CRESSON – Three wrestlers from The Tribune-Democrat’s coverage area made it to the finals of the Panther Holiday Classic at Mount Aloysius on Saturday, but none was able to win a title.
Penn Cambria’s Derek Brown (170 pounds) and J.C. Smychynsky (182) each finished second, as did Bedford’s Kaden Cassidy (132).
Brown, the top seed, dropped an 8-3 decision to Spring Grove’s Anthony Hinson in the 170-pound final. Smychynsky, a longshot finalist from the 10th seed, lost by fall to freshman Dayton Pitzer of Mount Pleasant one match later.
Penn Cambria had a third placewinner in Chase Proudfit, who took fourth at 138 pounds as the Panthers finished 13th in the team standings, the best of any local team.
Cassidy, who was a PIAA third-place finisher two years ago, fell to another Bedford County bronze medalist, as Everett’s Garret Cornell beat him 4-1.
Berlin Brothersvalley had a pair of medalists in 145-pounder Tristan Pugh, who took third, and 138-pounder Clayton Lee, who was sixth.
Cambria Heights’ Seth Link placed fifth at 160 pounds, and teammate Ian Eckenrode was seventh at 170.
Tyler Coddington, who was a two-time Montana state medalist before moving to into the Somerset Area School District, placed fourth at 132, giving District 5 three of the top four placewinners at the weight.
Portage’s Cole Sossong placed fourth a 170 pounds, and Richland’s Allen Mangus took seventh at 132.
Chestnut Ridge’s McGill leads locals at King of the Mountain: In Mill Hall, Chestnut Ridge’s Jared McGill captured the 182-pound title and five of his teammates placed as the Lions finished third in the King of the Mountain tournament on Saturday.
Forest Hills had five medalists and finished ninth in the team standings of the 32-team tournament, which is loaded with AAA squads and considered to be one of the toughest events in Pennsylvania.
Hunter Tremain placed fourth at 195 pounds as North Star’s lone placewinner.
McGill knocked off the top-ranked wrestler in the state at 182 pounds – Fort LeBeouf’s Julian Gorring – in the final. McGill was actually the No. 1 seed in the tournament while Gorring was No. 2.
McGill was awarded a penalty point after a feisty first-period exchange, then took Gorring down and rode him out for a 3-0 lead.
“I felt like I controlled most of the match, but it was a dogfight. He’s good,” McGill said of the returning state runner-up.
Leading 4-2 in the third, McGill was able to score on a desperation attempt by Gorring to finish off the 6-2 victory.
“It feels good just to know that I handled a state finalist and that I can keep the ball rolling,” said McGill, a Pitt recruit who placed third at the PIAA tournament in March.
Chestnut Ridge’s Duane Knisely captured the 220-pound title with a 5-2 decision over Central Mountain’s Tanner Riggle. Kai Burkett, the Lions’ other finalist, placed second at 106 pounds.
Austin Crouse (sixth at 195), Dalton Seace (seventh at 285) and Gryphon Callihan (8th at 132) also placed for Chestnut Ridge.
“We’re young in the middle. We’re learning how to fight,” McGill said. “We’re tough down low and tough up tough. We’re going to be tough by state duals.”
Forest Hills’ Ryan Weyandt finished third at 160 pounds in his first varsity tournament, while teammates Jackson Arrington (113) and Erik Gibson (145) each placed fourth. Byron Daubert (132) took sixth and Easton Toth (106) was sixth.