Kranitz pin secures win as Norwin wrestling edges Franklin Regional

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Monday, January 6, 2020 | 9:29 PM


Almost everyone in the gym Monday night would have loved to see a rematch between Norwin senior wrestler Kurtis Phipps and Franklin Regional sophomore Finn Solomon.

The two battled in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association finals at 126 pounds, and Phipps used a defensive pin to win his second title.

The rematch will have to wait.

While Norwin coach Vince DeAugustine would have been accommodating, winning the match was more important.

Thanks to a pin by Chase Kranitz in the final match of the night, Norwin took a 37-31 victory in a WPIAL Class AAA Section 1-A match. The win gives the Knights (6-2, 1-1) a shot at finishing second in the sub-section.

Franklin Regional (2-1, 2-1), which still must wrestle No. 5 Kiski Area, still can make the playoffs with a win Wednesday at Central Catholic.

“We knew the match was going to be tough because we lost a starter (Colton Minerva) to injury in the county tournament,” DeAugustine said. “We had to make some adjustments to our lineup. Ideally, we would have liked to see the Solomon and Phipps match again and (Mason) Spears and Kranitz. They weighed Mason in hoping for the match, but we didn’t have an option except bump up Chase.”

Wins by Phipps and John Altieri helped push Norwin’s lead to 31-10.

But a pin by Travis Hall (145) and a forfeit to Spears tied the score 31-31.

“I felt the pressure, but I capitalized for my team,” Kranitz said. “I had to go out and do something, and I got it done.”

Kranitz got an early takedown and finished with a pin with 4 seconds left in the first period.

Norwin got forfeit wins by Ryan Weinzen (195) and Clayton Morris (220), a pin by Conner Henning (113) and wins by Josh Page (182) and Evan Kline (285).

Franklin Regional got pins from Carter Dibert (120) and Solomon (126) and wins by Gavyn Beck (182) and Justin Bass (106).

“We had a strategy set up, but I understand it’s about winning,” Franklin Regional coach Matt Lebe said. “I’m proud of the guys. We had guys weigh in at different weights at the last minute. The effort was great. We came up a little short.”

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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