East Xtra: Franklin Regional, Kiski shine at county tournament
Franklin Regional's Josh Shields (top) defeated Kiski Area's Cole Lewandowski, 7-2, in the 145-pound championship match at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament Saturday at Franklin Regional High School.
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Wrestling fans who attended the finals of the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament, which concluded Saturday at Franklin Regional High School, were treated to a repeat performance.
Eleven of the 14 champions had won at least one prior county title.
The most decorated of the repeat champions was Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon, who became the 10th wrestler in the 60-year history of the tournament to win four titles. McCutcheon, a Penn State recruit, did it in style, as he pinned Penn-Trafford's Jack McGillick in 48 seconds in the 195-pound final. In fact, he needed only 2:42 to record three pins on his way to the title.
"Matt pinned his way through the tournament," Kiski Area coach Chuck Tursky said. "He was also named Outstanding Wrestler. He certainly deserved it."
McCutcheon was joined atop the winners platform by teammate Shane Kuhn, who claimed his second consecutive 285-pound title by pinning Burrell's Alan Beattie in the title match.
"Shane also pinned his way through the tournament," said Tursky. "In fact, he had the most pins in the least amount of time."
Kuhn had four pins in 4:35.
Franklin Regional had three champions -- Tyler Smith, Josh Maruca and Josh Shields -- and all three were repeat winners, sparking the Panthers to the team title.
Smith recorded a 21-5 technical fall win against Burrell's J.R. Andrejcik in the 132-pound final. Maruca posted a 15-3 victory against Burrell's Steven Edwards in the 138-pound final. Shields registered a 7-2 win against Kiski Area's Cole Landowski in the 145-pound final.
"Winning this tournament is hard enough," Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said. "Winning a second title is even harder, when you consider the level of competition. It's quite an accomplishment to repeat in this tournament."
Franklin Regional actually had four returning champions and a runner-up on its roster, but two did not participate in the two-day tournament.
Michael Kemerer, last year's 113-pound champion, sat out with a concussion he incurred in the finals of the Powerade Christmas Tournament. Luke Fleck, last year's 285-pound runner-up, has not wrestled this year due to a knee injury.
"Michael will be back in the lineup soon, maybe as early as [last night]," Mausser said. "We also expect to have Luke back soon, but I'm just not sure when. We'll know more next week."
Despite having Kemerer and Fleck out of the lineup, Franklin Regional was able to win the team title for the first time in school history. The Panthers had 10 wrestlers place among the top six in their weight classes, including six finalists, and finished with 196 points.
"This is our first title and the most place-winners we've ever had," Mausser said. "We're very proud of that."
Hempfield Area, Greensburg Salem and Greater Latrobe each had two champions.
Ricky Cavallo and Sam Krivus won titles for Hempfield. Both were making return trips to the finals. Cavallo claimed his second title with a 7-3 win against Ligonier Valley's Justin Patrick in the 113-pound final. Krivus, a runner-up at 113 last season, won the 120-pound title with a 17-5 domination of Belle Vernon Area's Brendan Hasson in the title match.
Zach Voytek and Anthony Cable were repeat winners for Greensburg Salem. Both were in the finals for the third time. Voytek won his second title with a 6-3 win against Dom Scalise of Kiski School at 160. Cable claimed his second title by pinning Franklin Regional's Brett Zanotto at 220.
Luke Pletcher and Zack Zavatsky were Latrobe's champions. Pletcher, a freshman, claimed the 106-pound title with a 15-3 pounding of Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths. Zavatsky recorded four pins en route to his second title. He pinned Franklin Regional's Nate Painter in the 170-pound final.
"The talent in this tournament is amazing," said Tursky, referring to the fact that 13 participants in this year's tournament were PIAA place-winners last season. "Many of the kids we saw in the finals will be going to Hershey in March."
The other three wrestlers who claimed WCCA titles were Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers, Norwin's Heath Coles and Belle Vernon's Nate Russo.
DesLauriers claimed his third county title with an 8-3 decision of Belle Vernon's Adam Nichelson in the 182-pound weight class.
Coles made his second appearance in the finals and captured his first title with a 4-3 win against Greensburg Salem's Tyler Reinhart in a battle of returning champions. Reinhart won a county title in 2010.
Russo claimed his first title with a 5-0 win against Franklin Regional's Dom Giannangeli at 126 pounds. Giannangeli had replaced Kemerer in the Panthers lineup.
First Published January 17, 2013 12:00 am