Burrell’s Hornack finishes fourth, Kiski Area’s Morlacci sixth at PIAA wrestling tournament

Saturday, March 12, 2022 | 10:26 PM

HERSHEY — It was an up-and-down PIAA Class 2A wrestling championship for Burrell sophomore Cooper Hornack.

There were many highs and a few lows as Hornack ended the tournament with a fourth-place finish in the 120-pound weight class. He dropped a 1-0 decision to Bald Eagle Area junior Coen Bainey.

The highlight of the tournament was his consolation semifinal win against Bentworth sophomore Chris Vargo, where Hornack won 2-1.

Though some might think Hornack took a step backward after finishing second at 106 pounds as a freshman, his coach Josh Shields wasn’t among that group. He felt Hornack became a better wrestler.

“It was a tough weight class,” Shields said. “The road he took to get to that spot, he fought through a tough region. Four guys were on the podium. To wrestle the state champion, that was a tough loss, but for him to bounce back and beating a returning state placewinner was good. He got on a roll.”

Shields said he will grow from the loss.

“I battled back tough in the consolation round,” Hornack said. “Losing that last match really (stinks). I believe I wanted it more than him.”

It appeared Hornack secured a reversal in the second period, but the officials, after a conference, did not award points.

“I have to work on my offense,” Hornack said.

“Work on getting better on my situational wrestling and come back next year and reach my ultimate goal.”

Kiski Area senior Enzo Morlacci (35-9), who reached the semifinals Saturday, ended up in sixth place after three consecutive losses.

He fell to Connellsville senior Jared Keslar, 7-1, in the semifinals.

He lost a 4-0 decision to Strath Haven’s Chase Barlow.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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