A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Burrell bounces back to beat Butler in dual meet thriller

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 5:43 PM

The Burrell Bucs found themselves with their backs against the wall this weekend in their first dual meet of the season. But, like they always seem to do, the Bucs bounced back.

They traded the first four matches of the meet as Butler’s Nathan McMaster (152) and Steven Green (172) both recorded pins, while Burrell’s AJ Corrado (160) and Dylan Slahtobsky (189) did the same.

Then, the Golden Tornado went on a three-bout run to build up a 29-12 lead over the Bucs heading into their 113-pound weight class. Behind by 17 points, Burrell responded by winning five of the next six matches to earn a 36-35 victory.

“That’s something that you always like to see out of a team, is all the intangibles. Championship teams find a way to win,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said. “That’s what this team did, and that’s something you can’t really teach. You just have a group of guys and they came together, knew what needed to be done and went out there and did it.”

Star freshman Cooper Hornack, who won the 113-pound weight class at the North Allegheny Wright Automotive Invitational on Jan. 9, started off the comeback by pinning Butler’s Kelley Schaukowitsch in 2 minutes, 37 seconds. Then, Nicolas Ferra (120) pinned Aiden Plopi in 1:05.

Butler extended its lead to 11 when the Bucs were forced to forfeit the 126-pound weight class, but Burrell’s final three wrestlers brought home the nonsection victory.

Nicholas Salerno (132) earned a 10-4 decision to pick up three points before 138-pounder Ian Oswalt picked up one of the most crucial pins of the match. He took down Clayton Dressler in 44 seconds to pick up six points and pull the Bucs within two.

“Anytime I look back and know that Ian Oswalt has yet to wrestle, I’m pretty excited about that matchup,” Shields said. “I tend to think that that’s a matchup that’s going to go our way. Whether he scores bonus points or not, he’s going to be favored in pretty much all the matches he wrestles for us this year.”

Senior Aaron Edwards (145) got the final three points for Burrell when he earned a 9-2 decision over Dominic Vivirito.

First of many

It may have come in a strange way, but first-year coach Bob Waldron got the first win of his Knoch coaching career last week when the Knights beat Valley, 54-18.

With only three Valley wrestlers competing and a lack of Knoch wrestlers in two of those three weight classes, there was only one contested match during the meet. Valley’s Dion Lyons (138) pinned Knoch’s Christopher Michaux in 1:30.

Chuck Perkins (126) and Ryan Long (132) won by forfeit for Valley, but the rest of the matches belonged to Knoch. Waldron’s next match might not come so easy as he’ll get a taste of the 14-time defending WPIAL champion Burrell Bucs on Wednesday when they travel to Burrell for a sub-section meet.

Short-handed competitions

Valley isn’t the only wrestling team in the area that is shorthanded this season. On Monday, the Riverview Raiders faced off with Penn Hills, and there was only one contested matchup between the teams.

At 145 pounds, Penn Hills’ Hunter Shields defeated Riverview’s Logan Bechtold by a 6-2 decision. Bechtold is one of three wrestlers for the Raiders this season after head coach Joe Murphy had a few wrestlers leave the team due to concerns with the coronavirus pandemic after the three-week pause in mid-December.

With the numbers the Raiders have this season, many matches may not be too competitive in terms of dual meet success, but Murphy still wants his guys to compete.

Mustangs find success

Plum’s Vince Citrano has had success over the past few years, but the junior grappler is looking to break through this season and it seems like a freshman Mustang will join him.

This past weekend at the Seneca Valley Duals, both Citrano (126 and 132) and freshman Antonino Walker (113) turned in solid performances, winning three of their four matches.

In his first two matches of the weekend, Walker, who is 6-1 this season, pinned Franklin Regional’s Dom Colaizzi and Mt. Lebanon’s Joseph Gamble in 1:00 and 1:12, respectively. He beat Quaker Valley’s Isaac Maccaglia due to an injury as well. The only loss he suffered came against Seneca Valley’s Tyler Chappell in a 2-1 decision.

Citrano has gotten off to another solid start this season and has suffered two losses, but both came at the hands of Franklin-Regional’s Carter Dibert, an Arizona State commit. Dibert earned a 14-0 major decision over Citrano on Saturday, but Citrano responded with three straight wins.

He pinned Mt. Lebanon’s Sean Coffman in 2:02 then pinned Quaker Valley’s Nicholas Allen in 2:50. He finished off the weekend with a 6-1 decision over Evan Vetter.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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