By Lynn Saternow
Allied News Sports Editor
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Lakeview High heavyweight Sam Breese already had a state gold medal hung around his neck last season, but there was one important medal he had never worn — that of a District 10 champion.
That ended Saturday at the District 10 Class AA Championships at Sharon High School when Breese defeated Reynolds Gene Ringer, 7-3.
“This was his first district title so he has the monkey off his back,” said a happy Lakeview Coach Tom Tingley. “Now it’s on to regions and state.”
As far as Allied News area wrestlers go, Breese was joined in the winner’s circle by Mercer sophomore ace Colton Smith, who copped the 220-pound title.
“We knew he had the talent to do something and that’s what we talked about with him this week,” said Mercer Coach Rick Whenry. “We knew he had a chance to do something at 220. We haven’t had a champ in a while. And Preston Hoover had a great tournament too. We’re proud of both of them.”
Hoover finished second at 113 after a tough 5-3 overtime loss, while Lakeview’s Marquis Spence also lost in overtime (3-2) in the 195 tilt tilt.
Here’s a look at the finals results involving those matmen:
113 – Section 3 champ Faris Messai of Jamestown battled back from an early 3-0 deficit to send the match with Mercer’s Preston Hoover (24-9) in overtime. Messai scored a takedown in the sudden victory period to notch a 5-3 win. Messai (27-4) pinned Section 2 winner Seth Hogue of Reynolds in the semis. Hoover beat Jase Paxson of Greenville, 4-0, in his semis bout.
195 – It was an overtime battle here between Marquis Spence of Lakeview and Garrett Reinwald of Fort LeBoeuf. The regulation match ended 1-1 and it was 2-2 heading into the ultimate tie breaker session. Reinwald (36-7) escaped with 10 seconds left for a 3-2 triumph over the Sailor junior (25-6).
In the semis, Spence edged Ryan Morris of Corry, 4-3.
220 – Mercer’s Colton Smith took on Conneaut Area’s Connor Overman, a senior who took up wrestling this year for the first time. With the score tied at 1-1 in the third period, Smith notched a takedown with a headlock, but Overman reversed to knot the count at 3. Smith gained a penalty point for locked hands and then an escape. The Mustang (21-10) held on for a 5-3 win.
In the semis, Smith pinned Troy Pusateri of Seneca.
285 – Lakeview’s undefeated big man Sam Breese (29-0) didn’t win a district title last year, but he went on to win state. He’s hoping for the double dip this season after defeating Reynolds sophomore Gene Ringer (33-11) for a second straight win in a finals bout. Last week he pinned Ringer, but this one went the distance with Breese winning 7-3.
“He wrestled a good tournament even though he’s been a little bit sick this week,” said Lakeview mentor Tingley. “He beat (Fort LeBoeuf’s) Nate Conti in the semis and he’s ranked third in the state. And Ringer is a good wrestler too.”
ä The top six wrestlers in each weight class advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament which opens Friday at Sharon High School.
Grove City had three qualifiers: Luke Walter, 3rd at 132; Jared Sample, 5th at 145; and Kenny Bable, 3rd at 160.
ä Coach Casey Taylor’s Reynolds Raiders advanced 13 of 14 wrestlers through the Championships and won the team total with 222 points. Finishing second was Greenville (158) and the Trojans are advancing 10.
It was the 20th D-10 title for Reynolds since team points were officially counted starting in 1981.
The Raiders posted 3 champions, led by two-time winners Michael Bartolo (126) and Levi Stoyer (145).
Saegertown’s Tyler Vath (132) notched his third straight crown, while adding a second title were Vath’s teammate Dylan Reynolds (182) and Fort LeBoeuf’s George McGuire (138).
First-time champions other than Smith and Breese were: Gage Bayless (106), Reynolds; Faris Messai (113), Jamestown; Jarrette Carter (120) and Garrett Reinwald (195), Fort LeBoeuf; Robert Boozer (152), Cochranton; Gage Gladysz (160), Greenville; Dakota Geer (170), Franklin.