February 5, 2013 7:00 a.m. BROOKVILLE —
The 16th-ranked Saegertown wrestling team is making its first-ever trip to the PIAA Class AA state championships after upsetting No. 8 Brookville 33-29 in an exciting back-and-forth preliminary dual at Brookville High School on Monday.
Each team won seven bouts, but Saegertown led the way on bonus points, giving up just one pin on the night.
“It was just one of those great matches where every point matters,” said Saegertown head coach Jim Mulligan. “Every kid wrestled great. And it came down to the toss. We got the matches we wanted.”
The Panthers (12-5) fell behind early when Brookville’s Taylor Cudworth opened with a 10-1 major decision over Brock Henderson at 220. But John Macken got Saegertown on the board with a narrow 2-1 decision over Tom Smouse at 285.
Devin Brown earned a forfeit at 106 to put Saegertown in front 9-4.
The 113-pound match pitted Brookville’s Tate Ortz, ranked ninth at 106 by Off the Mat, against Saegertown’s Bingbong Elizon. Ortz only earned his team three points, as Elizon yielded a 4-0 decision.
Tyler Vath earned a 6-0 victory over Cole Aaron at 120. And at 126, Nick Monico scored a first-period pin over Brady Mineweaser to make it 18-7 Saegertown.
Cole Clever dug into Saegertown’s lead with a 9-1 major decision over Lucas Smith at 132. But at 138, Matt Humes put a charge into the Panthers with an emotional 8-6 overtime victory over Dalton Zimmerman, ranked No. 7 at 132.
“The win of night was Matt Humes in overtime,” said Mulligan. “(Humes) was up 6-3. The kid escaped and got a takedown in the last second — and it was a terrible call. But he didn’t get flustered. He kept his head. And there was a wild scramble in overtime and Matt got a takedown. That was the match.”
Brookville responded with three straight wins by a tough group of middleweights, including Brock Zacherl (145), Zach Vroman (152), and Jimmy Miller. Again, though, none of them could score a pin, instead getting a a tech, a major and a decision, which put the Raiders in front 23-21.
Jeremy Mitchell put the match back in Saegertown’s hands with a second-period pin over Austin Clinger at 170.
With the score 27-23 in Saegertown’s favor, Brookville (20-4) had to send its wrestler out first at 182. They sent Brodie Zacherl, ranked 10th at 160 pounds. Saegertown withheld 12th-ranked 182-pounder Dylan Reynolds and instead sent freshman Jeremy Huya for his first varsity bout. Zacherl got the pin in 1:25, pushing the Raiders in front 29-27.
Reynolds ended up facing Brookville’s Jacob Keesecker, who entered with a record of 0-6. Reynolds got the fall in 2:38, which sealed the victory for the Panthers.
“It was great, it was great,” said Mulligan. “It’s just a bunch of kids coming together at the right time. I’m so happy for these kids and for the coaching staff. It’s a monumental win for our program.”
Saegertown is back in action on Thursday at the PIAA Class AA team championships at The Giant Center in Hershey. The Panthers will face No. 3-ranked Boiling Springs.
District 10’s second seed, Fort LeBoeuf, also advanced, beating Chartiers-Houston 41-21 last night in Waterford.