UNION CITY — Nineteen local wrestlers advanced to next weekend’s District 10 Class AA Tournament on Saturday, two of which were overall champions.

Maplewood junior 125-pounder Evan Dahl won a thrilling overtime bout with North East stud Matthew Gregory to take the Tigers’ first section title since 2001.

Matt Wilcox took top honors at 189 for Maplewood that season.

Gregory carried a 2-0 lead into the third period, but Dahl kept his composure and scored a reversal to tie it up just 20 seconds in.

After two scoreless overtime periods, Dahl finally made his move, scoring a reversal and pinning Gregory at the 8:25 mark.

“Evan hung in there the entire time,” Maplewood head coach Brad Dutchcot said. “He was behind in the third period but didn’t let that bother him.

“It didn’t look like he was going to be able to get out in the final overtime period. He was able to flurry like he did to get the first reversal.”

“He was in really good shape,” said Dahl of Gregory. “I heard the coaches saying, ‘How bad do you want it?’ I guess I wanted it more. It’s a great feeling.”

Dahl joins Dylan Dennis (4th, 103), Matt Graff (2nd, 119), Ray Moritz (2nd, 130), Nick Bancroft (2nd, 145) and Jeff Greathouse (4th, 215) to round out the Tiger qualifiers.

Moritz had the upset of the tournament with a fall in 5:24 over Off the Mat No. 14-ranked Kyle Eisaman of North East in the semifinals.

He went on to lose by 5-2 decision to Thomas Woodward of Ft. LeBoeuf in the finals.

Union City sophomore Jared Burger navigated the 215 bracket with relative ease for the other local gold.

He recorded two falls before working to an 8-5 win over Mike Paradise of Harbor Creek in the finals.

Josh Lesik was the last UC wrestler to win a section title at 135 pounds in 2000.

Also moving on for the Bears were Heath Adams (5th, 125), David Mangol (5th, 189) and Shane Rankin (112).

Rankin, a freshman with a tidy 31-2 record, placed second with a 5-3 loss to Levi Morton of North East.

Morton currently accounts for both of Rankin’s losses on the season.

“I really wasn’t sure how well I’d do because I was jumping from junior high up to varsity level,” said Rankin of his impressive season. “Once I started going through everything it seemed like it was all falling into place.

“It’s definitely going to be way tougher than any of the other tournaments I’ve been to this season,” he added of districts. “If I wrestle pretty good like I’ve been doing throughout the whole year it should go pretty well.”

Cambridge Springs’ 160-pound one-seed Carl Parkin advanced to the finals with a 4-1 decision win over Northwestern’s Adam Johnston in the morning.

There he met Nick Lohrer of Fairview and lost a tight one, 3-1 in overtime.

Lohrer scored an escape as time expired in regulation, and he worked into control in OT by fighting off an ankle pick attempt by Parkin.

Parkin lives to fight another day with a record of 27-5 and moves on as the No. 2 seed for the district tournament. He was the only Spa wrestler to advance.

Saegertown, which finished third behind Harbor Creek and Ft. LeBoeuf in the team points race, advanced eight wrestlers to the D-10 meet.

One of those wrestlers was freshman Adam Armstrong, who recently broke the school record for wins by a freshman.

The old record was 28; Armstrong now has 31.

His day started off a little slow, dropping to the consolations with a 6-1 loss to Woodward.

In the consolation semifinals he failed to recover in a 5-2 downfall against James Stockhausen of Iroquois.

“I guess I just succumbed to the pressure,” Armstrong said. “After that first loss I just couldn’t pull back together and the second loss came.”

But in the fifth-place consy, he did what he needed to do to defeat Cambridge freshman Adam Weaver by a 10-6 decision.

“I’ve watched him wrestle all year and pretty much knew what he was going to do,” Armstrong said. “I knew if I kept him on his feet I could beat him, so that’s what I tried to do.”

Teammates Kurtis Henry (4th, 119), Sean Lyons (3rd, 145), Chad Hunter (3rd, 152), Kaleb Jonas (3rd, 215), Sean Byham (2nd, 103), Tim Clark (2nd, 135) and Dave Andrews (5th, 171) also advanced.

Andrews was a bit of a longshot coming in as a sophomore upperweight with a 9-19 record and having just dropped from 189.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Andrews said.

He scored a reversal with around 10 ticks on the clock to lock up a 3-2 win over LeBoeuf’s Zack Clabbatz.

“He came out strong,” Andrews said. “I was a little nervous about him. He got on top a couple times, and I got on top of him a couple times.

“I just flipped over on him and caught him.”



T.J. Turrisi can be reached at 724-6370, ext. 276 or by e-mail at tjturrisi@meadvilletribune.com.

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