Hempfield defeats Kiski Area for section wrestling title

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | 10:14 PM

Hempfield needed a stopper when Kiski Area jumped out to a quick lead in the WPIAL Class AAA Section 1 title match on Wednesday.

Senior Dillon Ferretti became that person.

His first-period pin of Jack Dilts in the 220-pound match sparked No. 4 Hempfield to five consecutive victories and a 34-31 victory against No. 5 Kiski Area.

The victory ended Kiski Area’s four-year reign as champions, and it was the Spartans’ first section title since 2011. It’s Hempfield’s 12th title overall.

Hempfield (17-2) has now won five consecutive matches, including a 50-22 win against Norwin in the semifinals.

Kiski Area (11-3) held off Latrobe, 37-24, in its semifinal match after building a 25-0 lead.

The Cavaliers jumped out quickly to a 15-0 lead against Hempfield thanks to first-period pins by Nick Delp (170) and Jared Curcio (182) and a 3-0 win by Brayden Roscosky against Justin Cramer.

But Ferretti was on a mission, and he quickly pinned Jack Dilts in the first period.

Kiski Area coach Chris Heater then forfeited to heavyweight Isaiah Vance and Hempfield coach Tommy Dolde started to make adjustments to his lineup, which resulted in three key victories.

Sophomore Briar Priest got a major decision at 106. Freshman Ethan Lebin followed with a win at 113, and junior Ethan Berginc got a pin at 120 to give the Spartans a 25-15 lead.

“Dillon’s pin was huge,” Dolde said. “Then we got a few big wins with Ethan (Lebin) bumping to 113 and Nolan getting a pin at 138.”

After Kiski closed the gap to 25-22, Daerr responded with a first-period pin and Ty Linsenbigler picked up his 100th career win with a victory against Enzo Morlacci. Linsenbigler hit Morlacci with a five-point move early in the first period, which set the tone for the battle.

“To be honest with you, beating Kiski was bigger than me winning 100,” Linsenbigler said. “We’ve been trying to beat Kiski since before I came to high school.

“This was a big win for us because early in the season, we were out of shape and overrated. Now we’re ready to make some noise in the team tournament next week. Nolan’s win pumped me up.”

Linsenbigler said he caught Morlacci trying to go for a double-leg takedown and was able to throw him.

The pin and Linsenbigler’s win made it 34-22 and forced Kiski to get two pins to close out the match and tie the score.

Hempfield’s Trevor Verkleeren denied that effort, even though he dropped a 3-2 decision to Sammy Starr at 152.

Jack Blumer did get a pin for the Cavaliers, the 100th of his career, but the milestone was bittersweet.

Heater said next week’s a new tournament, and he felt his team will learn from the loss.

“We just didn’t get the bonus points and they did,” Heater said. “We’ll just have to rebound from this.”

Latrobe took third place by defeating Norwin, 45-29.

Kiski Area 37, Latrobe 24 — No. 5 Kiski Area fought off a game Latrobe squad, 37-24, in the WPIAL Class AAA Section 1 semifinals.

The Cavaliers won the first five bouts and built a 25-20 lead. The match started at 160 pounds.

Jack Blumer (160) and Brayden Roscosky (195) picked up pins for the Cavaliers and Nick Delp won by a major decision. Blumer now has 99 career pins.

Latrobe got pins from Nathan Roth (120) and Gabe Willochell (132).

Hempfield 50, Norwin 22 – Hempfield got pins from heavyweight Isaiah Vance, Ethan Lebin (106) Briar Priest (113) and Ty Linsenbigler (145) in an easy win against Norwin.

The Knights got pins from Kurtis Phipps (126), John Altieri (138) and Chase Kranitz (152). Senior Ryan Weinzen (182) missed the match with an elbow injury.

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

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