No. 10 Norwin wrestling opens season by upending No. 4 Latrobe

Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | 10:05 PM

Norwin’s wrestling team made quite a statement Wednesday night in their Class 3A Section 2-B opener.

That statement was: “Watch out for us.”

The No. 10-ranked Knights won their final four bouts and defeated No. 4 Latrobe, 40-27.

Norwin (2-0, 1-0) won eight matches, which included pins from Josh Page (215 pounds), Gabe Conroy (126), A.J. Hewitt (145) and Chance Kranitz (160).

Knights first-year coach Kyle Martin said everyone wrestled well, but he pointed out big wins by Luke Passarelli (126), Hewitt and Tanner Babeo (172).

“Everyone did their job,” Martin said. “That’s what the coaches were preaching all week, ‘Just do your job,’ and everyone did. They wrestled hard. They were focused and hustled back to the center, and John Altieri was a beast.”

The match was close early as the Wildcats (0-1) collected pins from Chad Boerio (189), heavyweight Tyler Lynch, returning state champion Vincent Kilkeary (113) and Nate Roth (132).

Latrobe lead 27-21 after Gabe Golden defeated Colton Minerva, 8-3, at 138, but then Hewitt fought off an aggressive early attack from Vincent Leone to record a first-period pin and tie the score at 27.

“I think everyone was excited to wrestle,” Latrobe coach Mark Mears said. “Sure you want to win the match, but you could see conditioning isn’t where it needs to be.

“They wrestled well. They won a couple of the big key matches where they got bonus points where we were hoping not only to stay close but win.”

Mears said 126 and 145 were two matches where he expected his team to perform better.

“We have a lot of young starters who haven’t wrestled in nearly 12 months,” Mears said. “We have a lot of work to do. I didn’t see a lack of effort.”

After Hewitt’s pin tied the score, Altieri gave the Knights the lead for good, 31-27, with a 13-1 major decision against Jack Pletcher at 152. Kranitz sealed the win with a pin of Payton Henry at 160.

“I don’t know when the last time we beat Latrobe,” Altieri said. “This was awesome.”

It’s going to be a busy week for Norwin. It will face Mt. Lebanon on Friday, compete in the Winter Mayhem at Monroeville on Saturday, face Penn-Trafford on Monday and go to Hempfield on Wednesday.

Latrobe is competing in the Canon-McMillan Duals on Saturday against the Big Macs, Erie Prep and Connellsville.

Altieri said it was awesome to get the first section win for Martin.

“We have to stay determined,” Altieri said. “We’re all pretty talented team, but of we strayed determined and keep our heads on straight, I think we’re going to open up a lot of eyes.”

They sure opened Latrobe’s eyes.

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

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