Share This Page

NCAA wrestling notebook: Penn State has work to do in wrestlebacks

| Thursday, March 20, 2014, 10:22 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson (right) and his brother Cody Sanderson react to a call in the second round of the NCAA Divison I Wrestling Championships at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on March 19, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Penn State's pursuit of a fourth consecutive team title may be tied to wrestlebacks.

Five Nittany Lions went 2-0 Thursday, lumping the importance on the matches that will determine the third-, fifth- and seventh-place finishers.

“Kids lose matches,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “Sometimes things don't go as planned. That's where we see (Friday) what we're made of.”

One of the most costly losses for Penn State came at 197 pounds, where third-seeded Morgan McIntosh dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 14 Chris Penny of Virginia Tech.

“McIntosh needs to come back strong,” Sanderson said. “That's not a match he needed to lose.”

Sanderson admitted he was “a fan like everybody else” of David Taylor and Ed Ruth, who cruised in the 165- and 184-pound brackets, but winning another team title will require more than bonus points out of the Nittany Lions' two studs.

Entering late matches, Penn State had a five-point lead — 26.5-21.5 — over Minnesota and Oklahoma State. Edinboro was fifth at 18.0.

Marked man

Evan Henderson kept tabs on Colin Johnston and knew he was a PIAA champion and the all-time wins leader at Canon-McMillan.

Yet Henderson, who wrestled at Kiski Prep, never had a chance to compete against Johnston until the first round of the NCAA Division I Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Henderson, now a 141-pounder for North Carolina and the No. 9 seed in the bracket, handed Johnston a 3-0 loss in the first of two sessions Thursday.

“I always wanted to beat him,” Henderson said. “Finally got a chance.”

Johnston rebounded to get a 12-5 decision over Steven Rodrigues of Illinois in the first round of wrestlebacks.

Nice timing

Pitt's 125-pounder, Anthony Zanetta, pinned Michigan Conor Youtsey in the first round. The fall came at 3 minutes, 44 seconds, and it was the first pin for Zanetta (21-9) this season

Zanetta dropped his second-round match 6-0 to the No. 2 seed, Nahshon Garrett, of Cornell.

Finals order

There will be more tweaks this year to the order of Saturday night's finals. In 2013, the NCAA hand-picked the tournament's last match.

Now, all 10 bouts won't be ordered until after Friday night's semifinal round.

Look ahead

The 141-pound bracket has been the most competitive locally, and that's reflected in a Friday morning quarterfinal-round bout between Edinboro's Mitchell Port and Henderson.

Port, the top seed, advanced with a pair of pins. After decisioning Johnston, Henderson pinned Luke Vaith of Hofstra in the second round Thursday night.

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total media. Reach him at jmackey@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

Related Content
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.