Latrobe survives scare to advance to PIAA Class 3A wrestling quarterfinals
Thursday, February 10, 2022 | 10:58 PM
HERSHEY — The sign of a good team is never panicking when things look bleak.
Latrobe was faced with that situation Thursday in the opening round of the PIAA Class 3A wrestling team championship at Giant Center.
An unfortunate and unexpected shoulder injury to junior Nate Roth completely turned around a potentially easy victory against Council Rock South.
But junior Wyatt Schmucker and senior Tyler Lynch came to the rescue.
Schmucker stunned Council Rock South with a pin at 160 pounds to set up a deciding win by Lynch in a 28-23 victory.
The pin came after Council Rock South’s Behkhurz Sadriddinov edged Jack Pletcher, 1-0, at 152.
“Not many people would have predicted that if we didn’t get wins from Roth or Pletcher that we’d win,” Latrobe coach Mark Mears said. “But this team is resilient, and it finds a way to win. I’m so proud of them.”
Latrobe was cruising after the first six bouts, opening up a 19-3 lead.
But the match turned when Roth, leading 8-3, injured his shoulder and was forced to default.
Instead of increasing its lead to 22-7, Latrobe saw its lead cut to 19-13.
Two matches later, the score was tied, 19-19.
That’s when Schmucker took the mat. After trailing early, Schmucker was able to throw his opponent to his back and pin him.
“It was amazing,” Schmucker said. “I’ve been hitting that move in practice since I was a little kid. We needed big points, so I went for it.”
With the Wildcats clinging to a 25-23 lead, Mears turned to Lynch and told him to stay confident.
“Tyler was bigger than (his opponent), so I figured he’d wear him down,” Mears said. “These kids are amazing. Now we must find a way to beat Central Dauphin (on Friday).”
Lynch won, 10-4.
Vinny Kilkeary (126) recorded the other pin for the Wildcats.
Luke Willochell (106) won by major decision, and Leo Joseph (113), Lucio Angelicchio (120) and Corey Boerio (215) won by decision.
“The bench was into it, and we told Wyatt that he had to go big,” Mears said. “This team knows how to come back and win. The bench stayed together.”
Lynch said the bench propelled him to his victory.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
More High School Sports• WPIAL champion Shaler fends off Canon-McMillan in state volleyball playoffs thriller
• Despite short playoff run, Hampton girls lacrosse team savors season’s successes
• Hampton staying sharp with summer basketball schedule
• Shady Side Academy boys lacrosse overcomes challenges during successful season
• Fox Chapel freshman shows worlds of potential in discus, shot put