WPIAL Class 2A wrestlers begin postseason quest at section tournaments

Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 7:47 PM

Every wrestler who takes the mat wants to win. That doesn’t always happen, but this is the time of the season when individuals are in survival mode.

Missing out on first place at this stage doesn’t mean the end of any and all hopes.

WPIAL high school wrestlers in Class 2A began their quest for gold Saturday in three section tournaments. Class 3A wrestlers begin their grind Feb. 25.

Greensburg Salem senior Christian McChesney won a section title at the Eastern Sectional by defeating Burrell’s Luke Boylan, 4-2, in the 215-pound final.

Derry Area’s Anthony Mucci, Brett Klim and Nathan Barkley reached the finals with the hopes of winning titles but came up short.

“Advancing to the next tournament is the main goal,” Mucci said. “I was hoping for a better result. He’s pretty good, but I feel I’m better prepared.”

Baker, however, caught Mucci and pinned him in the first period.

“My goal is to place at states,” Mucci said. “It won’t be easy. There a lot of good players at 107 pounds.”

Klim lost a close battle to Indiana’s Carter Putt, 5-3. In the semifinals, Klim was able to defeat Burrell’s Calio Zanella, 7-2, for the first time.

“Beating Calio was a big deal,” Klim said. “He had beaten me twice this season. So it was nice to a get a win. I want to get to Hershey.”

Barkley’s goal is to make regionals. He was beaten in the 172-pound final by Burrell’s Isaac Lacinski.

“I’m pleased how things turned out,” Derry coach Troy Dolan said. “We were hoping to qualify four, and we advanced six. All the guys are working hard.”

Burrell advanced 12 of 13 wrestlers.

Bucs coach Josh Shields said he was hoping all 13 advanced to the WPIAL championship Feb. 24 and 25 at Chartiers Valley.

“We bounced back well from the PIAA team championship last week,” Shields said. “I felt the kids wrestled well.”

The Bucs had five section champions: Baker, Julian Bertucci (114), Cooper Hornack (127), Niko Ferra (139) and Lacinski. Others to advance were Boylan, Calio Zanella (third at 121), Cam Martin (third at 189), Ian Quinn (fifth at 285), Jake Stewart (third at 133), Nico Zanella (third at 160) and Steve Hasson (fourth at 145).

Highlands advanced eight to next week. Tyler Bender won at 189 pounds, and Aiden Burford (139) and Noah Leslie (285) finished second.

Valley advanced seven and had three second-place finishers: Ryan Long (145), Kyren Veasley (152) and Chuck Perkins (160).

Greensburg Salem advanced six wrestlers, Ligonier Valley five and Riverview three.

Southern Sectional

Junior Jamison Poklembo was the only Mt. Pleasant wrestler to win a section title when he edged Burgettstown’s Gaven Suica, 3-1, in the 133-pound final.

Sean Cain (121) and Dylan Pitzer (215) placed second as the Vikings advanced seven.

The biggest upset of the section was by Southmoreland heavyweight Mason Neiderhiser, who defeated Burgettstown’s Joey Baronick, 5-4, in the semifinals and then pinned Washington’s Joe Wilson in the finals. The Scotties advanced five.

Belle Vernon had three wrestlers advance, Yough one and Frazier seven, including champions Jonah Erdely (145) and Rune Lawrence (189). Ryan Celaschi (152) and Jackson Angelo (160) placed second.

Northern Sectional

Montour crowned three section champions at Keystone Oaks and sent 12 wrestlers through to the WPIAL tournament. Anthony Orlandini (127) and Peter Chacon (133) had pins in the finals and Riley Hensley, (172) won a decision.

Avonworth, Central Valley and Quaker Valley each crowned two champions. Luke Hollywood (139) and Auston Kosanovic (114) won for the Antelopes, Antonio Boni (107) and Brenan Morgan (215) for the Warriors and Jack Kazalas (121) and Logan Richey (145) for the Quakers.

Hopewell’s Isaiah Pisano (152), Carlynton’s Chase Brandebura (160), South Side’s Slayton Williams (189) and Keystone Oaks’ Christian Flaherty (285) also won section titles.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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