Seneca Valley earns spot in Class AAA wrestling finals with dominant showing

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | 10:37 PM


Seneca Valley turned in two dominating performances Wednesday in the WPIAL Class AAA Team Tournament to earn a trip to the finals on Saturday.

But the Raiders (20-1) will need an even better performance if they want to win their first title. That will be a difficult task as they will face returning champion and No. 1-ranked Waynesburg at 2:30 p.m. at Canon-McMIllan. Waynesburg defeated North Allegheny, 51-9, in one semifinal.

Seneca Valley defeated Peters Township, 60-14, in the quarterfinals, and Connellsville, 42-24, in the semifinals.

Connellsville (7-4) reached the semifinals with a 46-18 victory against Penn-Trafford.

Seneca Valley raced out to 48-0 lead against Peters Township with eight consecutive pins. It jumped out 36-0 against Connellsville by collecting three pins, two forfeits and two tight decisions.

Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, Chanz Shearer and Antonio Amelio were held out of the Connellsville match after Seneca Valley had clinched victory.

“We battled. That’s the Connellsville way,” Connellsville coach Mike Yancosky said. “We always want to be in the team playoffs and getting to the semifinals and finish as high as we can.”

Connellsville got the best of Penn-Trafford thanks to pins from Dennis Nichelson (189), Michael Lancaster (215), Jacob Layton (106), Mason Prinkey (126), Jace Ross (132) and Jared Keslar (152).

“I just wanted the team to experience the team tournament,” Penn-Trafford coach A.J. Brentzel said. “We want this to be an annual event.

“I was really proud how they wrestled on Monday. They showed me something. We were outgunned (Wednesday). Connellsville has a nice team.”

Penn-Trafford received two forfeits at heavyweight and 113. Its other wins were by Wesley Stull (152) and Owen Ott (145). The match started at 152.

Stull gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead, but George Shultz gave the Falcons a 4-3 advantage with an 11-3 major decision victory against Ryan Bachar.

The lead quickly expanded to 16-3 with wins by Dennis Nichelson (189) and Michael Lancaster (215).

“This wasn’t the outcome we were looking for,” Brentzel said. “We kept battling and they kept fighting. That’s all I can ask for.”

Waynesburg 51, North Allegheny 9 — Luca Augustine (172), Noah Tustin (215) and Ryan Howard (285) recorded pins to turn an 8-3 lead into a rout for No. 1 Waynesburg in a WPIAL semifinal at Canon-McMillan. Joseph Simon (113) and Cole Homet (138) also had pins for the Raiders. Collin McCorkle had an overtime win for North Allegheny, which advanced to the semifinals with a 53-9 win over Thomas Jefferson.

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

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