Burrell freshman Cooper Hornack wins Southwest Regional wrestling title

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Saturday, February 27, 2021 | 9:51 PM


A week after capturing his first WPIAL title, Burrell freshman Cooper Hornack left IUP’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex with his first PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional title.

Hornack took the 106-pound weight class by beating fellow freshman Landon Bainey of West Branch in the second ultimate tiebreaker after an exciting back-and-forth match.

“It feels great, and it was a really tight match so it feels great to win it,” Hornack said.

Hornack scored his first points with a takedown in the first period, and Bainey answered with a reversal with 11 seconds left.

They traded escapes in the second and third period, and then both rode each other out in extra time. With less than 6 seconds remaining, Hornack recorded the final point to earn a 4-3 decision.

“I was just hoping that I could hold him down, and I knew I could,” Hornack said. “He’s a really tough wrestler. It’s just great.”

The Burrell freshman was the first of nine champions from the WPIAL on the day. Freedom’s Trent Schultheis won the 189-pound bracket after Quaker Valley’s Patrick Cutchember medically forfeited.

Hornack’s teammate, senior AJ Corrado, followed with his first regional title.

After finishing fourth as a freshman, sixth as a sophomore and second last year, Corrado pinned Carlynton’s Oleg Melnyk in 3 minutes, 58 seconds in the final.

“It feels great to do that, and I feel like I’m improving a lot, especially since last year,” Corrado said. “I’m just going to continue to keep stepping on top of podiums.”

All season, Corrado has been talking about getting back to Hershey and accomplishing his ultimate goal of capturing a state championship.

“I’m not really at my peak. I feel like there’s still some stuff to work on, but I’m just going to keep wrestling every match the same,” Corrado said. “I’m gonna keep going out and scoring points and working my stuff on top. But where it really matters is in Hershey.”

For the second time in as many years, Burrell senior Ian Oswalt battled Glendale’s Brock McMillen in the final. McMillen came away with a 5-2 decision after a takedown with 3 seconds left in the third period.

There were four all-WPIAL finals, and 14 WPIAL wrestlers competed for a regional title.

The top five wrestlers from each weight class advanced to the West Class AA Super Regional tournament next Saturday back at IUP.

After using up most of his injury time allotment in the first period, Frazier freshman Rune Lawrence also shined in his championship match. He pinned Penns Valley’s Malachi DuVall in 5:37 to capture his title.

For the third time in his high school career, South Park’s Joey Fischer won a regional title.

Fischer, who captured the 126-pound WPIAL title last weekend with a 12-3 major decision over Burgettstown’s Joey Sentipal, beat Forest Hills’ Easton Toth by a 7-2 decision.

“One big thing for me is I found a new love for the sport,” Fischer said. “I’ve fallen in love with it and became a student of the sport so much more than I was. Before I was just doing it, and now I’m fully invested in it. I just feel new if that makes sense.”

Derry’s Ty Cymmerman captured the 150th win of his career in his first match Saturday, but he ran into Blackhawk’s Kenny Duschek for the second time in two weeks.

Duschek earned a 3-1 decision over the three-time WPIAL champion a week after denying him his fourth district title.

Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer won his second regional title by pinning Carlynton’s Collin Milko in 2:11.

Burrell won the team title with 64 points, followed by Forest Hills (60.5), Chestnut Ridge (56.5) and Mt. Pleasant (55). All told, 27 WPIAL wrestlers advanced to the Super Regional.

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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