Burrell duo suffer tough losses in PIAA regional finals

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Saturday, February 22, 2020 | 11:18 PM


It wasn’t the finals Burrell juniors Ian Oswalt and AJ Corrado were hoping for.

Both wrestlers suffered disappointing losses which left them saddened but eager to atone themselves in Hershey in two weeks.

Oswalt dropped a 3-1 sudden victory decision to Glendale’s Brock McMillen at 132 pounds, and a questionable hands to the face penalty point cost Corrado in a 2-1 loss to three-time champion Caleb Dowling of St. Joseph Catholic Academy at the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional on Saturday at IUP’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

The two finalists will be joined at the state tournament beginning March 5 by two teammates: Senior Ricky Feroce, who finished third at 182, and sophomore Nick Salerno, who placed fifth at 120.

Oswalt and McMillen were locked in a 1-1 tie when McMillen countered an Oswalt shot for a takedown with 11 seconds left in overtime.

“I feel I definitely outwrestled him,” Oswalt said. “He scored off my own shot. I need to work on my finishes and hopefully we’ll meet again in the state tournament.”

Oswalt said while winning a regional title is a goal, bringing home the state title is the ultimate goal.

“This matters for seeding,” Oswalt said. “Mentally this will drive me to work harder the next two weeks.”

Corrado and Dowling were scoreless in the first period when the official made the hands-to-the-face call, which Burrell coach Josh Shields felt should have been ignored.

Corrado was upset with the loss and wasn’t pleased with the penalty point either.

“I felt the hands-to-the-face call wasn’t right,” Corrado said. “Now I get back in the room and continue to work harder.”

Feroce bounced back to finish third, beating Penns Valley senior Andrew Sharer, 6-2.

Salerno defeated Burgettstown’s Joey Sentipal, 9-3, for fifth place.

Overall, it wasn’t a good weekend for the WPIAL.

Only 29 of 84 wrestlers who participated in the tournament will advance to Hershey.

The WPIAL ended up with four champions: South Park junior Joey Fischer (113), Elizabeth Forward senior Ryan Michaels (120) and Frazier senior Thayne Lawrence (160) each won their second titles.

Ellwood City senior Austin Walley (182) won his first, and Freedom junior Trent Schultheis (160) was denied his second title.

Three other WPIAL wrestlers, Derry junior Ty Cymmerman (126), Quaker Valley sophomore Patrick Cutchember (182) and Laurel junior heavyweight Mitch Miles, lost in the finals.

Lawrence, who hasn’t allowed an opponent to score a points since Jan. 22, was leading 8-0 when he picked St. Joseph Catholic Academy senior Keegan Rothrock. Lawrence had three points and a 17-0 technical fall. He outscored his opponents 34-0.

“That’s the goal, not to let my opponent score,” said Lawrence, a two-time state champion. “I’m glad what I’ve accomplished here. The first two years I met real tough competition and it was all part of the learning process.

“I’m eager to get back into the room because there are a couple things I need to clean up.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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