The final four of the District 5 Duals and the District 6 Duals will be wrestled on Saturday at Chestnut Ridge and Tyrone, respectively, and the intensity figures to be pretty high at both venues.
It appears Ridge is the No. 1 seed, Bedford is the No. 2 seed, and Berlin Brothersvalley, which just cruised to the Thomas Subaru Tournament title, is the No. 3 seed. The points cutoff for the teams is tonight, although with some schools canceling classes because of the bone-chilling cold, it's not clear if that will be extended.
Bedford is scheduled to wrestle a tripleheader tonight at home in an effort to get the matches in, taking on Johnstown at 6 p.m., Claysburg-Kimmel at 7 and Richland at 8.
Ridge has beaten both Bedford and Berlin in dual meets, so it would appear to have the edge on paper. But Berlin is riding momentum from the tournament, and Ridge was without 285-pounder Austin Buttry for the tourney after he injured his shoulder area in the Ultimate Duals. Ridge coach Greg Lazor, though, said Saturday that Buttry could be back as early as Monday night.
The District 6 Class AA Duals figures to be a shootout between top-seeded Huntingdon and defending champion and second-seeded West Branch. If the seeds hold up, Huntingdon will take on fourth-seeded Westmont Hilltop in one semifinal, and West Branch will face third-seeded Mount Union.
The top four teams are scheduled to host doubleheaders tonight. Again, the weather could impact the schedule. Eighth-seeded Glendale and ninth-seeded Moshannon Valley wrestle at 6 p.m. at Huntingdon, and the winner gets the Bearcats at 7:30. Fifth-seeded Cambria Heights and 12th-seeded Central square off at Westmont at 6, and the winner gets the Hilltoppers.
The semifinals are set for 5 p.m. Saturday at Tyrone, and the finals will follow at about 6:45. Huntingdon and West Branch have beaten Mount Union by similar scores - Huntingdon won 43-24, while West Branch won 39-24 - so it's anybody's guess as to who will win. The top two teams advance to the PIAA Duals, with the runner-up getting a wrestle-in Monday match against the District 3 runner-up.
Top-seeded Central Mountain and defending champion Mifflin County appear to be headed toward another showdown in the District 6 Class AAA Duals finals. Altoona, which moved into the sixth seed when Bald Eagle Area opted out of the Duals, lost at Bellefonte on Monday night, and fourth-seeded P-O hosts fifth-seeded State College Wednesday.
The semifinals are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Tyrone, and the finals will follow at noon.
Tourney shined again
The Thomas Subaru Tournament shined again with the quality of the Class AA wrestlers competing in the rugged two-day event. Many of the combatants will tangle again in the Southwest Regional Tournament and PIAA Championships.
The 145-pound weight class, won by Ridge's Trent Crouse, was arguably the toughest weight class with many ranked and state tournament-tested guys. And when South Fayette's Mike Carr beat Bedford's returning state runner-up Ryan Easter, 6-2, in the 132-pound finals, it might have been a preview of the regional finals.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.