Curwensville’s Passarelli Places Fourth in Northwest Region To Qualify for Second Appearance in PIAA-AA Tourney

SHARON — Curwensville Area High School sophomore 113-pounder Blake Passarelli earned a return trip to the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships by placing fourth at the Northwest Region Tournament in Sharon High School Saturday afternoon.

Two other Golden Tide hopefuls were eliminated earlier as junior heavyweight Steven McClure came out on the wrong end of overtime bouts with district champions in the championship and consolation semifinals while senior 182-pounder Kaleb Witherite saw his career end in the consolation quarterfinals.

Keelan Kunselman of Brookville engineered four sets of back points with tilts to go with a takedown and reversal for the major decision that dropped Passrelli into the consolation semifinals, where he defeated District 10 third placer Aaron Gelvin of Greenville 6-2.

Takedowns in the first two periods and a reversal in the third period sent Passarelli to the consy finals for the second year in a row and a rematch with Fort LeBoeuf’s Isaac Crowell, who he had beaten 7-4 Friday night..

“It was like a recurring dream for Blake,” Swatsworth said. “Last year, he beat the (Devan) Davis kid in his first match and had to wrestle him for third and fourth. It was the same with Crowell.”

But the result was different.

Passarelli (29-6) was unable to claim the bronze medal again.

After a scoreless first period, Crowell (37-9) came off the bottom to go ahead 3-0 with a takedown before giving up an escape. In the third period, Passarelli broke free again but couldn’t engineer the tying takedown. On his final shot, Crowell spun behind for a two-pointer at the buzzer and a 5-2 win.

“In their first match, Blake took him down twice, but he just couldn’t get any offense in this match,” Swatsworth said. “Crowell took us down twice, and that was the difference.

“But I’m proud of Blake. He wrestled hard all weekend and got through his bracket. He’s going back to states for the second time, and that’s something to be very proud of as a sophomore.”

McClure (24-7) was unable to register the one extra victory he needed to advance to Hershey’s Giant Center next week.

In the championship semifinal match, he traded escapes with D-10 champ Cole Rickert of Reynolds in regulation before the two-time 220-pound region gold medalist single-legged him and switched to a double for the 3-1 sudden victory.

“I thought Steven was big, but this kid is bigger,” Swatsworth said. “Steven wrestled him well, but it’s tough wrestling those big boys.”

It was only fitting McClure and D-9 champ Colton McClain of Ridgway would go to overtime, too, with a berth in the state tourney on the line. They had split 5-4 decisions, with the Elker senior winning the district final on a penalty point in the ultimate tiebreaker period.

Neither could do anything except escape in the regulation and the tiebreaker periods, creating another ultimate tiebreaker situation. Since McClain had scored first, he had choice and took the bottom position. He stood for the fifth escape of the bout and a 3-2 win.

“We knew it was going to be a tight one because neither one could hold the other one down,” Swatsworth said. “We needed to get the flip, but we didn’t get it, and that was the difference.

“Steven wrestled two good matches. He pushed both kids to the limit.”

Witherite (23-10) faced Grant West of Oswayo Valley in a rematch of their D-9 quarterfinal he won 8-4 en route to a second-place finish, but he could muster only three escapes in his final bout for the Golden Tide.

West worked three takedowns for a 6-3 victory.

“That kid came out fired up and caught us on our heels for the first takedown,” Swatsworth said. “Then he let Kaleb up and got another takedown.

“It’s tough to go out that way. He tore his shoulders in football and had one operated on last year. He probably should have had the other one operated on too, but he was told as long as it stayed in the socket he could wrestle. He had to change his style to go upper body, though, because he couldn’t extend his arm to shoot. But he had a good season with over 20 wins.”

All six returning champions grabbed the gold again, with Rickert and Brookville 120-pounder Gavin Park reigning for the third time.

Reynolds’ Beau Bayless at 106 and Cole Matthews at 138, Saegertown’s Cody Mulligan at 182 and Greenvlle’s Blake Reynolds at 195 are two-time champions.

District 9 had three champs in Park, Kyle Bush (113) of Ridgway and Caleb Hetrick (152) of Brookville.

District 10 juggernaut Reynolds boasted six gold medalists with Hunter Michaels (132), Gavin Wilkerson (160) and Joel Leise (170) helping to make it a banner weekend for the Raiders, who also had three silver medalists and one fourth place in amassing 210.5 points to run away with the team title.

Also winning crowns were Tye Varndell (126) and Claly Verbanac (195) of Cambridge Springs and John Mott (145) of Commodore Perry.

Brookville had seven placewinners but wound up far back in second place with 125 points. Keelan Kunselman (113) and Tyler Cook (220) lost in the finals, Dontae Constable (132) and Xavier Molnar (195) were third and Noah Cieleski (182) placed fourth.

Ridgway surprised with five state qualifiers in Bush, who edged Kunselman in the lone final with two D-9 wrestlers, runner-up Lukas McClain (132), consy final winner Logen McClain (138) and fourth placers Bryce Barclay (126) and Colton McClain (285).

Anthony Glasl (106) of Brockway and Jacob Kallenborn (170) of Port Allegany upped D-9’s silver medal count to five and Coudersport’s Gage Arnold (160) was the fourth bronze medalist.

Also going to Hershey’s Giant Center next week will be fourth placers Tyler Thompson (132) of Bradford, Josh Hancock (145) of Cranberry and Aiden Hulings (152) of Kane.

TEAM STANDINGS AND KEY

1. Reynolds (Rey), 210.5 points; 2. Brookville (Bv), 125; 3. Greenville (Gr), 76; 4. Ridgway (Rw), 74.5); 5. Saegertown (Sae), 72.5; 6. Fort LeBoeuf (FL), 67; 7. Cambridge Springs (CS), 43; 8. Harbor Creek (HC), 40.5); 9. North East (NE), 27; 10. Slippery Rock (SR), 26; 11. Port Allegany (PA), 23; 12. (tie) Commodore Perry and Coudersport, 22; 14. Mercer (Mer), 20; 15. Lakeview (L), 18; 16. Brockway (Bw), 17.5); 17. Bradfird (Brad), 17; 18. Sharpsville (Sv), 16; 19. (tie) Titusville (T) and Union City (UC), 15; 21. Sharon (Sha), 14; 22. (tie) Curwensville and Kane, 13; 24. (tie) Corry (Cor) and Northwestern (NW), 11; 26. Clarion (Cla), 10; 27. (tie) Eisenhower (E), Iroquois (I), Maplewood (Map) and Oswayo Valley (OV), 9; 31. (tie) Cranberry (Cran) and Redbank Valley (RV), 8; 33. Cochranton (Coch), 6; 34. Hickory (Hi), 4; 35. (tie) Jamestown and Smethport (Sm), 3; 37. (tie) Franklin (F), Johnsonburg (Jo) and Youngsville (Y), 0; 40. Keystome (Key), minus-3.

Complete bracket results, courtesy PA-Wrestling.com can be found here.

CHAMPIONSHIPS

106 – (10-1) Beau Bayless, 10, (30–4), Rey, dec. (9-1) Anthony Glasl, 9-1, (32-7), Bw, 8-1.

113 – (9-3) Kyle Bush, 11, (28-3), Rw, dec. (9-1) Keelan Kunselman, 12, (29-11), Bv, 3-2.

120 – (9-1) Gavin Park, 12, (39-3), Bv, dec. (10-1) Andrew Ischo, 10, (33-6), Rey, 8-3.

126 – (10-1) Ty Varndell, 10, (36-3), CS, dec. (10-2) Gage Bayless, 12, (28-8), Rey, 5-4.

132 – (10-1) Hunter Michaels, 11, (33-5), Rey, dec. (9-1) Lukas McClain, 11, (26-8), Rw, 5-2.

138 – (10-1) Cole Matthews, 11, (40-1), Rey, pinned (10-2) Mike Doerflinger, 11, (23-5), SR, 3:42 .

145 – (10-1) John Mott, 12, (35-5), CP, dec. (10-2) Chaise Hauck, 12, (29-8), Rey, 3-2.

152 – (10-1) Caleb Hetrick, 11, (40-3), Bv, pinned (10-1), Cameron Prebble, 10, (32-4), Sh, 1:57.

160 – (10-1) Gavin Wilkerson, 12, (38-4), Rey, dec. (9-1) Jacob Kallenborn, 11, (30-5), PA, 10-4.

170 – (10-1) Joel Leise, 12, (39-5), Rey, pinned (10-2) Jared Kula, 12, (19-9), FL, 5:50.

182 – (10-1) Cody Mulligan, 11, (42-3), Sae, major dec. (10-2) Julian Gorring, 10, (37-7), FL, 15-3.

195 – (10-1) Clay Verbanac, 11, (39-3), CS, dec. (10-2) Jacob McMaster, 10, (21-3), Gr, 3-1.

220 – (10-1) Blake Reynolds, 12, (10-0), Gr, pinned (9-1) Tyler Cook, 11, (37-5), Bv, 3:56.

285 – (10-1) Cole Rickert, 12, (17-0), Rey, dec. (10-2) Bobby Gregory, 11, (32-6), Mer, 1-0.

CONSOLATION FINALS

106 – (10-2) Steve McGarvie, 12, (35-7), FL, dec, (10-3) William Burgess, 10, (29-8), UC, 5-3.

113 – (10-2) Isaac Crowell, 11, (37-9), FL, dec. (9-3) Blake Passarelli, 10, (29-6), Cur, 5-2.

120 – (10-2) Kenneth Kiser, 9, (39-8), Sae, dec. (10-3) John Wheeler, 10, (33-5), NW, 8-4.

126 – (10-4) Nick Oosterkamp, 12, (38-8), HC, dec. (9-1) Bryce Barclay, 11, (27-8), Rw, 6-3.

132 – (9-4) Dontae Constable, 11, (25-14), Bv, dec. (9-3) Tyler Thompson, 11, (33-7), Brad, 3-2.

138 – (9-1) Logen McClain, 11, (33-4), Rw, won by forfeit over (10-3) Hunter Wagner, 12, (32-6), T.

145 – (10-3) Jude Mattocks, 12, (36-9), Sae, dec. (9-4) Josh Hancock, 12, (34-6), Cran, 12-6.

152 – (10-2) Michael Linemanon, 12, (29-6), Gr, dec. (9-2) Alden Hulings, 10, (24-6), K, 5-4.

160 – (9-1) Gage Arnold, 12, (37-2), Cou, dec. (10-3) Joe Galvin, 11, (30-6), I, 4-3.

170 – (10-3) Nick McClimans, 12, (34-6), Sha, dec. (10-5) Zach Cassidy,  12, (34-11), HC, 2-1.

182 – (10-3) Brendan Calvin, 11, (30-7), Gr, dec. (9-1) Noah Cieleski, 12, (33-8), Bv, 3-1.

195 – (9-1) Xavier Molnar, 11, (36-7), Bv, dec. (10-6) Tyler Brooks, 12, (32-18), Sae, 9-4.

220 – (10-2) Tyler Zebrovious, 11, (31-7), L, dec. (10-6) Derrick Skeehan, 10, (36-15), Rey, 4-3.

285 – (10-6) Jeffrey Kraemer, 12, (30-6), NE, dec. (9-1) Cole McClain, 12, (30-5), Rw, 3-2.

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