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Glendale’s McMillen beats same foes in moving to states

Photo for the Mirror by Tami Knopsnyder Glendale’s Brock McMillen defeats Burrell’s Ian Oswalt, 5-1, for the 138-pound championship.

INDIANA — Glendale’s Brock McMillen has wrestled Burrell’s Ian Oswalt in the finals of the last two postseason tournaments and Saint Joseph’s Amonn Ohl in the semifinals or the finals in two of the last three tournaments.

“It’s like Groundhog Day,” Glendale coach Brian Storm deadpanned Saturday afternoon after McMillen won the 138-pound title at the Western Class 2A Super Regional Tournament. “Every tournament is the same, it seems like.”

McMillen beat both Ohl and Oswalt to win the title in the fourth of five steps toward winning his third state title. He hammered Ohl, 16-6, in the semifinals and earned a hard-fought 5-1 victory over Oswalt in the finals.

“I felt pretty good,” McMillen said. “I got to my shots, but he (Oswalt) is just so hard to score on. I tried to keep my attacks going. Overall, I won, so we’re just moving on.”

McMillen (19-0) will vie for his third state title in the PIAA Championships on Friday at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Cambria Heights’ senior 189-pounder Ian Eckenrode placed fourth and is the only other area wrestler from the Mirror’s core schools to qualify for the PIAA Championships. Eckenrode qualified for Hershey in a jaw-dropping way, rallying and pinning Quaker Valley’s Patrick Cutchember in 4:55.

“That’s exciting,” Heights co-head coach and Ian’s grandfather Mike Eckenrode said. “He’s non-stop. That’s what pulled that match out and put him in states.”

The top four at every weight class advanced to the state tournament.

Tyrone’s 120-pound senior Hunter Walk finished sixth and had a sad end to his career. He was knocked into the fifth-place bout with a 6-1 loss to Brookville’s Owen Reinsel. And then the 2020 state sixth-placer, who wrestled in Hershey twice, injury defaulted to Tussey Mountain’s Trevor Husick in 1:36 to finish sixth.

Walk (17-6) was taken to Penn Highlands Tyrone, where X-rays confirmed a fractured right elbow, Tyrone coach Terry Tate said. Walk will also be evaluated for a possible torn ligament today.

“It was definitely not the way that we had hoped or thought that this weekend would go,” Tate said. “Getting hurt at the end was not really a thought in our minds. I don’t think Hunter has even taken injury time in his career, let alone gotten hurt enough (to default). He’s sort of an iron man. I guess it was sort of an insult to injury.”

Central freshman Andrew McMonagle (160) and Glendale junior Suds Dubler (172) went 0-2.

McMonagle (8-7) lost 3-1 to Burrell’s A.J. Corrado and Reynolds’ Jalen Wagner, 7-4. Dubler (13-5) dropped a 2-1 decision to Saegertown’s Landon Caldwell and was pinned by McGuffey’s Ethan Barr in 4:30.

McMillen pinned Philipsburg-Osceola’s Austin Foster in 37 seconds in the quarterfinals before taking eventual third-placer Ohl down six times en route to the major decision. McMillen had to rally beat Ohl in the District finals while wrestling with a badly cut lip.

“I was glad to see him scoring points there,” Storm said. “I think he should have had even more. They had some back points they didn’t give him, but it all worked out.”

“There’s some momentum during a match,” McMillen said. “As the match went on, I started wearing him down and got to my shots.”

In the finals, McMillen took Oswalt down in the first period, but he was nearly suffered a defensive pin as he attempted to score back points. McMillen avoided the danger and was up 2-1 entering the third period.

He escaped 27 seconds into the period, stayed in good position and waited for Oswalt to try a desperation move. Oswalt tried a cement mixer with 5 seconds left, but McMillen slipped through and got a takedown.

“Someone has to come at you with 20 seconds left,” McMillen said. “I was able to scramble out of it. I’m moving on, so I’m happy.”

Both of Eckenrode’s losses were to Greenville’s Cole Karpinski, 6-4 in overtime in the quarterfinals and 2-1 in the third-place bout. In between, he beat Huntingdon’s Myles Baney, 5-3, and used some magic against Cutchember.

Eckenrode was losing 7-4 to Cutchember when he hit an elevator from the bottom position at the edge of the mat. Eckenrode put the fading and injured Cutchember on his back and pinned him with 5 seconds left in the bout. The move drew an immediate reaction from those watching the bout.

“I shot a really bad shot that I shouldn’t have shot,” Ian Eckenrode said of the sequence. “But when he got around, I think he thought the match was over, so I was able to throw an elevator and flip him to his back. An elevator is typically done from the standing position, but I’ve never done it from the bottom.”

Walk went 1-3 in the tournament, losing his first bout, 2-1, to Fort LeBoeuf’s JoJo Przybycien in the first round. He stayed alive with a 4-2 win over Burgettstown’s Gaven Suica, but he was stopped short of reaching Hershey for the third time by Brookville’s Owen Reinsel, 6-1.

Walk was winning 1-0 in the second period against Husick, who along with teammate Hunter Horton (132) took fifth. Husick threw Walk at the edge of the mat, and Walk injured his elbow when he landed outside of the circle.

“The kid was wrestling to the whistle and Hunter was wrestling to the whistle,” Tate said. “It was just an awkward fall. It was just a real freak thing. He’s had a great career. I don’t think he has anything hang his head about. He never back down from challenges. He always stepped up. He’s been a lot of fun to coach these last four years.”

Notes: Burrell won the team title by four points over Reynolds, 56-52. … Chestnut Ridge finished tied for eighth and had two qualifiers (Luke Moore, third at 152 and Ross Dull, fourth at 126). Returning state runner-up Calan Bollman was fifth at 113. … Bishop McCort’s Mason Gibson beat Reynolds two-time state champ Gary Steen, 5-1, in the much-anticipated 120-pound final.

KEY, TEAM STANDINGS

1. BURR–Burrell 56; 2. REY–Reynolds 52; 3. HICK–Hickory 48.5; 4. BROOK–Brookville 41; 5. FH–Forest Hills 36.5; 6. L–Laurel 33; 7. SA–Saegertown 31; 8. CR–Chestnut Ridge, FL–Fort LeBoeuf, MP–Mount Pleasant and SJ–St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy 30; 12. GREEN–Greenville 28; 13. PO–Philipsburg-Osceola and

BEA–Bald Eagle Area 25; 15. MC–Marion Center 24; 16. F–Frazier 23.5; 17. G–Glendale and BM–Bishop McCort 23; 19. J–Johnsonburg, SHEF–Sheffield and SP–South Park 21; 22. CAR–Carlynton and MU–Mount Union 20; 24. FA–Freedom Area 18; 25. PV–Penns Valley 17.5; 26. BLACK–Blackhawk, HC–Harbor Creek and NS–North Star 16; 29. CP–Commodore Perry and MCG–McGuffey 15; 31. TM–Tussey Mountain, BENT–Bentworth and BURG–Burgettstown 14; 34. GIR–Girard 13; 35. WB–West Branch, C–Corry and R–Richland 12; 38. CH–Cambria Heights, M–Mercer and QV–Quaker Valley 11; 41. BC–Beth-Center and K–Knoch 10; 43. MEY–Meyersdale 9; 44. WH–Westmont Hilltop 8.5; 45. DA–Derry Area and E–Eisenhower 7; 47. CONN–Conneaut and EF–Elizabeth Forward 6; 49. T–Tyrone 4.

SEMIFINALS

106–Hornack, BURR, dec. L. Gill, HICK, 3-2; Robinson, SA, dec. Bainey, WB, 6-3; 113–Bainey, BEA, dec. Vargo, BENT, 5-1; Beatty, MU, pinned O’Neill, HICK, 3:39; 120–Gibson, BM, tech. fall Reinsel, BROOK, 21-5, 4:23; Steen, REY, pinned Przybycien, FL, 1:43; 126–Fischer, SP, dec. Dull, CR, 7-3; Saylor, HICK, dec. McLaughlin, G, GREEN, 3-2; 132–Arrington, FH, pinned McCollum, BC, 1:06; Pierce, HC, dec. Witmer, SJ, 4-3; 138–McMillen, G, maj. dec. Ohl, SJ, 16-6; Oswalt, BURR, maj. dec. Shaffer, J, 11-2

145–Duschek, BLACK, dec. Warshel, RICH, 7-1; Berger, REY, maj. dec. Cymmerman, DA, 8-0; 152–Mackay, L, dec. Hud. Holbay, WH, 5-0; Yoder, NS, dec. L. Moore, CR, 1-0; 160–Corrado, J, dec. Weyandt, FH, 3-1 OT; Casilio, J, dec. Melnyk, CAR, 5-3; 172–Lawrence, F, tech. fall Caldwell, SA, 15-0, 4:34; DuVall, PV, dec. Musser, CP, 8-3; 189–Schultheis, FA, dec. Carpinski, GREEN, 6-4 OT; Finch, SHEF, dec. Cutchember, QV, 8-6 OT; 215–Pitzer, MP, pinned Black, E, :54; Moore, PO, dec. Milko, CAR, 3-2; 285–Beatty, MC, pinned Miles, L, 5:57; Taylor, BROOK, pinned John-Daniello, REY, 1:37.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

106–Robinson, SA, dec. Hornack, BURR, 1-0; 113–Bainey, BEA, maj. dec. Beatty, MU, 12-2; 120–Gibson, BM, dec. Steen, REY, 5-1; 126–Fischer, SP, dec. Saylor, HICK, 3-0; 132–Arrington, FH, maj. dec. Pierce, HC, 21-8; 138–McMillen, G, dec. Oswalt, BURR, 5-1

145–Berger, REY, dec. Duschek, BLACK, 2-1 TB; 152–Mackay, L, maj. dec. Yoder, NSS, 17-6; 160–Corrado, BURR, dec. Casilio, J, 3-2 UTB; 172–Lawrence, F, dec. DuVall, PV, 9-4 OT; 189–Finch, SHEF, dec. Schultheis, FA, 5-3 OT; 215–Pitzer, MP, pinned Moore, PO, :33; 285–Taylor, BROOK, maj. dec. Beatty, MC, 10-2.

THIRD PLACE

106–Gill, HICK, dec. Bainey, WB, 3-0; 113–Vargo, BENT, dec. O’Neill, HICK, 6-1; 120–Reinsel, BROOK, pinned Przybycien, FL, 1:26; 126–McLaughlin, GREEN, dec. Dull, CR, 3-0; 132–Witmer, SJ, maj. dec. McCollum, BC, 13-0; 138–Ohl, SJ, maj. dec. Filer, M, 11-0

145–Warshel, R, dec. C. Gill, HICK, 6-4; 152–L. Moore, CR, dec. Rimpa, FL, 5-2; 160–Melnyk, CAR, dec. Weyandt, FH, 7-5; 172–Barr, MCG, pinned Church, FL, :42; 189–Karpinski, GREEN, dec. Eckenrode, CH, 2-1; 215–Linkerhof, C, maj. dec. Reese, K, 9-1; 285–Schell, GIR, dec. Stephens, MEY, 1-0.

FIFTH PLACE

106–Gould, CONN, dec. Kazalas, QV, 4-2; 113–Bollman, CR, won by forfeit over Michaels, EF; 120–Husick, TM, won by injury default over Walk, T, 1:36; 126–Sentipal, BURG, dec. Gilham, BEA, 3-1; 132–Horton, TM, dec. Poklembo, MP, 3-0; 138–Aramgost, CP, dec. Shaffer, J, 7-3

145–Cymmerman, DA, dec. Reagle, SA, 4-0; 152–Hud. Holbay, WH, dec. Stewart, MC, 5-3; 160–Weitoish, PO, pinned Wagner, REY, 4:17; 172–Musser, CP, dec. Caldwell, SA, 3-1; 189–Kemper, BURG, won by forfeit over Cutchember, QV; 215–Black, E, dec. Milko, CAR, 8-4; 285–Miles, L, pinned John-Daniello, REY, :58.

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