High School Wrestling: Usual powers vs. newcomers in finals
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There will be two familiar faces making a return trip to the finals of the WPIAL wrestling team tournament. They will be joined by two newcomers.
Canon-McMillan and Burrell moved within one win of defending their WPIAL titles with semifinal victories Friday at Chartiers Valley. Franklin Regional and South Fayette also posted semifinal wins. Both earned their first title berth.
"I don't think it's sunk in yet," South Fayette coach Rick Chaussard said. "It may take awhile. We've had a lot of firsts this year, including tonight's semifinal appearance. We're hoping for one more first tomorrow."
South Fayette (10-0), seeded No. 2 in the Class AA bracket, earned its title berth with a 37-23 victory against No. 3 Jefferson-Morgan (11-5).
"We're in uncharted territory, but we're looking forward to the challenge of unseating the defending champion," Chaussard said.
South Fayette will face six-time defending champion Burrell (14-5) in the title match at 2 p.m. today at Chartiers Valley. Burrell, the top seed, earned its 11th consecutive title berth with a 37-30 victory against No. 4 Chartiers-Houston (10-7).
South Fayette rallied from a 9-6 deficit with four consecutive victories by Jasper Wolfe (113), Jared Cardillo (120), Seth Carr (126) and Mike Carr (132). The Lions came away with a 19-9 lead and never looked back. Grant Fetchet (152), Michael Fetchet (170) and Zach Walker (220) added pins for the Lions.
Burrell found itself in an unfamiliar position in its match, as Chartiers-Houston won the first three bouts to take a 15-0 lead. Pins by Garrett Vulcano (285) and Ben Hritsko (106) led the fast start.
"I was worried when Vulcano threw [Alan] Beattie and pinned him," said Burrell coach Bud Sines, referring to Vulcano moving up two weight classes for the match. Both wrestlers are ranked No. 1 in Class AA.
"The key is that the kids didn't panic," Sines said. "They have been in this position before and knew how to handle it."
Burrell won eight of the next ten bouts to pull out the victory.
In Class AAA, top seed and three-time defending champion Canon-McMillan (14-0) earned its fourth consecutive title berth with a 36-24 victory against No. 5 Kiski Area (16-2).
"I'm blessed and proud to lead such a fine group of kids," Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary said. "Everybody made a contribution to this victory. They did a great job throughout the lineup."
Josh Minor (113), Connor Schram (126), and Cody Wiercioch (170) had pins for Canon-McMillan. Wiercioch and Schram have made three consecutive appearances in the PIAA finals.
"Winning another WPIAL title is one of the goals we set," Mary said. "We need one win to reach that goal."
Canon-McMillan will face No. 2 Franklin Regional (17-2) in the title match at 6:30 p.m. today in the last of four matches at Chartiers Valley.
Franklin Regional earned its first title berth with a 28-27 victory against No. 3 North Allegheny (15-3). The Panthers rallied from a 10-3 deficit to build a 28-19 lead. North Allegheny won the final two bouts, but came up one point short.
In the consolation matches, Jefferson-Morgan will face Chartiers-Houston at noon and Kiski Area will face North Allegheny at 4:30 p.m.
First Published February 2, 2013 12:00 am