A-K Valley wrestling notebook: Valley aims to dethrone Burrell for section title

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 7:18 PM


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Part of Burrell’s enormous WPIAL success over the past decade-plus includes a dominance of its section opponents. To wit: The Bucs have won 107 consecutive section matches since the 2002-03 season, claiming the regular-season championship every year since 2004.

Although a long line of teams would enjoy the opportunity to dethrone the 12-time defending WPIAL champion Bucs, their next-door rival Valley is especially motivated.

The Vikings (7-1, 4-0) will get their chance Wednesday as they host Burrell (4-2, 4-0) in a match that will determine the Section 3-AA, subsection B, regular-season champion.

Valley, which clinched its fourth consecutive WPIAL playoff appearance last week, remains the team that came the closest to beating Burrell during its long section streak, falling by a 36-34 decision in 2013.

The matches haven’t been that close since, including a 60-12 Burrell win over an undermanned Valley team last season. But the Vikings will hope for a better result this time around.

Class AAA No. 1 Kiski Area can clinch the outright Section 1-AAA championship for a fourth consecutive season with a win over Franklin Regional on Wednesday.

Pleading the fifth

Highlands has plenty to wrestle for Wednesday as the Golden Rams take on Summit Academy in their Section 3-AA finale.

The teams come into the match tied in the standings with a 2-2 section record. The victor will claim third place in the standings and a berth in the section fifth-place match Jan. 23 against Mt. Pleasant or Southmoreland.

The winner of the fifth-place match advances to the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. Highlands is seeking its first playoff trip since 2011.

Peaks at Valley

Eight teams, including a trio from the Alle-Kiski Valley, competed at the annual Valley Duals last weekend.

Host Valley did the best of any Alle-Kiski Valley team in the field, beating Avonworth by a 42-30 score in the team quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals, where the Vikings suffered a narrow 42-33 loss to Ligonier Valley.

Knoch beat Allderdice and Avonworth and lost to Valley during the preliminary duals, then fell to Ligonier Valley in the quarterfinals. Riverview dropped matches against Avonworth, Summit Academy and Allderdice.

Southmoreland won the team championship with a 37-32 victory over Ligonier Valley in the championship match.

Back to Brookville

The WPIAL team postseason begins next week, but Burrell first will get a taste of some of the top competition from around the state.

The Class AA No. 1 Bucs will make their annual trip to Brookville for Saturday’s Ultimate Duals, which will feature some of the highest-ranked Class AA teams in Pennsylvania.

In addition to Burrell and Freedom from the WPIAL, the field includes host Brookville, Chestnut Ridge, Conneaut and Reynolds.

Reynolds won the last two PIAA Class AA team championships and three of the last four and is the top-ranked Class AA team in the state. Brookville won the state title in 2016 and made the PIAA quarterfinals last season, and Chestnut Ridge finished as the third-place team in the state in 2018.

Burrell, the 12-time defending WPIAL champion, eliminated Brookville from the PIAA tournament last season with a 29-27 win in the consolation bracket. The Bucs went 2-3 at the 2018 Ultimate Duals, beating Freedom and South Fayette but losing to Reynolds, Brookville and Chestnut Ridge.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Doug at dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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