Cornell hits milestone
HERSHEY — Everett’s Garret Cornell is a veteran of the PIAA Class 2A Championships, with this year being his third visit to Hershey’s Giant Center.
While the 126-pounder admitted to feeling a little nervous before his first-round bout, Cornell certainly didn’t show it.
Cornell was leading Valley View’s Brandon Judge 8-1 when he pinned Judge in 4:21 for the junior’s 100th career win on Thursday.
“It feels pretty good,” Cornell said. “It gets rid of a lot of the nerves, and it just shows you how far you can go. I wrestled fairly decent. I’ve got to work on a few things, like I need to escape on bottom better and not wait until the last few seconds of the second period. “
Eight area wrestlers advanced past the first round.
Joining Cornell in advancing to the quarterfinals were Chestnut Ridge state champion Justin McCoy (152) and Jared McGill (160), Glendale’s Brock McMillen (113), Central’s Braeden Swab (138), Portage’s Cole Sossong (160), Penn Cambria’s Derek Brown (170) and Huntingdon’s Landon Fisher (220).
Penn Cambria’s Chase Proudfit (132) and Brock Talko (138) are still alive in the consolations, as are four other area guys in Tussey Mountain’s Brady Villa (126), Ridge’s Austin Crouse (182), Huntingdon’s Ryder Kocik (182) and Central Cambria’s Nate Martin (285).
Four area wrestlers were eliminated with two losses. Glendale junior Isaac Krause (152), Penn Cambria senior Jarred Stoy (160), Ridge senior Levi Hobson (170) and Huntingdon senior Alex Mykut (195) were ousted.
Mykut was eliminated on a defensive pin against Mount Carmel’s Manus McCracken 9 seconds into the first tiebreaker.
Cornell built his lead through the first two periods and part of the third before he dumped Judge to his back and pinned him.
“I dumped him in the third period after I took a bad shot,” Cornell said, “put him on his back and just stuck him from there.”
Cornell (35-3) will face Saucon Valley’s Joshua Jones (34-2), who had a 50-second pin of Reynolds’ Kaeden Berger in the first round.
McCoy rolled to an 11-1 victory over Eisenhower’s Spencer Head by showing his usual dominance. McCoy (43-1) will face Bishop McDevitt’s Tanner Updegraff (42-8) in the quarters. Updegraff beat Muncy’s Noah Gush, 7-2, in the first round.
McGill (43-0) set up his big quarterfinal bout against Wyalusing’s returning state
champ Creighton Edsell with a dominating 20-3 technical fall in 5:14 over Harbor Creek’s Jason Brett.
“I felt good out there,” McGill said. “The kid was a little cheap. He was punching me in the face, but I didn’t worry about it. I just worried about keep scoring and just staying tough.”
Edsell (41-1), who finished second in his regional tournament, earned a 3-1 win over Panther Valley’s Tanner Kennedy. McGill beat Edsell, 6-4, in the offseason at the Disney Duals.
“Everyone thinks it’s going to be a super good match,” McGill said. “He’s tough, but I’m just going to wrestle like any other match. Just have fun and try to keep scoring.”
Swab got taken down by Milton’s Noah Stamm in the first period, but he escaped and got a takedown for a 3-2 lead. Swab rode Stamm for most of the second period before giving up an escape with 5 seconds left to tie the score.
“In that first period, he gave up that sloppy low single,” Central coach Dave Marko said. “Other than that, he wrestled nearly perfect. He was a bear on top.”
Swab chose down for the third against the tough riding Stamm, and it paid off. He got a caution point to take the lead, and then Stamm released him. Swab got a takedown with 21 seconds left to win, 7-3.
“The scouting report I had on (Stamm) was he was nasty on top, and he was tough on top,” Marko said, “because Braeden usually doesn’t have a lot of trouble getting away from people. I went back and forth about whether to suggest neutral or bottom, but I’m looking at a tie match, and I felt like there was more of a chance of that kid making a mistake in the third period than us getting turned.”
“You can’t be a perfect wrestler,” Swab said. “I knew that eventually he was going to make a mistake on top. He made a mistake, gave up that caution, and that gave me a point. Fortunately for me, I came out on top.”
Swab faces Reynolds’ Cole Matthews (44-2), a state champion as a freshman and a runner-up to Central Cambria’s Max Murin in a classic title bout as a junior.
“Hey he’s a tough kid,” Swab said, “so I’m going to go out and give it all I have. I have nothing to lose.”
McMillen was impressive again in an 8-1 decision over Southern Columbia’s Patrick Edmondson. The freshman Viking used a splade from the top position to score three nearfall points in the first period, and he added an escape and his second takedown in the second.
McMillen (39-3) faces Bishop McDevitt’s Nate Smith (29-1), a 6-4 winner over Redbank Valley’s Mason Songer, in the quarters.
Sossong (37-8) earned a 6-5 decision over Iroquois’ Joe Calvin to set up a quarterfinal bout against Northwestern Lehigh’s 35-0 Caleb Clymer, who won, 5-0, over Shamokin’s Jacob Carpenter.
Brown, making his second appearance at states, rolled to a 7-0 win over Harbor Creek’s Shane Watkins. Brown was feeling a lot better than he was after losing his first bout last season.
“This arena is the biggest arena I’ve ever been in,” Brown said of losing last year. “I guess coming in here and wrestling on that big mat (made me) feel so small. I really wasn’t ready for it. It was just spinning too fast for me to comprehend what was going on.
“It just felt like being in my school (Thursday), just wrestling. I think that helped out a lot. I’ve matured a lot more since last year. I’m no longer that young kid wrestling against all the seniors.”
Brown (35-5) will face Littlestown’s Carl Harris (32-4), the Southeast Regional fourth-placer who knocked off Lackawanna Trail’s Northeast champ Owen Hivner, 8-7.
Fisher was tied, 1-1, with Bishop McDevitt’s Nasir Pettus when the Bearcat senior got a takedown at the edge of the mat with 19 seconds left. Making his second Hershey trip, Fisher rode the rest of the way to win, 3-1.
Fisher will face Greenville’s 39-0 Jacob McMaster in the quarterfinals. McMaster pinned West Greene’s Connor Main in 44 seconds in his only bout.