Kiski Area’s Noah Levett reverses course, reaches Powerade semifinals
By: Doug Gulasy
Saturday, December 30, 2017 | 12:55 PM
Noah Levett came within one second of the semifinals at the 2016 Powerade Christmas Tournament, a literal last-second reversal costing him.
The Kiski Area senior vowed to finish better this time around, and he's off to a good start.
Levett won all four of his bouts in the 138-pound bracket on the opening day of competition Friday at Canon-McMillan to advance to the semifinals for the first time, where he'll go for his first championship at the prestigious tournament.
“It feels good. It's where I should be, so I'm glad I got there,” said Levett, who will face top-seeded Cole Matthews of Reynolds in the semifinals Saturday morning. “Last year I had a couple tough matches here, so wrestling good here feels good. I've got to win the next one and make finals.”
Junior Darren Miller also will represent Kiski Area in the semifinals in the 120-pound class after winning four matches Friday.
Levett, a Bucknell recruit, placed fifth at 126 pounds at the Powerade last season. Bumped up two weight classes this season, he won two matches by technical fall, one by major decision and another by decision to make it to the semifinals.
After he struggled to catch his breath in some of his early bouts — something he attributed to a lack of hydration — Levett dispatched Imran Heard of St. Paul's (Md.), 7-5, in the quarterfinals.
“It means I can hang in there with anyone in my weight class,” Levett said. “At the beginning of the year I thought I was kind of smaller for 138, but I'm still undefeated so far. Until I start losing, I'm going to stick with 138, for sure.”
Miller returned to the site of his loss last week to Canon-McMillan's Kenny Heyman, one of a few pivotal bouts in Kiski Area's upset loss in a nonsection dual.
If Miller was feeling any ill effects from that loss, he showed no sign of it Friday, yielding just two points as he won four consecutive matches to advance to a semifinal matchup against Seneca Valley's Louis Newell. Miller rolled to a 7-0 decision over Stroudsburg's Cameron Enriquez in the quarterfinals.
“He's turning it on,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “Last year he lost at the state tournament, and after that, he was just a machine. He lost here the other night against Heyman, and he's been on fire since. Sometimes he needs a loss to motivate him and regroup, and he's certainly doing a good job of that here.”
Kiski Area was one of six schools to send two wrestlers to the semifinals, joining Albert Gallatin, Canon-McMillan, Hempfield, Seneca Valley and Waynesburg. The Cavaliers were seventh in the team standings, behind just Belle Vernon among WPIAL teams.
“It feels like we wrestled for two days today,” Heater said. “It's been a long day from the time we got up till now, with the level of competition that's here and the teams that are here. I'm proud of all our guys for the way they wrestled here. I'm proud of the guys that already got knocked out because everybody wrestled as hard as they could in all of their matches and put everything out there.”
Kiski Area's Nick Delp (160 pounds) and Cam Connor (145) advanced to the quarterfinals before dropping into the consolation brackets. Delp, an unseeded wrestler, upset fifth-ranked Jake Hendricks of Wyoming Seminary to advance to the quarterfinals.
Connor and Delp will join Jack Blumer (152) and Logan Pollick (182) as Kiski Area wrestlers in the consolation bracket. Those matches also resume Saturday morning.
Burrell also has two wrestlers alive in the consolation brackets heading into Saturday.
Sophomore Trent Valovchik, a WPIAL champion last season, made it to the 106-pound quarterfinals before dropping a decision to No. 2 seed Wil Guida of St. Paul's (Md.). Valovchik recorded a technical fall and a pair of pins in his first three matches.
Freshman Ian Oswalt, fresh off medaling at the King of the Mountain tournament earlier this month, also advanced to the quarterfinals at 113 pounds. He pinned Norwin's Vince Babeo and upset seventh-seeded Dante Monaco of Camden Catholic (N.J.) to get to the quarterfinals, where he fell to No. 2 Ryan Sullivan of Shaler.
Consolation matches resume at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The semifinals take place at 11 a.m., the consolation finals at 4:30 p.m. and the championship finals at 7 p.m.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.