Franklin Regional Repeats as WPIAL AAA Wrestling Champion

Saturday, January 31, 2015 | 9:52 PM

A match that Franklin Regional would never lead came down to the last match of the night before the Panthers took the bout that would award them their second straight WPIAL Championship.

(Left:  Franklin Regional sidelines celebrate after clinching title over Belle Vernon)

The match would start at 182 pounds, where Belle Vernon would jump out to a 21-0 lead. The big win during this win streak was at 285, where Billy Korber of Belle Vernon rode Jake Pickup of Franklin Regional during the :30 second ultimate tiebreaker overtime period to win the bout 3-2.

Franklin Regional would get on the board at 113 with a fall from Mark Prucnal. But the upset of the day that almost put the match away for Belle Vernon was at 120 pounds. Zach Hartman of Belle Vernon picked up an 8-5 decision over defending state champion Devin Brown to give the Leopards a 24-6 lead.

Down by 18 though, the Panthers were not done fighting. Franklin Regional would go on to win 5 of the next 6 bouts to tie the match at 27. Along with those five wins came six bonus points, which would help key the Panthers come back to tie the match.

The match came down to two kids who are not regulars for their respective teams. Ryan DeLoach of Franklin Regional and Ian Palotta of Belle Vernon went scoreless through the first period, adding intrigue to the bout that would decide the AAA WPIAL Champion. In the second period, DeLoach would be on the bottom. After being awarded a locked hands penalty point, DeLoach sat into Palotta, picking up a reversal and putting him on his back. DeLoach would then pick up the fall in 2:29 to win the match and more importantly, give his team the WPIAL AAA Team Championship for the second straight season. With the fall, Franklin Regional would go on to defeat Belle Vernon, 33-27.

Franklin Regional Panthers 33 – Belle Vernon Leopards 27
182 – Austin Bell (BV) fall Theodore Wohlin (FR) 1:25 (6-0 BV)
195 – Milton Kobaly (BV) dec. Max Kubas (FR) 6-2 (9-0 BV)
220 – Michael Fine (BV) dec. Jeremy Nestor (FR) 6-0 (12-0 BV)
285 – Billy Korber (BV) dec. Jake Pickup (FR) 3-2 OT, UTB (15-0 BV)
106 – Jacob Dunlop (BV) fall Jimmy O’Neil (FR) 2:30 (21-0 BV)
113 – Mark Prucnal (FR) fall Elijah Johnson (BV) 1:31 (21-6 BV)
120 – Zach Hartman (BV) dec. Devin Brown (FR) 8-5 (24-6 BV)
126 – Spencer Lee (FR) maj. dec. Brock Godzin (BV) 20-9 (24-10 BV)
132 – Gus Solomon (FR) maj. dec. Neiko Kuntz (BV) 8-0 (24-14 BV)
138 – MItchell Hartman (BV) dec. Dom Giannangeli (FR) 8-4 (27-14 BV)
145 – Michael Kemerer (FR) dec. Jarod Verkleeren (BV) 7-4 (27-17 BV)
152 – Josh Maruca (FR) maj. dec. Derek Verkleeren (BV) 13-4 (27-21 BV)
160 – Josh Shields (FR) fall Josh Godzin (BV) 1:34 (27-27)
170 – Ryan DeLoach (FR) fall Ian Palotta (BV) 2:29 (33-27 FR)

AAA Consolation:
North Allegheny Tigers 35 – Latrobe Wildcats 29

In a tight match to decide who advances to the PIAA Championships, North Allegheny took a big lead early and never looked back. North Allegheny won the first four bouts to take a 15-0 lead. After Latrobe won three in a row to make it 15-12, North Allegheny would win three straight to make it 32-12. Latrobe would battle back by winning four of the last five, but it would not be enough as North Allegheny would prevail 35-29. The Tigers were led by bonus points, as they picked up four falls and a technical fall to help North Allegheny claim the final spot into the PIAA Championships.

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