Breese, Vargo, win region gold
The cliché saving the best for last may be appropriate in the setting of this weekend’s tournament. With every spot but one locked up for next week, Lakeview’s Sam Breese and Union City’s Jeff Burger was set up for a good matchup…on paper.
Breese, who defeated District 10 champion Forrest Christmann in the semifinals, avenged his semifinal loss to Burger last week by pinning the heavyweight in 1:49.
“I’m pumped,” Breese said. Words can’t describe how I feel right now.”
Breese will be making his second straight trip to Hershey.
“I just worked so hard for this and it feels good to have it pay off,” Breese said. “I feel blessed.”
Even with Burger’s shocking outcome, the Bears were still able to celebrate a champion. Once again Tim Vargo proved that he belongs among the elite at 170 pounds. After winning the District 10 championship, Vargo followed that performance up with earning the Northwest Region title on Saturday. Vargo seemingly looked to be hurt at the end of the first period but wrestle through the pain and ended up pinning Chris Matthews of Franklin at 4:25.
“I was pretty happy with how I wrestled,” Vargo said. “It was nice to get the win and keep moving on and I just need to stay focused.”
Cyphert gets revenge
Last week’s final against Evan Daley of Fort LeBoeuf didn’t go as planned for Cam Cyphert. Fortunately for him, he had the chance to redeem himself in the region final at 220 pounds on Saturday.
“It feels really good,” Cyphert said. “I beat him last year at Districts but he has beaten me four times in a row. It just feels good to get the win.”
As he did last week, Cyphert got out to a quick start, taking a 4-1 lead into the second period. With the big lead, Cyphert was able to take it easy and make sure he didn’t do anything to cost himself another lead.
“I stalled a little bit in the third period but I didn’t want to do anything dumb like I did last week to cost me,” Cyphert said.
For the second week in the row, Robert Boozer made it to the championship final. And for the second week in a row, he came up just shy of the gold.
After two periods, Boozer and Reynolds’ Levi Stoyer were tied 2-2. At the beginning of the third, Stoyer scored an escape point and maintained the one point lead for a 3-2 decision. Even with the loss, Boozer already qualified for the PIAA championships.
“Working hard all season and seeing it pay off is a real good feeling, “Boozer said. “I just need to continue wrestling my own match and try to stay out of the ties and practice hard all week. Hopefully I can do good next week.”
The Cardinals were four seconds away from having a third wrestler in the PIAA championships. With 20 seconds remaining in the match, Austin Andrews recorded a two-point reversal to give himself a 3-2 lead. Everything was looking up for Andrews as he was 20 seconds away from punching his ticket to Hershey. Andrews recorded a two-point reversal for a 3-2 lead but than something drastically went wrong. As the seconds were ticking off the scoreboard, Alexander Gular of Port Allegany caught Andrews off guard, recording a reversal of his own with four seconds remaining and a 4-3 win.
Three more Cardinal wrestlers saw their season come to an end in the second day of the region tournament.
At 126, Jared Morrison made it to the consolation semifinals before being ousted. Morrison was successful in his first match of the day, defeating Mitch Blose of Redbank Valley by a 7-0 decision. Morrison’s run ended in the next round to the hands of Himes. Himes was a 12-11 winner over Morrison.
Like Morrison, Caleb Peterson was also successful in making it to the consolation semifinals. In his first bout of the day, Peterson pinned Blake Horne of Greenville in 4:43. In the consolation semifinals, Peterson fell to Fort LeBoeuf’s Taylor Harrington.
Ryan Northcott was the third Cardinal to come up one win shy of competing for a spot at states. Northcott, a District 10 runner-up at 160 pounds last week, got pinned in 42 seconds in the consolation semifinals by eventual consolation finals winner, Cole Shirey of Redbank Valley.
Cochranton finished the region in sixth place with 62 points.