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A good day for 2A

But Lions’ Sarbo upset in Class 3A field

Photo for the Mirror by Tami Knopsnyder P-O's Parker Moore (left) picked up a victory on the first day of wrestling in 2A action.

HERSHEY — Being that it was his first appearance in the PIAA Class 2A Championships, Philipsburg-Osceola junior Parker Moore admitted he didn’t know what to expect.

“This is crazy,” Moore said, “but it’s awesome.”

Moore made it look easy in his first-round bout, rolling to an 18-4 major decision over Line Mountain’s Dominick Bridi.

“It feels pretty reassuring to get the first one out of the way,” Moore said. “I didn’t wrestle like I wanted to, but I heard the first one is always the hardest.”

The 195-pounder is one of nine areas class 2A wrestlers who advanced to today’s 9 a.m. quarterfinals with wins in the first round on Thursday at the Giant Center, including his teammate Hunter Weitoish (160). Weitoish beat Johnsonburg’s Cole Casilio, 7-1, in his second Hershey appearance.

Four Chestnut Ridge wrestlers moved on in top-seeded Calan Bollman (106), Kai Burkett (113) , Ross Dull (126) and Duane Knisely (220). Bollman and Dull were wrestling at states for the first time.

“I think they all have a shot,” Ridge coach Josh Deputy said. “We’re in a good place mentally right now. The round kind of went as expected. Hopefully they come back tomorrow in the quarters, and they’re ready to put another win on the board.”

Ridge is in fifth place in the team standings with 27 points – 10.5 points behind first-place Notre Dame Green Pond.

Glendale’s top-seeded and returning state champion Brock McMillen (132) and returning placewinner Cory Johnston (220) bulldozed their way into the quarterfinals with a major decision and a pin, respectively.

Bedford’s top-seeded and two-time placewinner Kaden Cassidy (138) rolled to a 17-1 technical fall in only 3:22 over Biglerville’s Blake Showers.

Class 2A quarterfinal winners will wrestle again at 7:30 tonight. Three of the area quarterfinalists will wrestle 2019 state champions.

Altoona’s Matt Sarbo, the second seed at 132 in Class 3A, was upset by Waynesburg sophomore Cole Homet, 9-6, in a first-round shocker. He remains alive for a medal after receiving a bye in the first round of consolations.

Sixteen area Class 2A wrestlers are still alive in the consolations. Ridge has three in the wrestlebacks in returning placewinner Nathan Holderbaum (120), Luke Moore (152) and Daniel Moore (160).

The Bellwood-Antis duo of Alex Taylor (160) and Evan Pellegrine (285) have made it to the second day, as have other duos in Huntingdon’s Roland Mills (120) and Myles Baney (182), Northern Bedford’s Ian Sherlock (138) and Colby Imler (170) and Tussey Mountain’s Hunter Horton (126) and Matt Watkins (285).

Glendale’s Zeke Dubler (113), Tyrone’s Hunter Walk (113), P-O’s Chase Chapman (138), Cambria Heights’ Ian Eckenrode (182) and Bedford’s Ashton Dull (195) are also still alive for a medal.

Hollidaysburg’s Campbell Walls (160) is still alive in the Class 3A consolations.

Central’s Jaxon Matthews (106), Ridge’s Kaleb Miller (132) and Glendale’s Tristan Rutter (145) were eliminated from the tournament.

Moore held a 4-3 lead over Bridi going into the second period, but he poured it on in the second, scoring seven nearfall points and a takedown for a 13-4 lead. In the third, he escaped, got a takedown with 44 seconds left and added a two-point nearfall to just miss a technical fall.

“I’m very impressed with how Parker reacted in his first match,” P-O coach Brad Pataky said. “He came out firing. It was his first trip to states, and he didn’t wrestle like a first-time qualifier. He wrestled like a veteran.”

Moore (34-6), the Southwest Regional champ, faces Mahanoy’s Southeast Regional runner-up Danny Lawrence (34-2) in the quarterfinals

Bollman (38-3) had little trouble in advancing, amassing a 15-3 major decision over Conwell Egan’s Ryan Kelly. Bollman, the Southwest Regional champ, faces Benton’s Ethan Kolb (30-5) in the quarterfinals.

Burkett, making his third Hershey appearance and gunning for his second medal, beat Lewisburg’s Kaiden Wagner, 5-2, in his first round bout. Burkett notched a first-period takedown, escaped in the second and added a takedown in the period.

Burkett (37-5) faces off with Notre Dame Green Pond’s Brett Ungar (44-2) in the quarters. Ungar won a state title at 106 in New Jersey last year.

“We’re excited to go up against Ungar and take our chances,” Deputy said. “Hey, you’ve got to beat the best to be the best. We understand he’s got the credentials, but Kai is good too. Kai’s got to believe he can win.”

Dull earned a 13-5 major decision over Saegertown’s Alex Kightlinger in the first round. Dull recorded four takedowns en route to the bonus-point win.

“Ever since Ross lost in that district finals match, he’s looked really good,” Deputy said.

Dull (39-9) also faces a state champ in the next round – Notre Dame Green Pond’s Ryan Crookham (48-1), who pinned Horton in 2:36.

McMillen pounded out a 17-5 major decision over Muncy’s Bryce Vollman, recorded seven takedowns in the win. McMillen (33-3) wrestles Hickory’s Carter Gill (36-7) in the quarterfinals.

“Brock probably wrestled on his best matches all year,” Glendale coach Billy Dubler said. “He scored a lot of points.”

Cassidy was his usual dominant self on top against Showers, who beat Chapman, 10-6, the preliminary round. Cassidy (35-0) racked up 13 nearfall points in less than two periods to earn a quarterfinal spot against Cambridge Springs’ Ayden Miller (38-7).

Down 1-0 in the second period, Weitoish used a bearhug to take Casilio down to his back for four points. He added an escape and takedown in the third.

“It feels really good,” Weitoish said. “I know I made it further than last year, so I’m proud of accomplishing my goal of doing that. I wasn’t feeling (nervous) this morning, and then as soon as I saw my name up on the board, that’s when I started getting (nervous).”

Weitoish (32-6) will also get a shot at a state champ in Notre Dame Green Pond’s second-seeded Andrew Cerniglia (44-1).

Johnston (37-4) needed only 1:26 to pin Middletown’s Quincy Reinnagel. To get another possible bout with Mount Union’s Jake Ryan in the semifinals, he’ll have to beat Montoursville’s top-seeded and returning fourth-placer Cameron Wood (44-3).

“Johnston wrestled him last year, and he lost by a point (3-2),” Dubler said. “He was actually beating him at one point in the match. Cory knows he can wrestle with this guy.”

In the bottom of 220, Knisely was even faster on the mat, pinning Bishop McDevitt’s Devyn Clair in 1:14.

Knisely (40-3), who beat Johnston for the Southwest Regional title, faces Eisenhower’s Cael Black (35-7) in the quarterfinals.

“I think I wrestled well,” Knisely said. “I did what I needed to do to go out and seal this round up for me, get my lungs opened up a little bit and just get me ready for tomorrow confidence-wise. I’m excited. I’m feeling good this weekend. I’m just hoping to bring it like I did (at the Southwest Regional).”

Sarbo (35-3) trailed Homet, 3-0, in the second period, but Sarbo took him down and three nearfall points off of a low-leg cradle. Sarbo was up 6-4 in the third when he got taken down, and Homet (41-13) won it when he put Sarbo on his back for three nearfall points.

Walls dropped into the consolations with a 7-0 loss to Waynesburg’s Luca Augustine, but he rebounded with a 4-3 win over Thomas Jefferson’s Brendan Finnerty. Walls was losing 3-2 when he took Finnerty down with a double-leg shot with 45 seconds left. Walls rode the rest of the way.

“It feels good to come back for another day,” Hollidaysburg coach Christian Harr said. “Obviously he had a pretty tough first-round match against a regional champ. He came back against a pretty good Thomas Jefferson kid. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

TOURNAMENT TIMES:The Class 2A second round of consolations are also at 9 a.m. The third round of consys are at 11:45. The fourth round of consys are scheduled to run with the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. The consy semifinal round is at 9:30. … The Class 3A quarterfinals and second round of consolations are at 2:15 p.m. The third round of consys are at 5 p.m.

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