HERSHEY - Ty Dively is a veteran of the PIAA Class AA Championships. He's been to the Giant Center three times now, but this is the first year he left with a medal around his neck.
The Claysburg-Kimmel junior finished fourth at 125 pounds, losing to Shady Side Academy's Geoff Alexander, 6-0, in the finals.
Alexander, who had pinned Dively last week at the Southwest Regional Tournament, came within a whisker of winning a state title as he lost to Reynolds' eventual champion Mason Beckman in the ultimate tiebreaker in the semifinals.
Photo for the Mirror by Jeff Fishbein
Tyrone’s Ronnie Garbinsky (left) shoots for the leg of Michael DePalma of Jeannette in the 135-pound seventh-place match.
"I really can't complain about getting fourth in the state," Dively said. "At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to place, and top four is pretty nice. I achieved what I wanted to do, and then I exceeded it by a little bit."
"Ty wrestled Alexander tough," C-K coach Dave Marko said. "Alexander is maybe the best kid in the state. If you watched the match last night between him and Beckman, there would be an awfully lot of people who would argue that Alexander should have won that match."
Dively finished the season with a 44-5 record, and he said he was already looking forward to his senior season.
Silver: Evan Link, Penn Cambria, 112
Fourth: Ty Dively, Claysburg-Kimmel, 125
Fifth: Ryan Easter, Bedford, 103; Ben Rager, Central Cambria, 125
Sixth: Joel Suter, Northern Bedford, 215
Seventh: Ronnie Garbinsky, Tyrone, 135; Anthony Risaliti, Central Cambria, 152; David Kephart, Portage, 189; Quinton Hixson, Northern Bedford, 285
Eighth: Corey Aungst, Claysburg-Kimmel, 145; Shane Morris, Central Cambria, 285
"Hopefully I can make the finals," he said, "and winning the championship would be real nice."
Dively was the second highest placer of the 11 area placewinners who wrestled just once Saturday. Central Cambria's Ben Rager placed fifth at the same weight. Bedford's Ryan Easter took fifth at 103, while Northern Bedford's Joel Suter was sixth at 215.
Tyrone's Ronnie Garbinsky (135), Central Cambria's Tony Risaliti (152), Portage's David Kephart (189) and Northern Bedford's Quinton Hixson (285) finished seventh, while C-K's Corey Aungst (145) and Central Cambria's Shane Morris (285) placed eighth.
Rager (37-3), the District 6 champ and Southwest runner-up, finished off his junior season with a 6-3 win over Bethlehem Catholic's Jaydon Rice, scoring three points in the third on an escape and takedown.
The end of Easter's win was confusing but also satisfying for the Bison freshman. Trailing 3-0 to Saucon Valley's Bryan Israel, Easter (36-5) scored a takedown and got two late nearfall points that weren't clearly called. So, instead of a 3-2 loss, Easter won, 4-3.
"Once I took him down, I thought I was back in the match," Easter said. "Then I turned him."
"It's always great to end the tournament with a win," Bedford coach Brian Creps said, "and he wrestled right to the end."
Easter became the first Bedford freshman to place at states since 1944.
Suter, who knocked off Lackawanna's defending state champ Eric Laytos in the quarterfinals, dropped a 4-3 decision to Fort LeBoeuf's Brandon Bradney. Suter scored the opening takedown, but he was reversed to his back to fall behind, 4-2. Suter, a senior who finished 26-4, rode the entire second and third periods but didn't score back points.
"Joel thought he was winning, I guess," said NBC coach Jan Clark, who announced his resignation Saturday. "When he came off the mat, he said 'I thought I was winning.' I don't know what his thought process was, but it is what it is."
Hixson (33-8) had lost to Morris (34-8) the previous week at the Southwest Regional, but this time, after a scoreless first period, the NBC junior reversed St. Francis University football recruit to his back with a side roll and pinned him in 2:20.
"That was great," Hixson said. "I lost to him twice in my career, and it was real nice to finally get him."
Garbinsky, who had placed fourth twice and fifth in his previous three trips, was dominant against Jeannette's Michael DePalma in the seventh-place bout. After beating him 1-0 last week, Garbinsky hammered DePalma, 13-3, in the seventh-place bout.
"That looked more like Ronnie," Tyrone coach Blair Packer said. "He was very aggressive, and that's the only way he knows how to wrestle really."
Garbinsky finished his senior season with a 38-3 record and his career with a 157-12 mark.
Risaliti (35-3), a junior, scored four points in the third period to beat Mercer's J.T. Mannozzi, 6-4. He was the second of the three Red Devil placers.
"I could not be prouder of the three of them right now," CC coach Bob Nikolishen said. "Tony's plan next year is to make a statement. He's a fighter from head to toe. Benny Rager finally pulled his weapons out that last match. he started pulling out the offense he knows how to use."
Kephart (36-4) suffered a controversial loss to Southmoreland's Jordan Kitta at regionals, but the senior avenged that loss with a 3-1 win in the seventh-place finals.
"I can't take away the regional title from the kid because he beat me there," Kephart said, "but to come here and redeem what I lost at regionals is huge. Makes me able to sleep at night better."
"It wasn't his expectation," Portage coach Adam Whetstone said, "but I think he did a good job considering he went 0-4 the last two years down here."
Aungst (42-7), a senior whose sister, Kristen, died in a car accident before the season started, was beating Bentworth's Francis Mizia, but Mizia took him down to his back and pinned him in 2:19.
"This year has been crazy," Aungst said, "especially everything with my sister. I got my goal just to place, but it wasn't enough once I finally got there."