Class AAA wrestling: WPIAL trio repeats with PIAA titles

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HERSHEY, Pa. -- Latrobe's Luke Pletcher, Canon-McMillan's Solomon Chishko and Franklin Regional's Devin Brown each added to his PIAA gold-medal count Saturday night.

Pletcher, Chishko and Brown each won a second consecutive championship at the PIAA Class AAA tournament at Giant Center.

"I can't believe it happened," Pletcher said. "I don't even know what to say. I'm at a loss for words right now."

Pletcher (43-0) is 2 for 2 in PIAA championships in his high school career after beating Exeter Township's Scott Parker, 3-1, in overtime in a matchup of top-five wrestlers in the country at 120 pounds. Pletcher won the 106-pound title a year ago.

"[The 120-pound weight class] has been loaded everywhere we go," Pletcher said. "It could be just a county tournament and I have [Derry sophomore and 2013 PIAA Class AA champion] Mickey Phillippi in the finals. So this year has been a grind, going tough kid after tough kid, and it's been more rewarding."

Chishko (27-3) defended his 145-pound PIAA championship from a year ago, defeating Father Judge's Joe Galasso, 7-2. It was the night's only matchup of two former PIAA champions, as Galasso won the 138-pound title a season ago.

"Last year was pretty cool because I was hurt all year and I just came back for the state tournament," Chishko said. "But this year feels pretty good ending my career on a high note. I worked really hard all year."

Brown (37-0) got the night started with an 8-7 victory in the 106-pound final against Dan Moran of Northhampton.

It is Brown's second PIAA championship after winning the Class AA title a year ago at Saegertown High School.

"This one was kind of tougher than last year because I had a lot of close matches," Brown said. "A lot of people say [Class] AAA is tougher than AA."

Each of the repeat champions also had a teammate stand atop the PIAA podium for the first time.

Latrobe senior Zack Zavatsky (42-0) won his first championship with a 3-1 victory against Mt. Lebanon's Kellan Stout (36-4) in the 182-pound championship.

Canon McMillan's Dalton Macri (40-2), a PIAA runner-up a year ago, won gold at 126 pounds with a 5-1 victory against Northhampton's Zach Valley.

And Franklin Regional freshman Spencer Lee (49-0) capped off a perfect season with a 15-5 victory in the 113-pound championship. It was the first time in the tournament Lee went the distance in a match after notching two technical falls and a pin in his first three matches.

Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller and Solanco's Thomas Haines became the 11th and 12th wrestlers in PIAA history to win four state championships, and Marsteller has a very high opinion of Lee.

"Spencer Lee is going to be way better than I ever will be," said Marsteller, who finished 166-0 after beating Central Catholic's Kyle Coniker, 14-2, in the 170-pound championship.

"He's one of the most explosive wrestlers I've ever seen. He's an absolute animal."

Lee and Brown helped Franklin Regional run away from the rest of the field in the team competition, as all six Panthers who went placed in the top three.

Michael Kemerer (43-3) and Josh Shields (41-5) placed second at 138 and 152 pounds, while 2013 PIAA champion Tyler Smith (38-2) and Josh Maruca (41-5) took bronze at 132 and 145.

Kemerer's loss came in overtime to Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph (40-3). Kemerer had a cradle locked up in the standing position and tried to bring Joseph down to the mat, but the Vikings junior rolled through and put Kemerer on his back, eventually getting the fall.

"It was just instinct and reaction," Joseph said of his winning move.

The WPIAL's eighth champion was Penn-Trafford's Cameron Coy (39-6). The Warriors freshman won the 132-pound championship, 2-1, against Northhampton's Chase Zemenak.

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