By Lynn Saternow
Allied News Sports Editor
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Allied News area wrestlers made a solid showing Saturday in the Section 2-AA Wrestling Championships at Sharon High School, led by 3 champions — Sam Breese (285) of Lakeview, Luke Walter (132) of Grove City and Dave Huselton (120) of Slippery Rock.
Breese defeated Slippery Rock’s Forrest Christman, 2-1, in the finals in a clash of two of the state’s better heavweights. Other local runners-up were Lakeview”s Evan Clayton (106) and Marquis Spence (170), Mercer’s Rodney Brant (138) and Colton Smith (220), Grove City’s Trey Maher (145),
Reynolds recorded its 43rd section team title, posting 248.5 points and advancing all 14 wrestlers to the District 10 Class AA Championships this coming weekend at Sharon High. The two four finishers in each weight moved on.
Leading the way for the Blue and Gray were seniors Austin Matthews (152) and Jamar Henry (182). Matthews recorded his 4th section crown and Henry his third. Other Raiders to reach the top of the medal stand were: Seth Hogue (106), Mason McCollum (126), Levi Stoyer (145), Logan Rickert (220).
Sharpsville’s Ben BuCher (160) annexed his third section crown and could become a 4-timer next season. Other winners Saturday were: Cody Buchanan (113) and Michael Bonner (138), both of Sharon; Chris Matthews (170), Franklin; Sharpsville’s Cody Hughes (195).
Following is a look at the tournament by weight class:
106 – Reynolds freshman Seth Hogue (25-11) nailed an early takedown on Lakeview senior Evan Clayton (24-6) and made it hold up for a 4-1 victory over the tourney top seed. Hogue defeated second-seed Justin Walter of Hickory in the semis.
113 – Sharon senior Cody Buchanan (23-4), a section winner in 2011, grabbed a takedown with 1 second left in the opening period on Raider Mike Bartolo (23-7) for the lead and never trailed on his way to a 6-3 win. It was Buchanan’s 100th career win.
120 – Slippery Rock junior Dave Huselton (25-5), the top seed, dumped Raider Nick Nottingham to his back on the first-period takedown for a 5-0 lead. In the second period, the unseeded Nottingham hit a Peterson in the second period for a reveral and back points to tie the count at 5. They then traded reverals for a 7-all deadlock at the third-period turn. The final frame was a series of neutrals and takedowns with the Rocket ace prevailing in a 12-8 thriller.
126 – Sharon junior standout Jarray Norris saw his bid for a third straight title sidelined by a determined Reynolds junior Mason McCollum. Norris led 6-5 late in the match, but McCollum picked up a takedown with a leg cradle and held on for a 7-6 upset victory. Norris fell to 28-2, while McCollum moved to 25-13 after wrestling much of the year at 132.
132 – A pair of sophomores, Grove City’s Luke Walter and West Middlesex’s Gavin Kroesen squared off in a tight bout that ended 3-3 in regulation. Walter (25-7) hit a single leg takedown in OT for a 5-3 victory.
138 – Sharon senior Michael Bonner put on a takedown clinic against Mercer sophomore Rodney Brant. The lightning quick Tiger notched 13 takedowns en route to a 27-12 technical fall in 4:37. Bonner moved to 28-2 on the year.
145 – Grove City senior Trey Maher led 2-1 after the opening period against Reynolds junior Levi Stoyer and built a 5-1 margin. But Stoyer roared back and deadlocked it at 5 in the final frame. Stoyer (33-6) came up with a 3-point tilt in the final 10 seconds for an 8-5 triumph.
152 – Raider senior superstar Austin Matthews, a three-time state place-winner, grabbed a cradle off the takedown on Franklin freshman Dakota Geer for a 5-0 lead. Matthews (39-1) went on to a 16-0 tech fall in 3:53.
160 – Sharpsville junior Ben BuCher (31-4) picked up his third crown with a hardfought, workmanlike victory over Mike Millero of Reynolds. BuCher notched the first takedown en route to a 3-1 win. “He’s the first three-time champ for Sharpsville, I believe,” said a proud Blue Devils coach John Whalen. “He’s patient and very methodical, he doesn’t make many mistakes. We’d like to get a district title next and set outselves up for regions. We’d like to eat some chocolate this year.”
170 – Franklin senior Chris Matthews (28-4) only needed 3:45 to record the first fall of the night in the finals, decking Lakeview sophomore Marquis Spence. This marked Franklin’s first appearance in the AA tournament after several years in Class AAA.
182 – Raider Jamar Henry picked up a trifecta of section crowns with a tough, 3-2 triumph over Hickory’s Joe Hines. Henry (32-8) scored an escape and takedown in the second period for a 3-0 front and made it hold up. He had to battle off a single leg takedown shot at the end of the match for the win over Hines (25-5).
195 – A pair of seniors, Franklin’s Dan Geer and Sharpsville’s Cody Hughes, tangled here. With the bout tied at 1 in the third period Hughes spun behind for a takedown. He went on to win 3-2 for a second Blue Devil championship of the evening.
220 – Mercer freshman Colton Smith came in as top seed, but was overpowered by Reynolds’ Logan Rickert. Rickert led 7-1 after one period and 14-2 after two on his way to a 19-5 win.
285 – This was one of the most anticipated matches of the night as two of the top heavyweights in the state went at it – Slippery Rock senior Forrest Christmann and Lakeview junior Sam Breese. Christmann (26-3), who defeated Breese during the season, scored a second period escape after a scoreless opening frame. However, Breese (27-3) picked up a reversal in the third and rode out for the 2-1 victory.
Team totals: Reynolds (R) 248.5; Sharpsville (SV) 108; Mercer (Mr) 101; Franklin (F) 99.5;Sharon (Sn) 97.5; Lakeview (L) 88.5; Grove City (GC) 67.5; Hickory (H) 55; Slippery Rock (SR) 55; West Middlesex (WM) 32.
106 – Seth Hogue (R) dec. Evan Clayton (L), 4-1.
113 – Cody Buchanan (Sn) dec. Mike Bartolo (R), 6-3
120 – Dave Huselton (SR) dec. Nick Nottingham (R), 12-8
126 – Mason McCollum (R) dec. Jarray Norris (Sn), 7-6
132 – Luke Walter (GC) dec. Gavin Kroesen (WM), 5-3 OT
138 – Michael Bonner (Sn) tech fall Rodney Brant (Mr), 27-12, 4:37
145 – Levi Stoyer (R) dec. Trey Maher (GC), 8-5
152 – Austin Matthews (R) pinned Dakota Geer (F), 16-0, 3:53
160 - Ben BuCher (Sv) dec. Mike Millero (R ), 3-1.
170 – Chris Matthews (F) pinned Marquis Spence (L), 3:45
182 – Jamar Henry (R) dec. Joe Hines (H), 3-2
195 – Cody Hughes (Sv) dec. Dan Geer (F), 3-2
220 - Logan Rickert (R) maj. dec. Colton S mith (Mr), 19-5
285 – Sam Breese (L) dec. Forrest Christmann (SR), 2-1
106 – Jason Walter (H) dec. Preston Hoover (Mr), 2-0; 113 – Austin Szugye (Sv) dec. Austin King (Mr), 4-2 OT; 120 – Jake Heim (L) pinned Dreux Harper (F), 2:53; 126 – Ryan Grace (GC) pinned Stanford Dessaw (H), 2:38; 132 – Cam Cianci (R) dec. Troy Hejazi (Sn), 5-3 OT; 138 – Matt Leise (R) dec. Chris Enos (Sv), 3-1; 145 – Andrew Campbell (Sn) dec. John Sims (H), 6-2; 152 – Alex Shaffer (Mr) dec. Chet Simoni (GC), 4-0; 160 – Clay Ruffo (Mr) pinned Derek Steetle (F), 4:34; 170 – Austin Moffett (R) maj. dec. Zane Wolf (SR), 17-6; 182 – Chris Mueller (Sv) dec. Ryan Brunson (Mr), 3-1 TB; 195 – Denton Zeronas (R) pinned Andrew Clayton (L), 2:11; 220 – Jake Llewellyn (R ) dec. Jeff Rial (F), 7-4; 285 – Gene Ringer (R ) pinned Kaleb Robertson (Sv), 1:34.