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January 4, 2014

Bubblers lead tight team race at Tool City

MEADVILLE — If General McLane hopes to repeat as the Tool City Wrestling Tournament champs, then the Lancers are going to have to find a way to fend off a few other squads, as the first day of action at Meadville High School’s House of Thrills ended with a heated race at the top.

The Bubblers lead the way with 109.5 points going into today’s final round. Greenville is second with 99 points. General McLane follows in third with 96 points. And Fort LeBoeuf is fourth with 95 points.

The 35th annual edition of the tournament continues today at 9:30 a.m. with the semifinals and consolation action. The consolation finals are then set to begin at 3 p.m. The parade of champions is slated for a 5 o’clock start, followed by the championship finals at 5:30.

McLane has five in the semis

Boiling Springs and Fort LeBoeuf are in good position for the team title, each with six wrestlers in the semifinals.

Yet, General McLane is right in striking distance with five. In the semifinals for the Lancers are senior 113-pounder Joe Wheeling; sophomore 126-pounder Hunter Hendricks; junior 138-pounder Keller Watkins; senior 145-pounder Deane Twitchell; senior 152-pounder Mike Sutton and senior 195-pounder Chris Laird

All of them have important matchups today, which the Lancers will need to distance themselves from the pack. Wheeling, for example, takes on Greenville’s Jase Paxton. Hendricks faces DuBois’ Shae Bloom. Watkins goes up against Greenville’s Gavin Wilkerson. Twitchell has a date with LeBoeuf’s George McGuire. And Laird will take on LeBoeuf’s Garrette Reinwald.

Saegertown has four in semis

Saegertown stands in fifth place with 81 points and has four wrestlers aiming for today’s championship round.

Junior Tyler Vath is in the semifinals at 132 after posting a major decision over McLane’s Owen Watkins and a 5-2 verdict over Prep’s Alex Root. Vath will face Warren’s D.J. Fehlman in the semis.

Panthers sophomore Nick Monico is also in the semifinals at 138. He advanced with a 50-second pin over Howland’s Karlis Larson and a 12-4 major over McGuffey’s Brady Bedillion. Monico will face Titusville’s Dalton Burns this morning.

At 145, Matt Humes will take on Prep’s Teagan O’Sullivan in today’s semifinal round. Humes was 2-0 yesterday with a pin in 1:24 over McGuffey’s Erik Whitfield and a 10-1 major over Greenville’s Derek Watt.

Last but not least, Panthers junior Dylan Reynolds will vie for the 182-pound championship bout when he faces Warren’s Cody Gunn in today’s semis. Reynolds posted a 47-second fall over McDowell’s Dan Eberle and then followed it up with an 18-5 major decision against Prep’s Mike Hughes.

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