as an underclassman.

Zach Vroman of Brookville repeated at 145 with three falls and a 3-0 win over Smethport sophomore James Duffy. The Raider’s other title was at 140 when he was a freshman.

Brookville 113-pounder Taylor Ortz and Redbank Valley 120-pounder Willie Gruver won their second gold medals.

Ortz pinned Port Allegheny’s Casey Vollmer in a rematch of last year’s 106 finalists, while Gruver majored Brookville’s Cole Aaron, whom he had edged 3-1 and 1-0 in dual meets. Gruver, a two-time Northwest Region champ, was the 113 district champ in 2012 but was pinned by Blankenship in the finals last year.

Climbing to the top of the winner’s stand for the first time were Brockway’s Ryan Carlson at 106, Brookville’s Dalton Zimmerman at 132, Brodie Zacherl at 152 and Bryce Town at 220, Cranberry’s Zach Bruce at 182, Coudersport’s Forest Tuttle at 195 after wrestling in only one dual meet because of an injury and Redbank Valley’s Ben Carrillo at 285.

In contrast to last year, seniors walked off with most of the gold medals. Zimmerman was the lone junior champ. Carlson, Ortz and Town are sophomores.

Kane 195-pounder Nate Moore, who didn’t even place, and Redbank Valley 220-pounder Cal Haines were the only No. 1 seeds who didn’t reign. Haines was denied a repeat Town, whose escape decided the 1-0 finals bout.

Brookville’s Dave Klepfer received the Lenny Ferraro Coach of the Year Award for the fourth time in six years.

Bova, Delong, Bruce and Tuttle will take unblemished records into the region tourney Friday and Saturday. 

TEAM STANDINGS AND KEY

1. Brookville (Bv), 231.5 points (new District 9 record); 2. Redbank Valley (RV), 191.5; 3. Kane (K), 147; 4. Brockway (Bw), 102; 5. Smethport (Sm), 98.5; 6. Cranberry (Cr), 72; 7. Ridgway (R), 66; 8. Coudersport (Cou), 64.5; 9. Clarion (Cl), 60.5; 10. Port Allegany (PA), 59; 11. Cameron County (CC), 50; 12. Curwensville (Cur), 45; 13. Sheffield (Sh), 40; 14. Oswayo Valley (OV), 31.5; 15. Keystone (Key), 29.5; 16. Johnsonburg (J), 16.

CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Wrestler’s name preceded by seed and followed by grade and record)

106 – (1) Ryan Carlson, 10, (23-6), Bw, dec. (2) Gavin Park, 9, (27-5), Bv, 4-0.
113 – (1) Taylor Ortz, 10, (31-3), Bv, pinned (2) Casey Vollmer, 11, (27-4), PA, 3:33.
120 – (1) Willie Gruver, 12, (30-5), RV, major dec. (2) Cole Aaron, 10, (23-9), Bv, 9-1.
126 – (1) Cody Blankenship, 12, (27-1), K, dec. (6) Cole Clever, 11, (19-12), Bv, 2-0.
132 – (1) Dalton Zimmerman, 11, (22-7), Bv, dec. (2) Mason Lindenmuth, 10, (20-3), Bw, 4-3.
138 – (1) Brock Zacherl, 12, (34-3), Bv, pinned (2) Adam Shunk, 10, (22-8), Sm, 1:14.
145 – (1) Zach Vroman, 12, (27-4), Bv, dec. (2) James Duffy, 10, (24-3), Sm, 3-0.
152 – (1) Brodie Zacherl, 12, (32-3), Bv, pinned (6) Drew Burdick, 12, (21-9), Sm, 2:35.
160 – (1) Kody Bova, 12, (29-0), Cou, major dec. (3) Jimmy Miller, 11, (21-8), Bv, 25-11.
170 – (1) Evan Delong, 12, (29-0), K, pinned (2) Anthony Benson, 11, (26-5), Bw, 2:08.
182 – (1) Zach Bruce, 12, (31-0), Cr, dec. (2) Sam Delhunty, 12, (20-8), R, 6-2.
195 – (2) Forest Tuttle, 12, (4-0), Cou, dec. (4) Brylee Shumaker, 10, (22-9), RV, 4-2 (OT).
220 – (2) Bryce Town, 10, (26-10), Bv, dec. (1) Cal Haines, 11, (27-4), RV, 1-0.
285 – (1) Ben Carrillo, 12, (26-2), RV, pinned (2) Dylan Dinch, 3:23.

CONSOLATION FINALS

106 – (3) Ryan Kube, 10, (21-13), RV, dec. (4) Joshua Hancock, 9, (25-7), Cr, 6-5.
113 – (3) Austin Woolcock, 12, (21-10), K, pinned (4), Harrison Keenan, 9, (22-12), Cr, 2:10.
120 – (3) Jon Gelsick, K, dec. (5) Drew Baumgratz, 9, (20-10), R, 4-1.
126 – (2) Tanner Altobelli, 10, (29-7), RV, dec. (7) Jack Glasl, 11, (22-10), Bw, 8-3.
132 – (3) Darren Brown, 12, (26-6), K, tech fall over (4) Brandon Saline, 11, (25-5), CC, 16-1 (5:00).
138 – (3) Luke Gallo, 11, (22-14), RV, won by injury default over (6), Brian Fries, 12, (26-10), Sh, :01.
145 – (3) Mitch Blose, 12, (22-8), RV, dec. (4) Doug Grubbs, 12, (24-10), Sh, 3-0.
152 – Paul Zacherl, 10, (29-6), Cr, dec. (4) Cody McClintick, 10, (17-16), Bw, 8-4.
160 – (2) Sam Colebert, 12, (28-3), OV, dec. (4) Keshon Truitt, 11, (18-12), RV, 7-2.
170 – (3) Dalton Sheasley, 12, (12-5), R, dec. (4) Zach Stiglitz, 11, (21-13), Key, 3-1.
182 – (6) Kaven Hornberger, 12, (13-13), RV, pinned (7) Austin Hulings, 11, (10-10), K, 2:47.
195 – (3) Ethan Budd, 10, (29-5), PA, dec. (5) Alexander Burkhart, 10,  (19-12), Cl, 11-4.
220 – (3) Keaton Rounsville, 9, (28-7), K, dec. (4) Zach Sintobin, 10, (22-7), Cl, 3-1.
285 – (4) Jack Karsten, 12, (26-3), CC, dec. (3) Tyler Beal, 10, (21-11), Key, 3-2 (OT-TB).

CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS

126 – Glasl, Bw, dec. Sam Bressler, 11, (13-5), Cur, 8-2.
132 – Saline, CC, dec. (7) Tyler Mays, 12, (18-13), Cur, 8-0.
138 – Gallo, RV, dec. (5) Hunter Lancaster, 11, (18-11), Cur, 12-9.
170 – Stiglitz, Key, tech fall over (7) Jake Stiles, 11, (13-17), Cur, 17-0 (3:00).
182 – Hornberger, RV, pinned (5) Ben Junod, 10, (14-16), Cur, 1:37.

CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS

106 – Carlson, Bw, dec. Hancock, Cr, 3-0; Park, Bv, pinned Kube, RV, 1:23.
113 – Ortz, Bv, pinned Keenan, Cr, 1:40; Vollmer, PA, dec. Woolcock, K, 4-2.
120 – Gruver, RV, pinned Baumgratz, R, 3:25; Aaron, Bv, dec. Gelsick, K, 4-1.
126 – Blankenship, K dec. (4) Paul Etchepare, 11, (25-4), CC, 4-0; Clever, Bv, dec. Glasl, Bw, 3-1.
132 – D. Zimmerman, Bv, dec. Saline, CC, 2-0; Lindenmuth, Bw, dec. Da. Brown, K, 4-2.
138 – Brock Zacherl, Bv, tech fall over J. Lancaster, Cur, 19-3 (4:12); Shunk, Sm, dec. Fries, Sh 3-1.
145 – Vroman, Bv, pinned Grubbs, Sh, 3:23; Duffy, Sm, dec. Blose, RV, 8-3.
152 – Brodie Zacherl, Bv, pinned McClintick, Bw, 2:26; Burdick, Sm, dec. (2) Mac Tanner, 10, (26-5), PA, 5-4.
160 – Bova, Cou, pinned Truitt, RV, 2:31; Miller, Bv, dec. Colebert, OV, 5-4.
170 – Delong, K, tech fall over Stiglitz, Key, 20-4 (4:05); Benson, Bw, dec. Sheasley, R, 3-1.
182 – Bruce, Cr, pinned (4) Noah Cieleski, 9, (9-15), Bv, 1:27; Delhunty, R, major dec. Hornberger, RV, 13-5.
195 – Shumaker, RV, dec. (1) Nate Moore, 12, (24-4), K, 4-2; Tuttle dec. (6) Ryan Geyer, 11, (16-10), R, 5-3.
220 – Haines, RV, dec. Sintobin, Cl, 8-4; Town, Bv, dec. Rounsville, K, 9-2.
285 – Carrillo, RV, dec. Karsten, CC, 3-2; Dinch, Sm, dec. Beal, Key, 5-3.

CONSOLATION QUARTERFINALS

126 – Bressler, Cur, dec. (8) Tristan Shaffer, 12, (18-12), Cl, 6-2.
132 – Mays, Cur, dec. (6) Leo Aiello, 10, (11-11), Cl, 10-3.
152 – Jacob Troutman, 11, (19-9), Cl, pinned (7) Hunter Lancaster, 10, (10-13), Cur, :49.
160 – Mike Martino, 10, (17-16), Bw, dec. Dakota Royer, 12, (4-21), Cur, 6-1.
170 – Stiles, Cur, pinned (6) Matt Reeves, 12, (14-12), J, 1:13.
182 – Junod, Cur, dec. Devon Brown, 9, (4-7), Sm, 5-2.

Complete bracket results can be found here, courtesy Bob Imhoff and his Ridgway Wrestling website: http://www.ridgwaywrestling.com/uploads/2014_District_IX_Class_AA_Tournament_Brackets_-_Finals.pdf

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