The talk after last week’s District 6 tournament was that the district and Centre County didn’t seem as strong as years past. Well, after Friday night of the PIAA Class AAA Northwest Regional Tournament, neither of those contentions held true.
Centre County pushed 11 wrestlers through to the semifinals, has 15 still alive Saturday morning in the second round of consolations, and saw only three wrestlers eliminated at the Altoona Field House.
McDowell, with six in the semifinals and six alive in the consolations, is in first with 49 points. General McLane, with five and five, is second with 37.5. Central Mountain, Mifflin County and Philipsburg-Osceola are tied for third with 36 each. State College is in seventh with 28 and Bald Eagle Area and Bellefonte are tied for 10th with 20 points each.
Philipsburg led the way with four semifinalists, four in the second round of consolations and two eliminated: Bryce Bennett (106), Chris Thompson (113), Dakota Weitosh (132) and Bub Lumadue (182).
“I’ll take that. We wrestled pretty well. Sometimes we were a little close to the vest,” PO coach Tim McCamley said.
Bald Eagle Area was one behind, with three semifinalists and one alive in the consolations: Coby Bainey (120), David Gawryla (195) and Josh Fye (285).
“We had two good rounds. I couldn’t be happier right now,” BEA coach Steve Millward said.
Bellefonte got two through, and still have five others alive in the consolations: Brock Port (120) and Trevor Corl (132).
“Everyone still has a chance. The goal is to come here and advance to the state tournament so, all seven guys still have hope alive,” Red Raider coach Mike Maney said.
State College claimed two semifinalists, too, along with five in the consolations and one eliminated: Anthony Myers (120) and Mike Kauffman (138).
“It went all right. The guys battled hard. The two in the semifinals looked good,” Little Lions coach Ryan Cummins said.
For P-O, Bennett won by fall and then a 4-1 decision. Thompson had a forfeit and then a 9-0 major decision.
“Those guys are tough. I think Bennett is having a better tournament than he did last weekend. To get to the semifinals as a sophomore is pretty good,” he said. “Thompson was dominant. He’s focused.”
Bennett meets Carmine Ciotti of Strong Vincent in the semifinals. Thompson gets Joe Wheeling of General McLane.
Weitosh won by fall and then had to endure a tiebreaker period to post a 6-4 win in the quarterfinals. He meets Punxsutawney’s Joel Bowers.
“Weitosh wrestled a realliy strong match. He keeps plugging away. He’s tough to score on and he doesn’t give up points. He can score from anywhere,” McCamley said.
Lumadue scored a four-point move in overtime in his first match and then won by a first-period fall. He meets Mike Hughes of Cathedral Prep in the semifinals.
“Bub was Bub. You notice I didn’t sit in his corner this time. Sometimes he sees the frustration in my face. I love to watch him wrestle. It’s not disapproval. He’s working just fine,” McCamley said.
Bald Eagle Area’s three semifinalists got it done in different ways.
Bainey won 4-1 and then 11-9. He meets Cathedral Prep’s Jake Gromacki in the semifinals.
“We get used to seeing that. That’s Coby. We wish he wouldn’t show his emotions as much as he does when he’s wrestling. He keeps scrapping. He just scraps,” Millward said.
Gawryla pinned his way to the semifinals, scoring one in the second period and then one in the first. He meets Chris Laird of General McLane.
“He gets himself out of position too often and the other guys capitalize on it. He’s been trying to stay in good position and take things when they’re there. It’s beneficial when he’s a little bit more patient and not trying to force things,” Millward said.
Fye posted 12-6 and 6-4 decisions, using his size to his advantage. He meets Bryce Hanley of Central Mountain.
“Sometimes he gets overaggressive and gets out of position. He gets underneath guys and they have a tendency to spin around behind him. He’s been working on staying in better position on his feet and being more selective with his shots,” Millward said.
For Bellefonte, Port had a bye and then put together a solid 3-0 quarterfinal win. He meets Roshaun Cooley of Williamsport in the semifinals.
“That kid’s pretty solid. We knew that kid was going to be tough. He did a good job of slowing the pace down,” Maney said.
Corl was dominant, winning 11-2 and then scoring a fall in 1:39. He’s paired with Cody Kirk of Carrick.
“We stressed with him if there’s an opportunity there, take it. He’s wrestling really well and with confidence,” Maney said.
State College’s Myers had a bye and then was in complete control in a 7-2 win He’ll meet D.J. Feldman of Warren.
“He got that bye early and he needs one to get through,” Cummins said.
Kauffman, wrestling with a mask to protect a broken nose, posted two lopsided wins. He started with a 9-0 major decision and then posted a fall in1:01. He meets Punxsutawney’s Kaleb Young.
“So far, he’s looked great. He’ll be fine. He’s tough. The mask doesn’t seem to bother him too much,” Cummins said.
Each team’s wrestlers still alive in the second round of consolations include:
Bellefonte: Aaron Witherite (106), Lance Leathers (113), Chase Gardner (126), Nate Rosenberger (138) and Tanner Day (145).
BEA: Mitchell Taylor (170).
P-O: Caleb Shively (145), Nick Patrick (160), Nick Gray (220) and Logan Day (285).
State College: Dan Sills (120), Derek Horner (145), Will Roeshot (152), Alex Stover (170) and Cory Dreibelbis (182).
The second round of consolations start this morning at 10. The semifinals and third round of consolations are slated for 12:30 p.m. The consolation finals start at 6 p.m. with the championship finals at 7 p.m.