HERSHEY — Frazier senior Thayne Lawrence’s high school wrestling career will come to an end Saturday at Giant Center.
The big question is whether he will become a three-time PIAA champion.
It won’t be easy as he faces last season’s 145-pound champion, Andrew Cerniglia, in the 160-pound showdown at 2 p.m. at the PIAA individual championships.
Lawrence and Cerniglia haven’t met on the mat, but they are friends through recruiting trips.
“We talk, and we’ve talked here,” Lawrence said after he thumped Commodore Perry junior Gage Musser, 18-1. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m happy what I’ve done over my four years.”
Lawrence finished third as a freshman in 2017.
“It should be a great match,” Lawrence said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Lawrence struggled in the quarterfinals, only beating Southern Columbia sophomore Gavin Garcia, 4-2.
“I just wasn’t right,” Lawrence said. “I felt a lot better in the semifinals.”
Lawrence is one of six wrestlers from Class AA to reach the finals.
The others are South Park junior Joey Fischer (113), Elizabeth Forward senior Ryan Michaels (120), Burrell juniors Ian Oswalt (132) and AJ Corrado (152) and Ellwood City senior Austin Walley (182).
Oswalt edged East Pennsboro senior Adam Jacob, 2-1, in the quarterfinals and then downed Brockway senior Anthony Glasl, 3-1, in the semifinals.
While Oswalt was not pleased with his quarterfinal match, he was all smiles after the semifinals.
“A win is a win,” Oswalt said. “Obviously, I would have loved to win more dominantly. Now my goal is to go in there, wrestle 100 percent and go win it.”
It won’t be easy. He’ll face Glendale junior Brock McMillen, whom he lost to in the finals 3-1 in sudden victory Feb. 22 at the Southwest Regional.
Corrado won the rubber match against Penns Valley junior Malachi DuVall, 3-2, at 152. Earlier in the day he defeated Palisades junior Ben Haubert, 3-2.
He’ll face St. Joseph Catholic Academy senior Caleb Dowling, who nipped Corrado, 2-1.
“Malachi beat the first time, so I made adjustments the next two times,” Corrado said. “Ian and I work so hard in the practice room year-round. Seeing him make the finals, I’m excited for him and myself.”
The WPIAL will have 14 medalists in Class AA.
The WPIAL Class AAA wrestlers will finish with 36 medalists, including 21 in the semifinals at 9 a.m. going for gold.
Heading the list are returning champions Gerrit Nijenhuis (182) of Canon-McMillan, Sam Hillegas of North Hills and Alejandro Herrera-Rondon of Seneca Valley.
Franklin Regional junior Carter Dibert, the returning 106 champion, was upset by Bethlehem Catholic sophomore Dante Frinzi, 4-1, in a controversial match.
“There was a questionable takedown and cautions,” Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe said.
Said Dibert: “It hurt losing, but now I’m going for third place. My mission is to dominate the rest of the way.”
Another controversial loss for a WPIAL wrestler occurred at 106 when Waynesburg freshman Mac Church lost to Central Dauphin’s Matt Repos on a caution in the ultimate ride-out period.
Latrobe freshman Vincent Kilkeary (106) and Hempfield junior Ethan Berginc (113) continue to shine.
Kilkeary defeated Downingtown East junior Keanu Manuel, 3-1, in overtime. Manuel was the second seed.
Berginc took down Downingtown West sophomore Dominic Findora, 6-3.
Two-time runner-up Kurtis Phipps of Norwin rolled into the semifinals with an 11-0 win against Council Rock South senior Kyle Waterman.
Hillegas defeated two-time Georgia state champion Dashawn Farber of Nazareth, 12-2.
The Stout brothers, Mac and Luke, are in the semifinals following victories.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .