Franklin Regional’s Camacho finally defeats Miller, wins second WPIAL title

Saturday, March 2, 2019 | 8:51 PM

Franklin Regional senior Colton Camacho never had beaten Kiski Area senior Darren Miller prior to Saturday’s 126-pound final at the Class AAA WPIAL/PIAA Southwest Regional championships.

That string ended as Camacho used two first-period takedowns to defeat Miller, 4-2, to win his second WPIAL title at Canon-McMillan.

Miller had won the two previous meetings this season by 4-3 scores, including last week’s Section 1 final. Miller also beat Camacho twice in elementary school.

“I got the first takedown last week, but he escaped late,” Camacho said. “The second takedown really made the difference.

“He stays in good position. He’s hard to move, and he’s strong. We had to game-plan really hard, but I wrestled to my strength and my style.”

Penn-Trafford senior Nick Coy continued his season of firsts, winning his first WPIAL title by edging Hempfield sophomore Ty Linsenbigler, 3-2, in the 138 final.

Coy, who defeated Linsenbigler by the same score in the Section 1 final Feb. 23, used a takedown in the second period, countering a Linsenbigler arm drag, to take control.

“That’s been my mindset all season, trying to reach the top of the podium,” Coy said. “I’ve had a few firsts this season and a few failures. It’s pushed me to win more tournaments this weekend.”

Coy said he and Linsenbigler have trained in the past, so it’s tough to score against him.

“Winning the title has been my main goals all season,” Coy said. “I haven’t accomplished my goal yet of being on the top of the podium in Hershey. That’s the plan.”

Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps (34-2) used two first-period takedowns to defeat lanky Belle Vernon senior Logan Seliga, 4-1, at 120 pounds for his third WPIAL title.

“It’s awesome,” Phipps said. “Hopefully. I can become a four-timer. “Right now, I’m focused on match to match because my coaches are working with me to get that first state title.”

It was the second time this season Phipps beat Seliga (30-7). He also won 4-2 at the Powerade.

Norwin had another champion as junior Ryan Weinzen (32-4) used a takedown with 46 seconds left to upset Armstrong senior Ogden Atwood, 2-1, at 220.

North Hills’ Sam Hillegas (38-0) breezed to his third WPIAL title. He had three pins and won by technical fall, 18-2, over Latrobe junior Gabe Willochell (33-4) in the 132 final.

Hillegas, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, has his eye on becoming a three-time PIAA champion.

“It’s always a fun time at states,” Hillegas said. “Next week is going to be awesome. It’s time to hunt, and this is hunting season.”

Winning their second titles were senior Cam Connor and junior Jack Blumer of Kiski Area. Belle Vernon senior Scott Joll was denied his second title.

Connor (46-2) defeated Thomas Jefferson senior Alex Weber, 9-1, in the 152 final, and Blumer (41-3) edged Mars junior Jake Richardson, 4-0, at 160.

Joll (32-7) lost to Mt. Lebanon junior Luke Stout, 9-2, at 182. It was the third time this season Stout has beaten Joll.

Seneca Valley sophomore Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (44-1) picked up his first title by blanking Hempfield senior Kyle Burkholder, 8-0, at 113.

Herrera-Rondon is the returning PIAA 106 champion.

Seneca Valley sophomore Dylan Chappell (39-4) used a five-point move in overtime to defeat Franklin Regional sophomore Carter Dibert, 6-1, in the 106 final. Dibert (37-2) could not escape Chappell’s clutches from the bottom position in his 30-second rideout period, but Chappell quickly reversed Dibert and put him on his back during his.

Seneca Valley ended up with a third champion, sophomore Antonio Amelio (30-13), who pinned Waynesburg senior Trey Howard at 145.

Other winners were: Canon-McMillan junior Gerrit Nijenhuis (40-3), who pinned North Allegheny senior Jon Hoover to win the 170 title; Thomas Jefferson senior Max Shaw (33-0), who pinned Bethel Park junior Luke Montgomery to grab the 195 crown; and Upper St. Clair senior heavyweight Jake Slinger (36-0), who defeated Mt. Lebanon senior Nathan Hoaglund, 9-2. Slinger became USC’s all-time winningest wrestler with 136 victories.

Kiski Area claimed the team title with 126 points. Hempfield and Seneca Valley were tied for second with 120.5.

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

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