Norwin’s Phipps, North Hills’ Hillegas eye 3rd WPIAL titles after semifinal victories

Saturday, March 2, 2019 | 4:00 PM

Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps and North Hills junior Sam Hillegas clinched a spot in the 2019 WPIAL Class AAA wrestling championship with wins in the semifinals Saturday at Canon-McMillan.

The duo is trying to join a large list of three-time WPIAL champions. That number is at 77 after Frazier junior Thayne Lawrence and McGuffey senior Christian Clutter joined the group at the WPIAL Class AA finals Feb. 16.

Phipps (33-2) majored Pine-Richland freshman Kelin Laffey, 9-0, and will face Belle Vernon senior Logan Seliga, a 5-0 winner against Hempfield sophomore Ethan Berginc, in the 120-pound finals Saturday night.

Hillegas (37-0) recorded his third pin of the tournament by decking Seneca Valley senior Jason Geyer at 1:57 at 132. He’ll face Latrobe junior Gabe Willochell (33-3) in the finals.

The other returning champions to reach the 5 p.m. finals were: Kiski Area senior Cam Connor (152), Kiski Area junior Jack Blumer (160) and Belle Vernon senior Scott Joll (182).

Penn-Trafford senior Nick Coy (33-4) qualified for his fourth trip to Hershey by defeating Pine-Richland junior Nathan Lukez, 3-0, at 138. He’ll get a Section 1 final rematch with Hempfield sophomore Ty Linsenbigler (35-4), who defeated Seneca Valley junior Drew Vlasnik, 9-1.

Coy won the Section 1 final, 3-2.

Another Section 1 rematch is at 126, where Kiski Area senior Darrin Miller faces Franklin Regional senior Colton Camacho. Miller has beaten Camacho twice this season, both times 45-3.

Returning PIAA champion Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, the 106 champion, is in the 113 final against Hempfield senior Kyle Burkholder.

The only No. 1 seed to lose was Mt. Lebanon junior Jackson Gray, who fell to Seneca Valley sophomore Antonio Amelio.

The second seeds to fall in the semifinals were: Kiski Area junior Nick Delp (170), Hampton sophomore Justin Hart (195), Hempfield junior Dillon Ferretti (220) and Hempfield sophomore heavyweight Isaiah Vance.

Here’s a look at the semifinal results:

106: Carter Dibert, Franklin Regional dec. Costa Moore, Canon-McMillan, 5-0; Dylan Chappell, Seneca Valley dec. Mason Prinkey, Connellsville, 5-4.

113: Alejandro Herrera, Seneca Valley dec. Finn Solomon, Franklin Regional, 3-0; Kyle Burkholder, Hempfield dec. Jimmy Baxter, Canon-McMillan, 5-2.

120: Kurtis Phipps, Norwin major dec. Kelin Laffey, Pine Richland, 9-0; Logan Seliga, Belle Vernon dec. Ethan Berginc, Hempfield, 5-0.

126: Darren Miller, Kiski Area dec. Jared Keslar, Connellsville, 8-2; Colton Camacho, Franklin Regional dec. Kenny Hayman, Canon-McMillan, 7-3.

132 Sam Hillegas, North Hills p. Jason Geyer, Seneca Valley, 1:57; Gabe Willochell, Latrobe dec. John Altieri, Norwin, 9-2.

138: Nick Coy, Penn Trafford dec. Nathan Lukez, Pine Richland, 3-0; Ty Linsenbigler, Hempfield major dec. Drew Vlasnik, Seneca Valley, 9-1.

145: Antonio Amelio, Seneca Valley dec.Jackson Gray, Mt. Lebanon, 5-0; Trey Howard, Waynesburg dec. Jack Pletcher, Latrobe, 1-0.

152: Cam Connor, Kiski Area dec. Luca Augustine, Waynesburg, 3-2; Alex Weber, Thomas Jefferson dec. Cole Spencer, Pine Richland, 2-0.

160: Jack Blumer, Kiski Area p. Colby Morris, Waynesburg, 1:43; Jake Richardson, Mars major dec. Ty McGeary, West Allegheny, 12-2.

170: Gerrit Nijenhuis, Canon-McMillan p. Jeff Markert, Peters Township, 2:44; Jon Hoover, North Allegheny dec. Nick Delp, Kiski Area, 4-3.

182: Luke Stout, Mt. Lebanon dec. Brandon Matthews, Peters Township, 10-4; Scott Joll, Belle Vernon major dec. Cole Whitmer, Trinity, 14-5.

195: Max Shaw, Thomas Jefferson dec. Logan Harmon, Armstrong, 9-5; Luke Montgomery, Bethel Park dec. Justin Hart, Hampton, 7-2.

220: Ogden Atwood, Armstrong p. Trent Patrick, Greensburg Salem, 6:39; Ryan Weinzen, Norwin dec. Dillon Ferretti, Hempfield, 6-2.

285: Jake Slinger, Upper St. Clair p. Quentin Franklin, South Fayette, 2:48; Nathan Hoaglund, Mt. Lebanon dec. Isaiah Vance, Hempfield, 3-2.

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

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