MERCER COUNTY AREA —
“One more step!”
Those were the words of Lakeview heavyweight Sam Breese after winning his second straight Northwest AA Regional Championship Saturday at Sharon High School.
Of course the step he referred to was the top of the medals stand at the PIAA State AA Championships this weekend at Hershey Giant Center.
Breese, who won the state 285 crown last season, is seeking to join an elite group of Pa. matmen to win more than one state crown.
Former Lakeview great Rod Wright, current coach at Boiling Springs, won three titles for the Sailors.
At regions, Breese won in a breese. He decked Ben Carillo of Redbank Valley in 1:42 for his second straight region crown in the finals.
“He went out and did the job,” said Lakeview coach Tom Tingley about his senior ace who moved to a perfect 32-0 on the season. “Last week he was battling the flu a little bit, but he really looked good this week. He’s back on track and ready for a repeat next week.”
Breese leads a group of 11 Mercer County grapplers to state. Two others are wearing region crowns: Reynolds senior Levi Stoyer (145) and freshman Cole Rickert (220). It was Stoyer’s second straight. Reynolds edged Brookville for its 17th team title in school history.
Breese was the only Allied News area wrestler to qualify for Hershey.
Moving on as runners-up are Reynolds’ Gage Bayless (106) and Michael Bartolo (126) as well as Jamestown’s Faris Messai (113).
Third-place finishers from the county also advancing are: Seth Hogue (113), Mike Millero (170) and Gene Ringer (285), all of Reynolds; Michael Lineman (106), Greenville; and Mohamed Messai (182), Jamestown.
Following is a look at the tourney finals:
106 – Reynolds freshman Gage Bayless took on Distict 9 champ Ryan Carlson of Brockway. Bayless (38-5) scored an early takedown and led 2-1 after one period. Carlson reversed in the second frame to lead, 3-2. The Raider chose neutral in the final frame, but Carlson notched a takedown for a 5-2 margin. Carlson (26-6) then rode out with legs for the victory. Greenville freshman Michael Lineman (39-6) punched his ticket to state by taking third place.
113 – Jamestown sophomore Faris Messai made the finals, but he was overpowered by Brookville sophomore ace Tayler Ortz. After no score in the first period, Ortz (34-3) hooked the Muskie on a roll-through and pinned Messai (29-5) in 2:24. Reynolds’ Seth Hogue, who lost 6-3 to Messai in the semis, came back to place third.
120 – Redbank Valley senior Willis Gruver (32-6) was trying for his third straight region title, but Fort LeBoeuf’s Jarrette Carter had other ideas. Carter notched a reversal with about 30 seconds to go and then hung on to defeat Gruver, 7-6. The Bison sophomore (30-8) now has a shot at a three-peat himself. Northwestern’s Matt Wheeler finished third.
126 – Reynolds junior Michael Bartolo squared off with Kane’s Cody Blankenship here. After no first period points, Blankenship reversed midway through the
period. However, Bartolo (33-9) also reversed later in the frame for a 2-2 tie after two. In the third, Bartolo escaped, but Blankenship came up with a quick takedown and a 4-3 lead. Blankenship (30-1) rode out the final seconds for the win. Redbank’s Tanner Altobelli pinned Sharon’s Austin Alfreno in the consy finals to spoil the Tiger senior’s hopes for a trip to Hershey. Alfreno had beaten Altobelli, 12-7, Friday night.
132 – Saegertown’s Tyler Vath has a chance to win four region crowns and join a very elite club. The Panthers’ junior ace (34-6) won his third with a hardfought 2-0 decision over Conneaut Area’s Kyle Lukowich (30-7). Brookville’s Dalton Zimmerman finished third.
138 – Brookville’s Brock Zacherl (37-2) notched a second D-10 title with a dominating performance against Fort LeBoeuf senior George McGuire, who won as a freshman. Zacherl scored early and often on his way to an 11-2 major decision. Third went to Nick Monico of Saegertown.
145 – This was the lone Reynolds-Brookville matchup of the finals as Raider Stoyer, defending region champ, faced Zach Vroman, who beat Stoyer, 3-2, in a regular season meeting. Stoyer drew blood first with a takedown and rode out the opening period. Stoyer then rode out the second period. Vroman put Stoyer on his feet with a 3-0 lead at the opening of the final frame. Stoyer fought off any takedown attempts for the triumph and a big surge for team points.
152 – Brookville’s Brodie Zacherl dominated Robert Boozer of Cochranton en route to an 11-2 decision, making Stoyer’s win loom even larger. Brad Malinowski of Fort LeBoeuf placed third, edging Reynolds’ Mason McCollum, 3-2, in the consy finals.
160 – Kyle Bova lost in the region and state finals to Reynolds’ Austin Matthews last season so the Coudersport senior is on a mission. Bova (32-0) demonstrated that by pinning Brookville’s Jimmy Miller in 1:28. Oswayo Valley’s Samuel Colbert topped Greenville sophomore Gage Gladysz, 2-1 in overtime to spoil the Trojan’s state hopes.
170 – Kane’s Evan Delong (32-0) won his third region title with a 6-2 victory over Franklin sophomore Dakota Geer (32-1). Reynolds junior Mike Millero finished third to earn a state trip.
182 – Saegertown’s Dylan Reynolds (37-4) won his second straight crown, but not in a way he would have liked. With the match tied 1-1 in the third period, Reynolds notched a takedown on Cranberry’s Zachery Bruce (33-1). Bruce injured his leg on the move and had to default in 4:32. Jamestown’s Mohamed Messai finished third with a 12-1 victory in the consy finals over Reynolds’ Austin Moffett.
195 – Corry’s Ryan Morris won a second region title here with a 6-4 decision over Zach Stafford (31-8) of Cambridge Springs. Morris (26-5) placed only 6th last week at districts, but defaulted to that level to heal from injury. Garrett Reinwald of Fort LeBoeuf topped Lakeview’s Marquis Spence, 3-1, with a sudden victory takedown in overtime in the consy finals.
220 – Reynolds freshman Cole Rickert (30-7) was trailing 3-1 in the second period, but hit a lateral drop and put Conneaut Area’s Connor Overman on his back to jump ahead 6-3 after two periods. Rickert went on to win 8-5 and add to the Raiders’ winning team score.
“He didn’t even make the team for the first match of the year, losing in wrestle-offs,” said Raider coach Taylor. “But he has been progressing all season long.”
Andrew Phelps of North East placed third. Phelps wasn’t even in the tournament after last weekend, but was inserted after District 10 champ Colton Smith of Mercer was pulled out.
Breese is the only Allied News area wrestler moving on to state.
Grove City’s Luke Walter (132), Jared Sample (145) and Kenny Bable (160) were all ousted during tourney action.
Mercer’s two regional qualifiers, Preston Hoover (113) and Colton Smith (220). Never made the mats. Hoover failed to make weight and Smith was pulled out of the tournament for undisclosed reasons.
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
“One more step!”
GC coach Bell retired — sort of!
You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
“My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.
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NCAA Football: Rock 6-1 after 17-3 win over Cal U
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