South Xtra: Peters wins wrestling tourney title in dramatic fashion

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Peters Township wrestling coach Jason Carpetta knew the team standings at last weekend's Chartiers-Houston Invitational Wrestling Tournament were close, he just didn't realize how close until the final match.

"I knew we were one of the top teams in the standings, but they didn't announce how close it was until the final bouts of the tournament," Carpetta said. "When our heavyweight stepped on the mat for his title bout, they announced we were trailing Butler by one point."

The format for the finals had all three medal matches for first, third and fifth places wrestled at the same time on three mats. The 285-pound final featured Peters Township's Lukas Cervanak and his opponent was Montour's Zack Jablonski. The third-place consolation had Butler's J.D. Bojanac facing Bentworth's Mason Shumaker.

"That really put the pressure on Lukas to win," Carpetta said. "Fortunately, he handled the pressure well. He even picked up bonus points."

Both bouts ended with a fall. Bojanac was pinned by Shumaker at 2:42. One minute later, Cervanak decked Jablonski to clinch the team title for Peters Township.

"Lukas had a tremendous tournament," Carpetta said. "He pinned his way through the tournament. It's the best I've seen him wrestle."

The Indians finished with 217 points, while Butler had 212.

"This is the third straight year the tournament was decided in the final bouts," Carpetta said. "We had the same thing happen two years ago and it was even closer. We won by a half point when Butler's heavyweight was pinned in the title match."

In 2011, Peters Township edged Butler, 183-182.5, for the team title. In 2012, Butler won the title by outscoring South Fayette, 185.5-185, and Peters Township was a close third with 180 points.

Cervanak was one of five Peters Township wrestlers who advanced to the finals. He was joined atop the winners platform by teammate Phillip Mary, who claimed the 126-pound title by pinning Butler's Connor Foust.

"That was the first tournament title for Phillip after placing second the past two years," Carpetta said. "It was a huge win for us, because he beat a Butler wrestler who was the top seed. He even picked up bonus points, while taking [possible] points away from Butler."

Brothers A.J. and Tyler Buckiso, and Italo Merante were silver medalists for the Indians. A.J. Buckiso was pinned in the 113-pound final by North Hills' Gage Curry.

"A.J. ran into an absolute stud," Carpetta said.

Curry placed fourth at the PIAA tournament last year.

Tyler Buckiso dropped a 5-1 decision to South Side Beaver's Shane Gentry in the 132-pound final. Merante lost, 5-1, in overtime to South Park's Jake Wentzel in the 138-pound final.

"I thought we could win at least three matches in the finals," Carpetta said. "Fortunately, we were able to pick up enough points to win the team title."

Also placing among the top six in their weight classes for the Indians were Danny Florentino, fifth at 106, Sammy Florentino fourth at 145, Mac Oberscelp, fifth at 170, and Mitch Fitzgerald, fourth at 182.

"It was a team effort," Carpetta said. "We had a total of nine place-winners and all but one kid in our lineup scored points."

Peters Township began it's Sub-Section 3B schedule Wednesday night against Baldwin. Coincidentally, the Indians have a non-section match at Butler on Friday.

Two titles for South Park

South Park had two champions at the Chartiers-Houston tournament. Wentzel claimed the 138-pound title with his overtime win against Merante.

Eagles teammate Greg Bulsak captured the 152-pound title with a 2-0 win against Central Catholic's Tony Palumbo.

Others champions from the South Xtra area were Chartiers-Houston's Josh Kuslock (120), Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps (170) and Elizabeth Forward's Luke Fournier (195).

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