Kiski Area wrestling wins 5th consecutive county title

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Saturday, January 4, 2020 | 11:32 PM


Kiski Area’s wrestling dynasty continued to grow Saturday at the 67th Annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament.

The Cavaliers rallied to win a county-record 13th team title, their fifth consecutive, in front of their home crowd.

Kiski Area, which began the day trailing Latrobe, dropped to fourth in the standings before putting together a late push to overcome a strong effort from Hempfield. The Cavaliers finished with 263 points and Hempfield 224.5. They snapped a tie with Latrobe and Greensburg Salem, which have 12 titles each.

“We didn’t have a real good first day,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “But we came back strong (Saturday) and wrestled well. It was a great team effort.”

The Cavaliers had six in the finals and walked away with four champions: junior Sammy Starr (152 pounds), senior Jack Blumer (160), senior Nick Delp (170) and junior Braden Roscosky (195).

For Blumer, Delp and Roscosky, it was their second county titles.

Dom Giordano (120) and Jared Curcio (182) finished second. The Cavaliers had 11 placewinners, including three who finished third: Ryan Klingensmith (113), Enzo Morlacci (145) and Jack Dilts (285).

“It was a close race, and it was real exciting,” Delp said. “I feel everyone wrestled well on Saturday to contribute to the win.”

The exclamation mark by the Cavaliers came with consecutive pins by Starr, Blumer and Delp.

Burrell finished fifth as a team and had one champion and five third-place finishers.

Burrell’s Ian Oswalt (14-4) used a second-period escape to edge Franklin Regional’s Garrett Thompson, 1-0, at 132 for his second title.

The Bucs’ third-place finishers were Nick Salerno (120), A.J. Corrado (152), Noah Linderman (160), Ricky Feroce (195) and Mikey Schearer (220).

Norwin senior Kurtis Phipps never had a defensive pin prior to Saturday’s finals. Now he can scratch that off the list of his accomplishments.

Phipps (15-0) was locked in a scoreless match late in the third period of the 126-pound final against Franklin Regional sophomore Finn Solomon (13-4).

Working from the bottom position, Phipps reached over his head and wrapped his arm behind Solomon’s head and pulled him over to his shoulders and got the pin to win his second county title.

His first came in 2018. He placed second last season.

“That’s a first,” Phipps said after the match. “I made a mid-match adjustment and I figured if I got him, he either had to bail out or give up the reversal. He hung on.”

Phipps said he wasn’t trying for the pin. He just was trying to get loose.

“It took me awhile on bottom,” Phipps said. “I knew what he wanted to do. He’s really clingy. I was able to catch him and hold him there.”

Phipps, who was slammed at the Powerade Tournament on Dec. 28, said he was thankful he wasn’t seriously hurt and was able to compete in the county tournament. Phipps was one of eight two-time champions.

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

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