Greensburg Salem wrestlers use quick start to get past Franklin Regional

Thursday, January 4, 2018 | 12:24 AM

This was a classic case that Wednesday’s WPIAL Class AAA Section 1-B wrestling match started perfectly for Greensburg Salem.

Because high school wrestling picks the starting weight prior to weigh-ins, the Golden Lions started where they were stronger than Franklin Regional in a second-place battle. The top three teams in each sub-section advance to the section tournament later this month.

Greensburg Salem (2-1, 2-1) won the first four matches, held off a charge from the Panthers in the lightweights and finished strong in a 40-26 victory.

Pins by Sage Parsley (182 pounds), John Meyers (195) and William Gongaware (220) helped the Golden Lions open up a 21-0 lead.

Franklin Regional (1-2, 1-2) rallied to pull to within one point twice (24-23 and 27-26), but a win by Joe Williams (152) and a major decision by Luke Ewing (160) clinched the victory. Jesse Quatse received a forfeit at 170 finish off the scoring.

“To be honest with you, I thought Franklin Regional outwrestled us in a lot of matches that we won,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said. “They wrestled harder than us, and if we want to compete better down the road we have to figure things out and we will.

“We won the Southmoreland tournament last week, and I didn’t think it was our best effort. I wasn’t pleased with this performance.”

Greensburg Salem and Franklin Regional will be competing in the 65th annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament Friday and Saturday at Norwin.

“It was a good match overall,” Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe said. “That’s Randy being Randy. I thought they wrestled well and I felt we wrestled hard and gave a lot of effort. We’ll look to get better.”

The Golden Lions bounced back from their early-season loss to first-place Hempfield. Both teams have lost to the Spartans.

Trailing 21-0, the Panthers stormed back. A technical fall by freshman Carter Dibert (106) got Franklin Regional started.

After Nico Williams (113) collected a win, the Panthers got consecutive pins by Mario Sarnic (120), Zach McCann (126) and Colton Camacho (132) to trim the lead to 24-23.

After Greensburg Salem’s Dajauhn Hertzog (138) and Franklin Regional’s Nathan Smith (145) exchanged decisions, Williams and Ewing finished off the Panthers.

“I feel we have to start thinking about scoring points if we want to get better,” Ewing said. “This was a good win for us. This should help us get into the playoffs.

“Now I want to get myself ready for the county tournament. It’s one of the best tournaments in the state. You can’t beat it. You’re going to get a tough match.”

And Parsley hopes the county tournament brings the best out of his team.

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

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