Dominate the state.
Yes, that is James Franklin’s saying for the recruiting trail for football.
However, it’s also the way you could describe Penn State’s Keystone Classic appearance on Sunday at the famed Palestra in Philadelphia.
In a tournament that included Pittsburgh, Penn, Franklin & Marshall and Drexel, the Nittany Lions crowned eight of the 10 champions. They finished with 245 points. Pitt took second with a score of 121.5.
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Penn State had 10 of its 19 wrestlers in the finals as the 174-pound final had a pair. It also collected 27 pins.
Zain Retherford and Bo Nickal had one-third of the team’s final pin count. Retherford went 5-0 — all pins — for the 149-pound crown. Nickal went 4-0 with four pins to win the 184-pound title.
Several other wrestlers went undefeated on the day, too.
Shakur Rasheed was 5-0 and had two pins. He squared off with teammate Geno Morelli in the 174-pound finale. The pair had to go to the second set of tie-breaker ride-out periods. They were tied 1-1 after regulation. In the second period of the second tie-breaker, Rasheed escaped with eight seconds left for the 2-1 win.
Morelli suffered his lone loss to Rasheed. Morelli collected three pins on his way to the finals.
Jason Nolf had five matches at 157 pounds. He went pin, pin, pin, technical fall and technical fall in the finals.
Matt McCutcheon, who competed at his new weight class of 197 pounds, was 4-0 with one pin. Nick Nevills (285) and Nick Suriano (125) also were 4-0. Nevills collected two pins while Suriano had one.
Vincenzo Joseph used two technical falls en route to a 4-0 record and the 165-pound crown.
Kade Moss finished second at 141 pounds. He collected two pins, topped teammate Dom Giannangeli in the semifinals and fell in the finals. Giannangeli finished fifth at 4-2 in the weight class. Starter Jimmy Gulibon also went 4-2 at the weight, but didn’t place.
Other place-winners included: Jered Cortez (133, third), Gary Dinmore (149, fourth) and Kellan Stout (197, fifth).
Others competing for the Nittany Lions were: Caleb Livingston (165, 1-2), Devon Van Cura (184, 0-2), George Carpenter (133, 0-2) and Patrick Higgins (125, 2-2).
Hall competes in Michigan
Mark Hall competed in the 174-pound weight class at the Michigan State Open on Sunday.
The junior world champion went 2-1 on the day.
He opened the tournament with a pin in 33 seconds over Northern Illinois’ Quinton Rosser. He advanced to the finals thanks to an 18-7 major decision over Central Michigan’s Jordan Atienza.
In the finals, Hall fell to Central Michigan’s Christian Brucki 8-7.
Hall led 4-2 thanks to two takedowns after the first period. In the second, Brucki turned Hall over to his back for four near-fall points and a 6-4 lead. Hall escaped and trailed by one going to the final period.
A Brucki escape opened the frame. Hall tied the match at 7-7 with 49 seconds to go and cut Brucki loose with 38 seconds to go, but wasn’t able to pick up that last takedown needed for the win.