East Xtra: Big night on the mats

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Cameron Coy had come close to knocking off a state champion a couple times this season.

A Penn-Trafford freshman, he lost, 1-0, to 2013 120-pound PIAA title winner Sam Krivus of Hempfield Area at the King of the Mountain tournament in December.

Then on Feb. 22 at the Class AAA Section 1 tournament, Coy fell, 2-1, to 2013 132-pound state champion Tyler Smith of Franklin Regional.

But on Saturday, Coy finally broke through, defeating Smith in the WPIAL Class AAA 132-pound championship bout, 5-2.

"I knew I had nothing to lose," he said. "I had no worries going out there. I was just going to try to have fun and play around."

Coy (35-5) took a 2-0 lead into the final period, but Smith got a reversal to tie the score early in the third. Smith banked on being able to take Coy down, letting him up with more than a minute to go to give Coy a 3-2 lead. And he looked like he would record the takedown, getting in deep on Coy's leg near the edge of the mat.

As Smith tried to bring Coy back into the center, however, Coy was able to scramble and end up on top of Smith for the takedown, almost getting back points along with it. Coy then rode Smith out to get the victory.

"That's one of his callings," Penn-Trafford coach Rich Ginther said of Coy's scrambling abilities. "He doesn't panic. He's in a position where 98 percent of the kids in the gym give up the takedown, but he doesn't panic, hits a move and now gets the takedown to basically seal the deal. It's just an awesome job by him."

Coy will now be considered one of the favorites at this weekend's PIAA tournament after handing Smith (33-1) his first loss.

"It gives me a lot of confidence," Coy said. "I battled hard, did everything right and got the job done."

Vikings take two titles

Neither Vincenzo Joseph nor Kyle Coniker entered their WPIAL Class AAA championship matches as favorites Saturday night.

But both ended up standing at the top of the podium.

Joseph (36-3), the No. 2 seed at 138 pounds, defeated top-seeded Michael Kemerer of Franklin Regional, 5-2, to win his first WPIAL title.

Coniker (27-3), also a two seed, took down No. 1 Noah Wilps of Chartiers Valley, 3-2, at 171 pounds to also win his first district title.

"I trained years and years for this moment and it feels good to do it as a senior," Coniker said.

Coniker will be making his first trip to Hershey this week after finishing one place out of qualifying for the PIAA tournament last season.

Joseph, who lost to Kemerer, 3-2, in the final of Powerade this season, qualified for the PIAA tournament for the third consecutive season after finishing as the WPIAL runner-up in 2011 (106 pounds) and 2012 (120 pounds). The two-time state place-winner took third at the PIAA tournament last season.

"It's a pretty good feeling, but the job's not done yet," Joseph said of winning the WPIAL title. "Still got next week to go."

'Fat Cave' leads way

Tyler Worthing estimates he's about 30 pounds less than most of his opponents in the 220-pound weight class. Shane Kuhn was one of the lighter heavyweights at the WPIAL tournament.

But despite their relative light weights, the two Kiski wrestlers, along with Kuhn's younger brother, Chad, refer to themselves as the "Fat Cave."

And the trio ate well last weekend.

Worthing and Shane Kuhn both won WPIAL championships, while Chad Kuhn fell one win short of making states at 195 pounds Saturday at Canon-McMillan.

"We call ourselves the Fat Cave even though we're the lighter guys at our weights," Worthing said. "We're just all about having fun and winning matches."

Worthing (34-1) started the season wrestling in the 195-pound weight class, where he suffered his only defeat this season at the Eastern Area tournament in December against North Allegheny's Zach Smith. Smith finished third at 195 pounds Saturday, defeating Chad Kuhn (35-7) in the consolation match, in a weight class that had two undefeated wrestlers entering the tournament in Montour's Cole Macek and Norwin's Drew Phipps.

But, while many wrestlers in the area were cutting weight or trying hard just to maintain their weight near the end of the season, Worthing went up a class, switching places with Chad Kuhn and moving up to 220 pounds.

"I've never really cut weight all my life," Worthing said. "I'm always trying to get bigger and stronger, unlike a lot of other wrestlers. I'd like to get a couple more pounds on me, but I feel like I have an advantage on my quickness."

The move turned out to be a smart one, as Worthing recorded three pins and a major decision at 220 pounds.

Shane Kuhn (36-1) also had three pins on his way to his second consecutive WPIAL title. Kuhn is also a two-time PIAA place-winner, taking fourth in 2012 and third last season.

Class AA regional notes

Steve Edwards and Allan Beattie followed their WPIAL championships at 152 and 285 pounds with PIAA Southwest Regional titles in Johnstown to help Burrell win the team title.

Two other Bucs, John Andrejcik at 132 pounds and Corey Falleroni at 145 pounds, took second place at regionals.

Valley brothers Terrell Fields and Marcus Davenport also advanced to the PIAA tournament, which begins today in Hershey. Fields won the 182-pound weight class, while Davenport took third at 195 pounds. They'll be joined by teammate Pat Dewitt, the runner-up at 126 pounds.

Derry's George Phillippi, the 2013 PIAA champion at 113 pounds, won the 120-pound weight class at the regional tournament Saturday. His practice partner, Stone Kepple, took fourth at 126 pounds and will also go to Hershey.

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