Franklin Regional wrestling ousted in WPIAL 1st round

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 11:06 PM

Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe knew it would take a superb effort to knock off No. 4 Seneca Valley in Wednesday's first round of the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament.

Lebe got the effort he hoped, but it still wasn't enough. Two forfeits and a controversial loss at 152 pounds were too much for the Panthers to overcome as Seneca Valley won 37-23.

Franklin Regional (8-4), which forfeited the 220-pound and heavyweight bouts, was leading 19-18.

At 152 pounds, Seneca Valley's Michael Adamson was ahead 4-0 late in the third period when Mark Prucnal took Adamson to his back for a three-point nearfall with eight seconds left.

He let Adamson go for an escape and while Adamson lay on the mat, he jumped on him for a two-point takedown before the buzzer to tie the score 5-5.

Seneca Valley coach Kevin Wildrick argued that the official should have stopped the match with his wrestler injured, but the official disagreed. While the coach and official talked about the final seconds, Adamson laid on the mat injured but the official never started the injury clock. When he did, Adamson received additional attention from the trainer for another minute.

When action resumed, the official seemed to give Prucnal a takedown and quickly waved it off. Adamson was then able, during a scramble, to secure a takedown for the win, which drew an argument from Lebe.

“I thought Mark had the takedown,” Lebe said. “So did a lot of other people. Mark wrestled his butt off to get back in the match and send it into overtime. It was a great effort by him.”

After Jim O'Neil gave Franklin a 23-21 lead with a major decision, Seneca Valley (13-2) won the final three bouts, two by falls, to secure the win.

Franklin Regional ended up winning seven matches, including a big win by freshman Carter Dibert over Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, 4-2.

The other wins came from Garrett Thompson (113), Zach McCann (126), Mason Spears (132), Colton Camacho (138) and Nathan Smith (145).

“It was a great team effort,” Lebe said. “I couldn't be prouder. We outwrestled them.”

Wildrick acknowledge not only did Franklin Regional outwrestle his team, he was outcoached.

“It was a wake-up call,” Wildrick said. “Franklin Regional was ready to wrestle, and we were not.”

Seneca Valley went on to lose to Hempfield, 32-31, on criteria H in the quarterfinals.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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