Westmont Hilltop might have the state’s fourth-ranked wrestling team in Class AA, but coach Matt Beaujon’s squad will not be the top seed in the District 6 duals, which start Tuesday.

The Hilltoppers (11-0) have cruised through the regular season, beating opponents by a combined score of 651-143.

Their closest match was a season-opening 40-22 victory over rival Richland and they have outscored their opponents 270-21 in 2007.

But Mount Union (18-1) – which has wrestled eight more dual meets than Westmont Hilltop – accumulated nearly twice as many seeding points despite losing a match to Huntingdon, which is the district’s third seed.

Beaujon said he wasn’t upset by being seeded second.

“Things have a way of working themselves out, regardless of where you fall in the seeding,” he said. “You’re going to have to wrestle three teams to win the district anyway. You just have to wrestle the next match in front of you.”

Westmont opens the dual-meet district tournament by hosting No. 7 Blairsville (8-6) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Hilltoppers beat the Bobcats 60-6 on Jan. 18.

“Regardless of the outcome, I’d rather have wrestled them during the season,” Beaujon said. “They’ll have us scouted well, but we’ll have them scouted well. You pretty much know what you’re getting.”

Mount Union will host United (7-4) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s going to be good experience,” United coach Tom Whitcomb said. “We have a young team. If you’re going to expect to be there next year, this will be good for them.”

Two local teams will square off for the second time this season, as No. 4 Central Cambria (7-2) hosts Richland (11-6) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The Rams beat the Red Devils 34-27 on Jan. 9.

“It came down to the last match and we lost,” Central Cambria coach John Strittmatter said. “There are a lot of variables. They have a lot of guys that have been injured throughout the year. If they get them back, that will make them a tougher team. Besides Westmont, it seems like matchups had a lot to do with who can win this year.”

Richland looked like a long shot to qualify for the district duals after dropping a 31-30 match at Penn Cambria on Jan. 16, but the Rams won six of their next eight matches, including a strong performance at the Richland Duals.

“It was one of those things where, at one point, the guys were questioning whether we were going to make the playoffs,” Richland coach Dan Sichak said. “It’s not over till the fat lady sings. The coaches kept saying ‘It’s not over until the final tabulation. It’s not just what we do, but what the other teams do.’ And it worked out that way.”

Penn Cambria (10-9) also got a big boost from a dual-meet tournament. Coach Todd Niebauer’s team was 6-7 heading into the difficult Juniata Duals, but a 3-2 mark there helped the Panthers pile up power points, which are crucial to the seeding process.

Penn Cambria will visit Huntingdon at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“We saw them at our tournament and this weekend (at the Thomas Chevrolet Tournament in Bedford,” Niebauer said. “They have some quality kids. I’d say it’s going to be a close match. If we can keep from giving up some bonus points at some weights and get some in the lightweights, I think it will be close.”

Quarterfinal winners will advance to Tyrone on Saturday. The District 6 runner-up will face the District 9 champion on Feb. 6 for the right to go to Hershey for the state tournament. The District 6 champion will automatically qualify for the state meet, which begins Feb. 9.

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