Latrobe tops Greensburg Salem, closes in on spot in WPIAL team tournament

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 | 10:30 PM

Latrobe will be headed back to the WPIAL Class AAA team wrestling tournament as long as it takes care of business.

All the Wildcats (3-1, 2-1) must do to clinch an automatic bid into the tournament is defeat Gateway on Thursday and Penn Hills on Jan. 15 to clinch second place in Section 1B.

The Wildcats haven’t made the team tournament since 2016.

Latrobe earned that right by defeating Greensburg Salem, 46-21, on senior night. And it was senior Mitchell Tryon that came up with a huge pin for the Wildcats at 160 pounds.

The Wildcats recorded six pins against the Golden Lions (3-2, 2-1).

“I thought we’d win the 160 match and we got pinned,” Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley said. “We were outgunned in a couple weight classes, but I didn’t think we’d be pinned.”

Tyron’s pin was the first of three consecutive for the Wildcats, who stretched a one-point lead to 28-9.

“A couple of those pins were unexpected,” Latrobe coach Mike Ciotti said. “But it was good to get Gabe (Willochell) back in the lineup. That helped a lot because that could have been the difference.”

Willochell missed the 67th annual Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament while resting a sore shoulder. He earned an 11-0 major decision win against Cody Kaufman at 132 to give the Wildcats a 4-3 lead.

The match began at 126 pounds.

Senior Ricky Armstrong’s pin at 145 gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 10-6.

After Greensburg Salem’s Ian Ewing defeated Jack Pletcher, 3-0, at 152, the Wildcats got pins from Tryon, Logan Zitterbart (170) and Corey Boerio (182). Pins by Lucio Angelicchio (113) and Nate Roth (120) finished the match.

“I thought the lightweights did a nice job,” Parsley said. “But we didn’t get the effort from the middleweights and from our heavyweight.”

Greensburg Salem heavyweight Billy McChesney, No. 2 in the Tribune-Review rankings, had to hold off a late charge from Tyler Ross for a 6-5 victory. Ross nearly pinned McChesney in the second period.

Ciotti said he likes the progression of the team and feels their hard work is paying off.

“We were close the last two seasons, but we lost in the fifth-place match to Franklin Regional,” Ciotti said. “But it’s nice that they will get a chance to show off their talents in the playoffs. We’ve got better in every year since I started.”

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

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