Miller finishes second at Powerade; Kiski sets record

By: HSSN Staff
Saturday, December 29, 2018 | 11:33 PM

Kiski Area senior Darren Miller knew he faced a tough opponent in the 2018 Powerade Wrestling Tournament finals.

That’s because it was good friend and practice partner Sam Hillegas of North Hills, a two-time WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion.

So when he fell behind early in the match, Miller knew he had an uphill climb.

“Sam is an animal on top,” Miller said. “Sam is pretty good, to say the least. It just didn’t go the way I needed it.”

Hillegas used a first-period takedown and an escape in the third period to defeat Miller, 3-2, in the 132-pound final. Miller got a takedown with 10 seconds left but didn’t have enough time to do add to his total.

“I had to change my attack after he got up because he is so tough on top,” Miller said. “But overall, it was a good tournament. I felt like I wrestled great on the first day and had a tough match in the semifinals.”

Miller said he learned a lot from the tournament, and it gave him some things to work on in the practice room.

Hillegas, who won his second Powerade title.

“It’s tough facing your practice partner,” he said. “Darren is very good, and we’re familiar with each other. That is why he is tough to turn. We’re good friends, and we travel together. It was a good match, and there is a lot of respect between us.”

Three other wrestlers won their second titles: Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps at 120, Chestnut Ridge senior Jared McGill at 170 and Parkersburg South (W.Va.) junior Braxton Amos at 220.

Kiski Area finished fourth in the team standings with 134 points behind St. Edwards (Ohio) 196, Oak Park River Forest (Ill.) 170 and Parkersburg South 136.

The Cavaliers had a record five placewinners, and each finished in the top five.

Senior Cam Connor finished third at 152, sophomore Brayden Roscosky was fourth at 195, junior Nick Delp was fourth at 170 and junior Jack Blumer was fifth at 160.

“We had an impressive showing,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “We brought 10 kids here, and five finished top five. A lot of guys got better on the second day.”

Heater was especially pleased with Roscosky’s tournament.

“He’s capable of this every tournament,” Heater said. “He’s adjusting to level of competition. This tournament will make us better. I was happy how Jack finished with a solid effort against West Allegheny’s Ty McGeary. He stayed in great position and took advantage of his opportunities.”

Burrell had two placewinners: Sophomore Ian Oswalt finished fourth at 120, and senior Bryan Gaul placed eighth at 132. The Bucs finished 24th overall.

Gaul said he always wanted to be a Powerade champion. He settled for an eighth-place finish in the prestigious tournament.

“It was good to get back on the mat,” Gaul said about sitting out earlier this season with an injury. “I’m satisfied. I felt I wrestled well. I’m looking forward to the (Westmoreland) county tournament next week.”

Burrell coach Josh Shields was pleased with his team’s performance but said there is plenty of room for improvement.

“It wasn’t bad. It’s a tough tournament,” Shields said. “That’s why we come, to face good competition.

“I thought Ian wrestled well. He lost a couple close matches to good kids. Bryan also had a solid tournament. We’ll learn from this. There are things to work on.”

Phipps rallied in the third period to defeat Stroudsburg senior Cameron Enriquez, 6-5.

Seneca Valley sophomore Alejandro Herrera-Rondon used an escape in overtime to defeat Saint Paul’s (Md.) senior Kurt McHenry, 2-1, in a battle of top-four wrestlers in the country. Herrera-Rondon was ranked No. 4 by FloWrestling and McHenry No. 2.

Thomas Jefferson senior Max Shaw used three takedowns, two in the final 10 seconds, to get by Cedar Cliff senior Donovon Ball, 7-2, to win the 195 title.

Parkersburg South (W.Va.) junior Braxton Amos, ranked No. 1 in the country at 220 pounds, overpowered Derry senior Dom DeLuca, 11-2, to win his second consecutive title.

Seneca Valley sophomore Dylan Chappell fell to Reynolds sophomore Gary Steen, 5-3, at 106. Steen is the reigning Class AA state champion at 106.

McGuffey senior Christian Clutter dropped a 4-2 sudden-victory decision to Chestnut Ridge senior Jared McGill at 170. It was McGill’s second title.

McGill got a takedown in the first overtime for the win, but Clutter wasn’t awarded an escape with 30 seconds left to the disappointment for the crowd and McGuffey coach Mark Caffrey.

The feature match — and last of the night — saw Erie Prep senior and returning state champion Carter Starocci edge Canon-McMillan junior Gerrit Nijenhuis, 5-2, at 182.

After the match, officials had to separate the duo after words were exchanged.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at [email protected] or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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