High School Wrestling: Big Macs back in semifinals

Bonus points help Canon-McMillan edge Belle Vernon

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Canon-McMillan earned its 11th semifinal berth in 14 years with two victories at home Wednesday night in the WPIAL Class AAA Team tournament.

The No. 3 seeded Big Macs (16-0) opened with a 53-9 thrashing of Ringgold (8-9) in the first round, then posted a 31-25 come-from-behind win against No. 6 Belle Vernon (18-3) in the quarterfinals.

"Belle Vernon has a very good team that gave us all we could handle," Canon-McMillan first-year coach Jason Cardillo said. "Bonus points were the key. Both teams won seven bouts, but we were able to come up with the bonus points."

Belle Vernon jumped to a 13-0 lead with four consecutive victories, but Canon-McMillan battled back to tie the match at 19-19 with four bouts left. The Big Macs won three of the final four, including a 7-5 victory at 152 pounds by Malachi Krenzelak that sealed the victory. Brendan Furman (285) and Alec Hutchin (138) had pins for the Big Macs.

Belle Vernon earned its quarterfinal berth with a 46-27 win against Hempfield (8-5).

More Class AAA

n Top-ranked Franklin Regional (17-1) earned its third semifinal berth in four years with two convincing victories at home. The Panthers recorded a 74-0 shutout of Seneca Valley (11-8) in the first round, then registered a 64-6 win against No. 8 Butler (10-5) in the quarterfinals. The Panthers had 12 pins for the night.

n No. 2 Latrobe earned a semifinal berth with two home victories. The Wildcats opened with a 47-18 win against Connellsville (16-7), then posted a 45-18 win against No. 7 Peters Township (12-3) in the quarterfinals.

n No. 4 North Allegheny earned a third consecutive trip to the semifinals with a 45-15 first-round victory against Greensburg Salem and a 32-28 quarterfinal win against No. 5 Kiski Area (15-3). Dom Forys recorded two pins for North Allegheny to up his career win total to 151, which broke the school record held by 2007 graduate Rob Waltko (150).

Class AA

n Seven-time defending WPIAL champion Burrell earned its 14th consecutive semifinal berth with a 66-9 win against visiting Ellwood City. The Buccaneers recorded nine pins in the match.

n No. 2 South Fayette (19-0) earned a return trip to the semifinals with two wins at home. The Lions posted a 60-19 win against Southmoreland (3-4) in the first round, then registered a 47-21 win against No. 10 Avella (7-7) in the quarterfinals. Mike Carr improved his record to 27-0 with two victories at 132 for the Lions, while teammate Grant Fetchet recorded two falls at 152.

n No. 3 Jefferson-Morgan (14-2) earned a third consecutive trip to the semifinals with two home victories. The Rockets opened with a 46-36 first-round victory against Valley, then registered a 45-26 win against Yough (7-4) in the quarterfinals.

n No. 4 Burgettstown (14-1) advanced to the semifinals with a father-son matchup against visiting Chartiers-Houston (7-10) in the quarterfinals. Blue Devils veteran coach Terry Havelka faced his son Brett Havelka, the Buccaneers' first-year coach, for the first time, and Burgettstown came out on top, 42-26.

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