Chestnut Ridge tops Benton in PIAA Duals debut

HERSHEY – Chestnut Ridge had never wrestled in the PIAA Duals, but that didn’t seem to matter for the Lions on Thursday.

Ridge opened the Duals with a 49-23 win over District 4 runner-up Benton at the Giant Center in Hershey.

The Lions, who hiked their record to 21-1, got pins from Brad Winegardner at 195, Austin Buttry at 285 and Aaron Burkett at 106. The Lions also picked up three forfeit wins and a Tyler Dibert’s third-period disqualification win over Bradley Miccio at 182.

“We got off to a slow start but we were good at the end,” Dibert said. “You have to be happy with the result. The guys that won for us wrestled tough. [Trent] Crouse wrestled really tough and beat a quality guy [Ronald Flick, 10-0]. Conner Buttry was down and came back and won [3-2]. The guys stepped up.

“It feels pretty good to get the first match out of the way. I was the only one that was down here before. I just said to them it’s like wrestling in a high school gym. You just have to focus on wrestling. It’s a mat with a circle with two lines in the middle.”

“I think we wrestled well,” Ridge coach Greg Lazor said. “I think we were a little hesitant at first, and then we warmed up. At first, we backed up where we usually go forward. A lot of the guys have wrestled in big tournaments. After first one, we’ll get more aggressive.”

Chestnut Ridge, ranked second by Off The Mat, will take on third-ranked District 3 champion Boiling Springs at noon today. Boiling Springs got by District 10 third-placer Saegertown, 31-25, in the first round.

“They’re a tough team,” Dibert said. “We have to wrestle like we have all year and see what happens. Our coaches are in touch with other coaches about a scouting report. They’ve wrestled Bermudian Springs and beat them. We have to wrestle tough.”

“They’re real tough,” Lazor said. “It’s going to be a real tough match. It’s going to come down to bonus points and tossups. We scouted them a little bit. Our Buddies from Bedford gave us some notes. We got to scout them after our match. For us to win, we have to win the upper weights and battle through the lower and middle weights.”

Notes: District 6 Class AA champion West Branch opened with a 33-26 win over South Fayette and will wrestle District 10 champ Reynolds, a 35-29 winner over Saucon Valley. … District 6 Class AAA champ Mifflin County lost to Parkland, 49-9. The Huskies will wrestle North Allegheny, a 37-14 loser to Central Dauphin, in the first round of consolations today.