Miller pulls off upset; Kiski Area dominates Eastern Area Invitational again
By: Paul Schofield
Saturday, December 8, 2018 | 9:03 PM
Kiski Area senior Darrin Miller didn’t qualify for the PIAA Class AAA wrestling tournament in March, but if Saturday’s performance is an indication for this season, his family better make hotel reservations.
Miller defeated Franklin Regional senior and Pitt recruit Colton Camacho, 4-3, to win the 132-pound title at the Eastern Area Invitational at Gateway.
Camacho is the returning WPIAL Class AAA 132-pound champion and PIAA runner-up. Miller finished sixth in the WPIAL tournament at 120 pounds.
“This was a big win for me,” Miller said. “It will set up nicely for the rest of the season.
“I was seeded third, and winning shows me that I belong with the best in the state after not qualifying a year ago. This will help build my confidence.”
Miller used his strength and quickness against Camacho. He also earned the Outstanding Wrestler Award.
“I wasn’t expecting the OW,” Miller said. “It just feels great. I felt working hard in the room and outside of the room helped me. Not making the states last year pushes me hard so I can achieve my goals at the end of the season.”
Camacho said he was surprised my Miller’s strength.
“I let him dictate the match,” Camacho said. “I never took a shot until the third period and never got to my offense.
“I have to learn from this. It shows that anyone is beatable. I have to continue to work hard.”
While Camacho’s loss was a disappointment, Franklin Regional’s start in the finals was not.
Sophomore Carter Dibert pinned Connellsville freshman Chad Ozias in the second period to claim the title at 106, and freshman Finn Solomon followed with a pin of Gateway junior Evan Whiteside at 113.
Sophomore Garrett Thompson rallied with a reversal in the third period for a 5-4 victory against Kiski Area junior Dom Giordano at 120.
Kiski Area, however, claimed its fourth consecutive team title thanks to Miller’s upset victory.
The Cavaliers also got wins from senior Cam Connor at 152 and junior Nick Delp at 172. Kiski Area had seven finalists. Finishing second were junior Jack Blumer at 160, sophomore Brayden Roscosky at 195 and senior Troy Kuhn at 220.
“We had a good tournament,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “We still have guys working to get into the lineup. We were missing our regulars at 106, 182 and heavyweight.
“We knew Darren’s match with Colton would be a great one. Darren wrestled a really smart match. He did a great job staying within himself and in good position.”
Kiski Area is ranked No. 1 by TribHSSN. The Cavaliers finished with 241 points. Franklin Regional was second with 180 points followed by Mt. Lebanon (156), Penn-Trafford (154.5) and Altoona (149.5).
“We could have had a few more champions,” Heater said. “I felt Jack should have received a takedown that would have put the match into overtime, and Brayden was leading going into the third period. … Overall, I’m pleased.”
Another big match in the finals occurred at 145 in which Penn-Trafford senior and Virginia recruit Nick Coy edged Souderton senior Tyler Williams, 3-1. Coy secured a second-period takedown for the win.
It was a rematch from the PIAA fifth-place match last March. Coy won that one, 3-0.
“It was finally nice to win a title here,” Coy said. “I’ve never been atop the podium before. It was a solid tournament.
“I love this tournament before all of the local talent. This is always a tough tournament and good early competition. I wanted to get off to a good start.”
The other champions were: Altoona sophomore Matt Sarbo at 126, DuBois junior Ed Scott at 138, West Allegheny’s Ty McGeary at 160, Mt. Lebanon junior Luke Stout at 182, Trinity junior Cole Whitmer at 195, Altoona senior Nate Simmers at 220 and Valley senior heavyweight Dave Schuffert, who edged Mt. Lebanon senior Nathan Hoaglund, 3-2.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.
Tags: Kiski Area