Kiski Area wrestlers can’t overcome close losses, fall to Northampton in PIAA semifinals

Friday, February 8, 2019 | 6:24 PM

HERSHEY — Kiski Area’s dream of winning its first team wrestling title will have to wait for another season.

The Cavaliers’ hopes were dashed by Northampton in the PIAA Class AAA semifinals Friday at the Giant Center.

Too many close losses in the upper weights proved too much for WPIAL champion Kiski to overcome and it fell 34-22 to the District 11 runner-up.

The Cavaliers lost six consecutive bouts.

Now, the Cavaliers (17-1) must refocus and try to finish third. They will face the winner Saturday’s consolation-round match between Canon-McMillan and Spring-Ford at 11 a.m. in the fourth round of consolations.

Northampton will face Bethlehem Catholic for the Class AAA state title at 1 p.m.

The Cavaliers led 16-15, and freshman Brayden Roscosky was locked in a tight match with Northampton senior Jayden Bortz. Roscosky was clinging to an 8-7 lead when Bortz got a reversal with 11 seconds left and hung on for a 9-8 win.

Bortz’s win stopped Kiski’s run and gave Northampton back momentum it never relinquished.

“There were a lot of close matches in there,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight, and we needed to win those close matches, and they didn’t go our way. Now we need to refocus and regroup and come back here Saturday ready to go.”

Northampton took an early 15-3 lead thanks to pins by Julian Chlebove (138 pounds) and Jagger Condomitti (145).

Kiski Valley then strung together three consecutive wins — a pin by Cam Conner (160), a major decision by Jack Blumer (170) and a decision by Nick Delp (182) — to reclaim the lead at 16-15.

Bortz stopped the run.

Three more close losses at 220, heavyweight and 106 had the Cavs looking at a 27-16 deficit, and when Alexander Hanley majored Julian Jones at 113, Kiski’s hopes of making the finals were dashed.

“That loss at 195 took the wind out of us a little bit,” Heater said. “It was right in front of another match that was important for us at 220. Troy (Kuhn) wrestled hard, but it didn’t go our way.

“We wrestled hard. This is a tough tournament, and we wrestled some tough teams already. We’ll have some tough ones Saturday. Northampton is pretty tough top to bottom.”

Kiski put on a show in the quarterfinals, rolling over District 10 champion Cathedral Prep, 39-30. The match wasn’t that close.

The Cavaliers won the first eight matches and built 35-0 lead.

Dom Giordano started things by getting an injury default win against Prep’s Jacob Brumett at 120 after Brumett became ill during the match and ran out of injury time (1 minute, 30 seconds). He actually threw up on the mat during the second period.

Darren Miller followed with a quick pin (51 seconds) at 126 to make it 12-0, and Sammy Starr (132), Jared Curcio (138) and Enzo Morlacci (145) garnered decisions to make it 21-0.

“They bumped up their lineup and we still picked up victories at 132 and 145,” Heater said. “I was very pleased how we competed.”

Conner picked up a major decision at 152, Blumer got a pin at 160 and Delp finished the run with a major decision at 170.

All five Cathedral Prep wins were by forfeit. Carter Starocci, a returning state champion, got the first one at 182.

Burrell’s Brayden Roscosky finished with a major decision at 195.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at [email protected] or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.


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