North Xtra: Pine-Richland senior revels in title

WPIAL WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 8, 2012 12:01 am
  • Pine-Richland's Ben Balish, back, defeated Central Catholic's Zack Deluca, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Region Tournament, Saturday at Norwin High School.  Balish won the 220-pound title.
    Pine-Richland's Ben Balish, back, defeated Central Catholic's Zack Deluca, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Region Tournament, Saturday at Norwin High School. Balish won the 220-pound title.
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Silver medalists

Section 3-AAA wrestlers had another disappointing performance at the WPIAL/Southwest Regional. Only three individuals advanced to the finals, and two had to settle for silver medals.

Balish was the lone champion. North Allegheny's Jarred Lux (40-2) and Hampton's Jake Hart (37-3) were the silver medalists.

Lux suffered a tough 6-4 loss in overtime to Kiski Area's Matt McCutcheon in the 182-pound title match.

"I knew it would be a tight match," North Allegheny coach Jamie Kyriazis said. "He wrestled a great match until he lost focus for a second and McCutcheon took advantage."

Lux had a 4-2 lead with 20 seconds left when he lost focus. McCutcheon scored a takedown to tie the match, 4-4, then recorded the deciding takedown 28 seconds into overtime.

"You can't lose focus for any amount of time in a match of this significance," Kyriazis said.

Hart advanced to the title match at 195 before dropping a 5-2 decision to Central Catholic's Perry Hills, who claimed his second consecutive WPIAL title.

"I like where Jake is in the bracket," Hampton coach Joe Bursick said. "The top three kids in his weight class are in the other half of the bracket."

Three other Hampton wrestlers advanced to the consolation finals, but all three were defeated, thus falling one victory short of qualifying for the PIAA tournament. They were Peter Craig at 126, Kevin Synan at 138, and Nick Yaroszewski at 220.

Lux will be joined at Hershey by two North Allegheny teammates. Dom Forys placed third at 106, while Alex DeCiantis was the bronze medalist at 170.

"Dom survived the toughest weight class," Kyriazis said. "There are at least five kids in that weight class who could place at Hershey."

Five others from Section 3-AAA qualified for the state tournament as third-place finishers.

Pine-Richland's Ben Balish, back, defeated Central Catholic's Zack Deluca, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Region tournament, Saturday at Norwin High School. Balish won the 220-pound title later that night.


First Published 2012-03-07 23:42:39

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