Golden Tide’s Passarelli Claims 9-AA Gold Medal at 113

HYDE — Not satisfied with silver and bronze medals in the last two District 9 Class AA Wrestling Championships, Curwensville Area High School junior Blake Passarelli had his sights set on taking home the gold from the 2018 tourney.

And the No. 1-seeded 113-pounder, who didn’t cut to that weight until the final dual meet of the season, completed that mission in impressive fashion late Saturday afternoon when he engineered a pair of five-point moves in the third period for an 11-2 major decision over No. 2 seed Reese Vollmer of Port Allegany in Clearfield Area High School’s Bison Gym.

Passarelli (26-4) offset the Gator junior’s quick breakaway in the middle period with an escape of his own eight seconds into the third period.

Twenty seconds later, he rushed Vollmer (31-5) and pancaked him for a 6-1 lead. After giving up another escape, Passarelli countered Vollmer’s desperation throw attempt for another two-and-three in the final 12 seconds.

“He wrestled a really good tournament,” Curwensville coach Dean Swatsworth said. “Dominant in all sides of wrestling, defense and offense. He came ready to go.

“He said one of his big goals was to win the title this year, and he got it.”

Passarelli, ranked No. 9 in the state by Off The Mat this week, had to work just as hard in the semifinals, breaking up a scoreless duel with No. 4 seed Dylan Pesock of Oswayo Valley with a reversal midway through the third period to win 2-0. Pesock bounced back to place third.

There was no happy ending for Golden Tide heavyweight Steven McClure, though, as he lost in overtime in the finals for the second year in a row.

He got there by running a bar into a pin, his third of the two-day tourney, against No. 3 seed Nate Palumbo of Cameron County for a sudden finish 17 seconds into the second period of their semifinal bout.

That earned the Curwensville senior a rematch with top-seeded Colby Whitehill of Brookville, a 3-0 winner when they met Jan. 9.

They traded escapes in regulation, and neither could manage a takedown in the first minute of overtime.

Whitehill chose the bottom for the first tiebreaker period and gained the upper hand with a quick escape.

With time running out in the first 30-second period, the Raider sophomore turned a do-or-die takedown attempt by McClure into two-and-two at the buzzer for a 6-1 lead, and he won 6-2 after giving up an escape in the second tiebreaker period..

“Steven tried to take a shot, and when he came up with it, Whitehill pushed into him and they got into a little bit of a scramble,” Swatsworth explained the action that decided the bout. “He kind of got off balance and went the wrong way and ended up getting thrown to his back. You don’t see scrambles like that at heavyweight too often.

“I really think those two will be in the region finals as good as they are.”

OTM’s state rankings have McClure (28-3) No. 5 and Whitehill (35-3) No. 7.

Curwensville had a third Northwest Region Tournament qualifier in sophomore 132-pounder Zach Holland, who rebounded from a Friday night quarterfinal loss with four wins to reach the consolation finals, where he lost 9-0 to No. 2 seed Noah Blankenship of Kane to place fourth.

His two consolation victories Saturday were 4-0 over Brookville’s Wyatt Kulik 4-0 via a takedown and reversal and, after building a 10-0 lead, a fall at 4:33 against Redbank Valley’s Ethan Wiant.

Blankenship cradled Holland (19-5) twice for takedowns, the second resulting in a five-point move in the third period.

“I told Zach, ‘Yeah, you placed fourth here, you could be the champ next week,” Swatsworth said. “But you have to get there or you don’t get that chance. He did what he needed to do. Next week, it could be a completely different outcome.”

Even though Holland was seeded sixth, by design after he lost out on voting for a higher seed, Swatsworth expected him to join Passarelli and McClure at regionals.

“Coming out of last year, we knew these three would be the guys we’d be counting on to get through,” Swatsworth said. “We tried to sneak three more through. (Mason) Gasper lost in the blood round. And Jake (McCracken) and Cole (Bressler) lost two tough matches. We seeded them where we wanted them. They just couldn’t come out on the right end of it.”

Fifth seed Gasper (120) advanced to the consy semis by pinning Evan Hepler of Cranberry of Cranberry at 4:45 but was eliminated, 15-1, by Ridgway’s Kyle Bush, a region champ last year.

The other two, both sixth seeds, had fallen in the consy quarterfinals earlier.

McCracken, a freshman who had risen to the 20-win plateau with a pair of victories Friday, couldn’t get any offense going against Brookville’s Jacob Cable and was guilty of two penalty points in a 2-0 defeat at 152.

Bressler (160) was down 2-1 when Brookville’s Braden LaBenne reversed and pinned him at 4:18.

“Overall, I though we wrestled well,” Swatsworth said. “We’re young. We’re only losing Seven, so it’s looking promising for next year.

“But we’ve got to finish out this season and these three, hopefully, through regionals and to states. I keep telling the kids, you’ve gotta give yourselves that next chance.”

In team standings, The Golden Tide placed ninth with 72 points, one less than they mustered last year in a sixth-place finish.

Brookville, ranked No. 5 by OTM, barreled to its fifth title in a row with 215.5 points with five champions and five other placewinners, making it a no-brainer for the coaches to tab Dave Klepfer for his fifth consecutive Lenny Ferraro Coach of the Year Award.

Brockway, ranked No. 25, was a distant second with 124, and rounding out the top five were Ridgway with 109.5, Port Allegany with 95 and Kane with 92.5.

Brookville’s Xavier Molnar (195) claimed his third gold medal with a 49-second fall, while Raiders Caleb Hetrick (145) and Tyler Cook (220) also were among the seven returning champions who repeated.

Hetrick, who dropped down a weight, was named the Outstanding Wrestler after surviving a loaded bracket that had two 2017 champs and 11 wrestlers with winning records. Dillon Keane of Bradford was the defending titlist, while Logen McClain of Ridgway had moved up from 138.

A first-period takedown enabled Hetrick to edge Keane 3-1 for the gold after the latter had nudged eventual third-placer McClain 7-5 in the semis. Keane and Hetrick were ranked No. 2 and No. 3.

Steve “Kai” Sorbin was the other Brookville champ, besting Redbank Valley’s Hunter Martz 8-2 for his 100th win, a feat Hetrick, Molnar and Cook all achieved earlier this season.

Also climbing to the top of the winner’s stand for the second year in a row were Brockway sophomore Anthony Glasl at 120, Ridgway senor Bryce Barclay at 132 and once-beaten Port Allegany senior Jacob Kallenborn at 160.

In addition to Keane and Logen McClain, Coudersport senior 170-pounder Isaac Wright was unable to repeat.

He was the only No. 1 seed to fall, with Brockway sophomore Eric Johnson, the No. 3 seed, pulling off the 8-2 shocker of the finals with six points in the third period.

Once-beaten sophomore Brent Johnson of Smethport ruled at 106, junior Alec English of Kane reigned at 152 and junior Garrett McClintick of Brockway grabbed the gold at 182.

District 9’s medalists will join six District 6 qualifiers at each weight in the Northwest Region Class AA Tournament at Sharon High School next Friday and Saturday.

TEAM SCORING AND KEY

1. Brookville (Bville), 215.5 points; 2. Brockway (Bway), 124; 3. Ridgway (Ridg), 109.5;4. Port Allegany (PA), 95; 5. Kane (K), 92.5; 6. Coudersport (Cou), 90.5; 7. Redbank Valley (RV), 90; 8. Bradford (brad), 78.5; 9. Curwensville (Cur), 72; 10. Johnsonburg (J), 63; 11. Clarion (Cl), 56; 12. Smethport (Sm), 46; 13. Cranberry (Cran), 32; 14. Oswayo Valley (OV), 17.5; 15. Keystone (Key), 17; 16. Cameron County (CC), 15; 17. Sheffield (Sh), 12.

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

106 – (1) Brent Johnson, 10, (20-1), Sm, pinned (3) Cole Norlin, 9, (20-8), J, 2:41.
113 – (1) Blake Passarelli, 11, (26-4), Cur, major dec. (2) Reese Vollmer, 11, (31-5), PA, 11-2.
120 – (1) Anthony Glasl, 10, (31-3), Bway, dec. (3) Cabe Park, 11, (19-11), Bville, 5-4.
126 – (1) Steven “Kai” Sorbin, 12, (28-8), Bville, dec. (2) Hunter Martz, 11, (25-12), RV, 8-2.
132 – (1) Bryce Barclay, 12, (29-4), Ridg, dec. (3) Tyler Thompson, 12, (28-6), Brad, 3-1.
138 – (1) Lukas McClain, 12, (30-4), Ridg, dec. (3) Dontae Constable, 12, (27-6), Bville, 5-2.
145 – (1) Caleb Hetrick, 12, (30-5), Bville, dec. (2) Dillon Keane, 11, (30-2), Brad, 3-1.
152 – (1) Alec English, 11, (32-2), K, pinned (3) Colby Keane, 10, (18-5), Brad, 3:54.
160 – (1) Jacob Kallenborn, 12, (33-1), PA, dec. (3) Julian Smith, 12, (27-5), Cou, 1-0.
170 – (3) Eric Johnson, 10, (27-10), Bway, dec. (1) Isaac Wright, 12, (25-6), Cou, 8-2.
182 – (1) Garrett McClintick, 11, (30-5), Bway, dec. (2) Elijah Ayers, 11, (29-6), Cou, 5-2.
195 – (1) Xavier Molnar, 12, (30-7), Bville, pinned (3) Logan Minich, 12, (20-7), RV, :49.
220 – (1) Tyler Cook, 12, (32-5), Bville, dec. (2) Tom Wurster, 12, (26-5), Cl, 7-1.
285 – (1) Colby Whitehill, 10, (35-3), Bville, dec. (2) Steven McClure, 12, (28-3), Cur, 6-2 (OT-TB).

CONSOLATION FINALS

106 – (5) Trenton Rupp, 9, (21-11), RV, dec. (4) Isiaih Caden, 9, (21-10), PA, 7-0.
113 – (4) Dylan Pesock, 12, (21-6), OV, dec. (5) Mason Songer, 11, (23-11), RV, 1-0.
120 – (2) Kyle Bush, 12, (30-7), Ridg, dec. (6) Brayden Altobelli, 11, (25-9), RV, 4-2.
126 – (3) Braedon Johnson, 9, (21-3), Sm, dec. (6) Dalton Stahli, (11-9), J. 4-2.
132 – (2) Noah Blankenship, 11, (16-6), K, major dec. (6) Zach Holland, 10, (18-5), Cur, 9-0.
138 – (2) David Kudrick, 12, (28-5), Cou, dec. (4) Tino Inzana, 11, (21-14), Bway, 3-2 (OT-UTB).
145 – (3) Logen McClain, 12, (30-7), Ridg, pinned (6) Isaac Smoker, 11, (25-9), PA, 2:04.
152 – (5) Ryley McMaster, 12, (15-6), Cl, dec. (2) Jake Zimmerman, 12, (26-8), J, 9-3.
160 – (2) Aiden Hulings, 11, (28-5), K, pinned (7), Cole LaBenne, 10, (4-13), Bville, 2:10.
170 – (6) Damon Kelley, 10, (18-12), Ridg, dec. (2), Braden MacBeth, 11, (24-13), Bville, 8-1.
182 – (6) Elliot Park, 9, (13-10), Bville, dec. (4) Justin Young, 9, (24-16), PA, 3-2.
195 – (2) Tyler Van Tassel, 11, (23-8), Key, dec. (4) Ty Stahli, 11, (22-11), K, 6-2.
220 – (4) Nate Gehm, 11, (20-11), Brad, dec. (3) Aiden Gardner, 9, (24-11), RV, 3-1 (OT-SV).
285 – (6) Hayden Thompson, 11, (21-11), Bway, pinned (3) Nate Palumbo, 9, (15-4), CC, 3:10.

CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS

106 – Rupp, RV, pinned Tanner Morelli, 9, (19-12), Bway, 4:30; Caden, PA, dec. (2) Cayden Walter, 9, (24-10), Bville, 11-10.
113 – Pesock, OV, dec. (6), Logan Dehner, 11, (20-8), Cl, 10-5; Songer, RV, dec. Dominic Inzana, 9, (26-5), Bway, 2-0.
120 – Altobelli, RV, dec. (4) Nolan Shaffer, 9, (20-11), J, 8-6; Bush major dec. (5) Mason Gasper, 11, (9-11), Cur, 15-1.
126 – B. Johnson, Sm, dec. (5), Eli Petruzzi, 10, (20-13), PA, 5-2; Stahli, J, dec. (4) Christian Whisner, 12, (18-6), 11-8.
132 – Holland, Cur, pinned (5) Ethan Wiant, 10, (7-3), RV, 4:33; Blankenship, K, dec. (4) Devon Nolin, 12, (21-12), J, 4-2.
138 – T. Inzana, Bway, dec. (7) Ethan Finch, 9, (16-14), Sh, 8-3; Da. Kudrick, Cou, dec. (5) Deven Smoker, 10, (16-12), PA, 4-3.
145 – I. Smoker, PA, dec. (4) Cole Castillo, 9, (24-9), J, 5-2; Lo. McClain, Ridg, dec. (5) Dustin Kudrick, 12, (25-9), Cou, 10-3.
152 – McMaster, Cl, dec. (7) Jacob Cable, 11, (13-17), Bvile, 2-0; J. Zimmerman, J, dec. Jacob Wickett, 10, (15-16), Ridg, 5-1 (OT-TB).
160 – LaBenne, Bville, pinned (4) Isaac Zimmerman, 9, (20-15), J, 3:21; Hulings dec. (5) Nick Porciello, 11, (18-11), Cl, 3-0.
170 – Kelley, Ridg, dec. (4), Tyler Watts, 10, (23-9), J, 7-6; MacBeth, Bville, dec. (5) Derek Sunafrank, 10, (25-13), Brad, 6-3.
182 – Park, Bville, pinned (5) Jesse York, 11, (18-6), Cran, 3:26; Young, PA, dec. (3) Teddy Race, 10, (25-7), K, 3-1.
195 – T. Stahli, K, pinned (6) Cale Ayers, 9, (19-7), Cou, 2:53; Van Tassel, Key, pinned (8) Hunter Gray, 12, (13-15), Brad, 2:01.
220 – Gehm, Brad, dec. (6) Austin Gregerson, 12, (11-7), Sh, 3-1 (SV); Gardner, RV, dec. (5) Justin Smith, 11, (14-14), Bway, 5-2.
285 – Palumbo, CC, pinned (4) Nick Knowles, 11, (17-11), Sh, 4:34); H. Thompson, Bway, pinned Trey Wright, 10, (9-16), Cran, 4:34.

CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS

106 – B. Johnson, Sm, pinned Rupp, RV, 1:08; C. Norlin, J, dec. Walter, Bville, 7-6.
113 – Passarelli, Cur, dec. Pesock, OV, 2-0; Vollmer, PA, dec. D. Inzana, Bway, 3-0.
120 – Glasl, Bway, pinned Shaffer, J, 3:45; Park, Bville, dec. Bush, Ridg, 5-4.
126 – Sorbin, Bville, pinned Petruzzi, PA, 5:11; Marz, RV, major dec. Stahli, Sm, 12-0.
132 – Barclay, Ridg, pinned Wiant, RV, 5:03; T. Thompson, Brad, major dec. Blankenship, K, 14-0.
138 – Lu. McClain, Ridg, pinned T. Inzana, Bway, :12; Constable, Bville, dec. Da. Kudrick, 5-4.
145 – Hetrick, Bville, pinned Castillo, RV, 1:52; D. Keane, Brad, dec. Lo. McClain, Ridg, 7-5.
152 – English, K, tech fall over McMaster, Cl, 17-2 (5:51); C. Keane, Brad, dec. J. Zimmerman, J, 2-1 (OT-SV).
160 – Kallenborn, PA, pinned I. Zimmerman, J, 2:55; Smith, Cou, dec. Hulings, K, 7-6.
170 – I. Wright, Cou, pinned Watts, J, 4:38; E. Johnson, Bway, dec. MacBeth, Bville, 5-1.
182 – McClintick, Bway, dec. York, Cran, 2-0; Ayers, Cou, dec. Race, K, 4-3.
195 – Molnar, Bville, pinned T. Stahli, K, 2:58; Minich, RV, dec Van Tassel, Key, 6-4.
220 – Cook, Bville, tech fall over Gehm, Brad, 23-8 (5:16); Wurster, Cl, dec. Gardner, RV, 4-3.
285 – Whitehill, Bville, pinned Knowles, Sh, 1:03; McClure, Cur, pinned H. Thompson, 2:17.

Other Curwensville results:

CONSOLATION QUARTERFINALS

120 – Gasper, Cur, pinned Evan Hepler, 9, (8-16), Cran, 4:45.
132 – Holland, Cur, dec. (7) Wyatt Kulik, 10, (10-22), Bville, 4-0.
152 – Cable, Bville, dec. (6) Jake McCracken, 9, (20-12), Cur, 2-0.
160 – LaBenne, Bville, pinned (6) Cole Bressler, 11, (13-15), Cur, 3:42.

CONSLATION SECOND ROUND

132 – Holland, Cur, dec. Montgomery Tanner, 10, PA, 6-3.
145 – I. Smoker, PA, pinned Adam Straw, 10, (13-12), 1:31.
152 – McCracken, Cur, major dec. Coltin Bartley, 9, (6-19), RV, 13-4.
160 – Bressler, Cur, pinned Noah Anderson, 9, (4-14), RV, 2:50.
170 – (7) Adam Sicher, K, pinned Nick Holbert, 10, (4-11), Cur, 58.

CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTERFINALS

113 – Passarelli, Cur, pinned (8) Ben Westerburg (10-8), 10, K, 5:11.
120 – Shaffer, J, major dec. Gasper, Cur, 11-2.
132 – T. Thompson, Brad, maj. dec. Holland, Cur, 15-1.
152 – C. Keane, Brad, dec. McCracken, Cur, 7-0.
160 – Smith, Cou, tech fall over Bressler, Cur, 15-0 (5:00).
285 – McClure, Cur, pinned (7) Jacobson Kunselman, 9, (14-17), 1:13.

CONSOLATION FIRST ROUND

126 – Adam Stine, 9, Bway, dec. Ty Guelich, 10, (2-10), :41.
138 – Nate Asp, K, pinned Caleb Stiles, 10, (2-9), Cur, :20.
145 – Straw, Cur, won by forfeit over Caleb Snyder, RV.

CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND

126 – Martz, RV, pinned Guelich, Cur, :29.
132 – Holland, Cur, pinned Patrick Rounsville, OV, 3:31.
138 – Da. Kudrick, Cou, pinned Stiles, Cur, :20.
145 – Du. Kudrick, Cou, pinned Straw, Cur, 2:24.
152 – McCracken, Cur, dec. Thomas Wilson, 10, Cou, 3-0.
170 – Ca. Boggess, Cl, pinned Holbert, Cur, :53.
285 – McClure, Cur, pinned T. Wright, Cran, 4:23.

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Two Wrestlers in District Semi Finals for Curwensville

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