A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Knoch forced to quarantine, won’t practice until Feb. 11

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 | 5:31 PM

The Knoch wrestling team won’t be participating in team sectional playoffs this season. The Knights entered quarantine at the end of the week last week, and coach Bob Waldron said the team won’t be competing until individual sections.

They are set to return to practice Feb. 11.

The Knights have already worked through a few different stoppages this season and have only been able to compete in five matches. They took down Valley (54-18) to deliver Waldron his first win as the new Knoch coach, and they also went 2-1 at the Burrell Duals, suffering their only loss to the 14-time defending WPIAL Class AA champions, 51-6.

Heavyweight Eli Reese was the lone wrestler to get a win against Burrell when he pinned Aiden Black in 1 minute, 26 seconds. Reese is undefeated this season, but his match with Burrell was his lone contested match before Knoch shut down.

Before entering quarantine, the Knights also beat Blackhawk, 48-18, and won two of their matches via pin while the rest were won by forfeit.

Getting back into action

Last week, the WPIAL Class AA top-ranked Burrell Bucs had to drop out of the annual Powerade wrestling tournament due to circumstances that were out of their control.

But, with just a week to go until team section championships, the Bucs are getting ready to return to the mat this week. They’ll take on WPIAL Class AAA No. 9 Thomas Jefferson on Thursday before competing in the Westmoreland County tournament at Kiski Area this weekend.

A perfect week

The Plum Mustangs hit a stride last week when they picked up four wins in four matches between Wednesday and Friday while only allowing 39 points. The Mustangs took down Penn Hills (60-9), Gateway (62-9), South Fayette (58-15) and Shaler (63-6).

Vincent Citrano, a 126-pound junior, picked up three pins and won his fourth match by forfeit. Andrew Claassen, a 160-pound sophomore, also went undefeated in the four matches and picked up three of his four victories via pin as well.

The Mustangs got production from all over the board this past week as section playoffs are on the horizon.

Top 10 finish at Powerade

After Burrell was forced to pull out of Powerade, the Kiski Area Cavaliers were the only A-K Valley team at the tournament.

They finished 10th in the team race and had four wrestlers finish in the top eight. Enzo Morlacci (160) became the first Cavalier to win his weight class at Powerade in program history. Sammy Starr (172) earned a third-place finish, Brayden Roscosky (189) finished seventh and Antonio Giordano (113) finished eighth.

“I was really proud of our effort down there as a group. We only took seven guys down, and we had four guys medal,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “We had two guys lose in the blood round, so they needed one more match to place so we could’ve placed six out of the seven.”

After losing to Waynesburg’s Mac Church, who is the No. 1 120-pounder in Trib HSSN’s Class AAA ranking, in the quarterfinals, Ryan Klingensmith (120) fell to Hempfield’s Ethan Lebin via a 10-2 major decision. Lebin placed seventh.

Carter Dilts (215) was pinned in the pigtail rounds, and he worked his way through the consolation bracket with a pin, two decisions and a forfeit. Dilts was pinned by Malvern Prep’s Owen Veitmeier, who ended up placing fifth, in 28 seconds in the blood round.

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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