Hempfield wrestling puts it all together in rout of rival Greensburg Salem

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 | 9:32 PM

Hempfield wrestling coach Tommy Dolde couldn’t ask for a better performance from his Spartans heading into the WPIAL Class AAA Section 1 tournament Jan. 22.

The No. 4-ranked Spartans used seven pins and a forfeit to easily defeat rival Greensburg Salem, 54-21, on Wednesday in the final regular-season match in Section 1-B.

Hempfield (15-2, 5-0) will host to the section tournament and face Norwin, the second-place finisher in Section 1-A. No. 5 Kiski Area, the Section 1-A champion, will face Latrobe, and the winners will compete for the section title.

The Spartans used pins by Briar Priest (113 pounds) and Ethan Berginc (120), a forfeit to Ethan Lebin (106) and a 4-2 overtime decision by Lucas Kapusta to grab an early 21-0 lead.

It was the fourth consecutive win for the win by the Spartans in the 21st year of the Cross-town Cup series. The Spartans lead the series 13-8.

“This is how we wanted to wrestle heading into next week’s tournament,” Dolde said. “It’s nice we are home.”

Greensburg Salem (3-3, 3-2) got consecutive pins by Cody Kaufman (132) and Colt Rubrecht (138), but junior Ty Linsenbigler (145) stopped the Golden Lions momentum with a pin, the first of four consecutive by the Spartans.

“We knew they would start out hot,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said. “We were hoping for a pin at 126.

“The pin by Cody was big, but Ian Ewing getting pinned canceled that out. Then our 160-pounder gets pinned after controlling the entire match, and I didn’t expect Trent (Patrick) to get pinned in his first match at 195. We can’t get pinned, and we did too much.”

Trevor Verkleeren, who lost to Ewing twice before, got the first takedown and controlled the match and finally got a pin at 152.

“It was a good win for me,” Verkleeren said. “If the team wants to do anything in the tournament, the guys in the middle like me have to step up. I was pretty confident I could beat him. I’m looking forward going into the future about my abilities.”

Pins by Alex Urbani (160) and Julian Chillinsky (170) sealed the win for the Spartans.

“There were a couple great senior moments,” Dolde said, “Verkleeren beating Ewing and Cramer getting a pin against a pretty good kid. There were some great individual performances.”

Caleb Chismar (182) got a pin for the Golden Lions and John Meyers (19-0) defeated Dillon Ferretti, 8-2, at 220. Isaiah Vance capped the night by defeating Golden Lions heavyweight Bill McChesney, 4-0.

The top two teams in each sub-section automatically qualify for the WPIAL team tournament. Greensburg Salem will host to Franklin Regional in the fifth-place match to see who also qualifies for the tournament.

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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