HERSHEY — Even as the fate of his state wrestling quarterfinal match hung in the balance, Joey Fischer felt confident. And eventually the South Park sophomore was proven correct.
Fischer began a near-perfect Friday morning for WPIAL wrestlers at the PIAA Class AA tournament, with a 5-3 decision over Brookville’s Owen Reinsel in the PIAA Class AA 106-pound quarterfinals at Giant Center. He became the first of 15 WPIAL wrestlers to advance to Friday night’s semifinal round. Only one WPIAL wrestler lost in the quarterfinals.
“It feels great (after) losing in the quarters last year in a tight one, 1-0, finally being able to punch through and make it to the next round,” Fischer said.
The unbeaten Fischer, a WPIAL and PIAA Southwest Region champion, took an early lead over Reinsel with a takedown before Reinsel tied the bout in the second period with a reversal.
Fischer got another takedown in the third to regain control. With seconds remaining in the bout, Reinsel came close to another potential tying reversal. After discussion between both coaches and the referees, no reversal was awarded and Fischer got the victory.
“For me, it was really just about, once I got that first takedown, I knew,” Fischer said.
“Regardless of whether or not they gave (the reversal) to him, I wasn’t really too worried. I knew that if they gave that to him, it was going straight to overtime and I knew I could beat him on our feet. But obviously if it didn’t have to go to overtime I didn’t want it to.”
In going 15-1 during the quarterfinals, WPIAL wrestlers won in a variety of ways.
Burrell’s Ian Oswalt (120 pounds), McGuffey’s Christian Clutter (170) and Quaker Valley’s Geoff Magin and Bentworth’s John Vargo (both 195) all got pins. Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence (160) won by technical fall. Elizabeth Forward’s Ryan Michaels (113), Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy (138) and Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer (182) recorded major decisions.
Fischer, Derry’s Ty Cymmerman (126), Freedom’s Trent Schultheis (152), Valley’s Noah Hutcherson (170), Ellwood City’s Austin Walley (182), Freedom’s Bryson Miller (182) and Derry’s Dom DeLuca (220) had decisions.
Cymmerman, Hutcherson and Walley overcame early deficits. Cymmerman fought off his back early and eventually got his win in overtime after recording two nearfall points in the second tiebreaker period.
“It was hard for me to get up, but my coaches were positive and I knew I could get a win,” Cymmerman said.
Walley beat top-seeded Hunter O’Connor of Jersey Shore, 9-6, setting up a semifinal match with Miller, their fourth meeting of the season. Walley won the first three, the most recent a 3-2 decision in the Section 2-AA final Feb. 15.
“I have to move on my feet, get to my attacks and score on my feet,” Walley said.
Quaker Valley’s John Rocco Kazalas fell in the 145-pound quarterfinals.
The semifinals will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, [email protected] or via Twitter .