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Plethora of Pins Pave the Way to Saturday’s WPIAL Finals Matchups

Plethora of Pins Pave the Way to Saturday’s WPIAL Finals Matchups

As the team portion of the 2021 PIAA wrestling postseason continued on Wednesday evening, Feb. 10, fans witnessed more of what they have been privy to all season – utter dominance by No. 1 Waynesburg Central Class 3A) and No. 1 Burrell (Class 2A).

Top-seeded Waynesburg (12-0), the defending champion in Class 3A and a favorite to repeat, earned its 10th trip to the WPIAL finals with a dominant 51-9 victory over No. 5 ranked North Allegheny (13-3) in a semifinal match held at Waynesburg.

North Allegheny fought hard, but the match was never close.  Waynesburg jumped out to a 42-3 lead with pins by Luca Augustine (172), Noah Tustin (215), Ryan Howard (285) and Joseph Simon (113). Cole Homet’s  also secured a pin at 138 to close the match.

North Allegheny’s lone wins came at 160, when Collin McCorkle beat Nate Stephenson 3-1 in overtime. The remaining six points came via a forfeit win at 126.

No. 2 Seneca Valley (20-1) earned its third consecutive trip to the finals with a 42-24 semifinal win at home over No. 7 Connellsville (7-4).

Seneca too used a string of early falls to create and early lead over  Connellsville, one SV would never relinquish. Because of  pins by Manuel Santos (172), Liam Volk-Klos (189), T.J. Border (215), and Dylan Chappell (132), the Raiders got off to a 36-0 start.

The Raiders also saw a bit of school history made in the process. Chappell’s pin was the 67th of his career, which broke the school record of 66.

“It’s an honor to make it to the finals again,” Seneca Valley coach Kevin Wildrick said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette following the victory. “To be in that position three years in a row speaks to the hard work these guys have been putting in.”

“It will be an uphill battle against Waynesburg on Saturday,” Wildrick continued, referring to a 42-12 loss to Waynesburg this season.

The Class 3A title match will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 13.

In Class 2A, Burrell (11-1), the top seed and 14-time defending Class 2A champion, earned its 19th consecutive trip to the finals with a 41-27 semifinal win over No. 4 Quaker Valley (13-6).

Burrell crafted its 22-3 opening lead with pins by Ian Oswalt (138) and A.J. Corrado (160) and a major decision by Aaron Edwards (145).

Quaker Valley’s trio of Conner Redinger (189), Patrick Cutchember (215), and Amir McCracken (285) recorded pins in the next three bouts to cut Burrell’s lead to 22-21. The Quakers took a 27-22 lead when the Buccaneers forfeited at 106.

Burrell rallied from behind to win the final four bouts, including additional pins by Cooper Hornack (113) and Nicolas Salerno (132).

No. 2 Burgettstown (13-0) earned a return trip to the finals with a 48-11 semifinal win over No. 5 Beth-Center (15-3). It was the second time in three days the two teams faced off, as they met Monday in the Section 1 final with Burgettstown recording a 46-18 victory.

Noteworthy decisions included Gavin Suica (120) and Ryan Green (172) earing falls for Burgettstown in the rematch, while their Blue Devils teammate Tyler Berish (145) recorded a technical pin of his own.

The Class 2A title match will begin at noon on Feb. 13.

Both the Class 2A and Class 3A WPIAL finals matchups will showcase No. 1 vs. No. 2. While the 3A bout will be a repeat performance from earlier this season, the 2A teams – Burrell and Burgettstown – will be meeting for the first time this season. Both matches will take place at Canon-McMillan High School.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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