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Derry's Phillippi upset in PIAA quarterfinals

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Friday, March 7, 2014, 10:45 p.m.

HERSHEY — Micky Phillippi's dream of winning a second PIAA wrestling title ended Friday morning in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals at Giant Center.

Phillippi, who won the 2013 title at 113 pounds, dropped a 3-1 decision to Bethlehem Catholic sophomore Joey Gould.

Phillippi allowed a two-point nearfall in the second period. It was only the second time this season he gave up back points.

Though disappointed with the loss, Phillippi didn't hang his head long. The Derry sophomore won his next three consolation matches and will wrestle Gould for third place at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Phillippi (41-4) defeated Warrior Run sophomore Zack LeBarron, 2-0, Redbank Valley senior Willie Gruver, 7-2, and Benton freshman Mike Stuart, 5-1.

“I was disappointed because I knew I should have beaten him,” Phillippi said. “I was really upset, but it's a learning experience. Once my next match started, I was ready to go.

“I really wanted to be a four-time state champion. Now I get a shot at the kid who beat me.”

Southmoreland 113-pounder Austin Griffiths and heavyweight Jake Beistel also had their title bids thwarted.

Griffiths dropped a 2-0 overtime decision to Reynolds sophomore Seth Hogue, and was then forced to forfeit his consolation match because of a breathing problem.

Griffiths was taken to the hospital where it was discovered he had a lung contusion and fluid buildup.

“Going to the hospital wasn't fun,” Griffiths said. “I was told to take a couple weeks off and get checked by my doctor at home.

“I missed a couple opportunities during my match. I was pretty close to scoring a couple times. I just couldn't finish it. It hurt to breathe.”

Beistel was pinned in overtime during his semifinal match against Pen Argyl senior Brady Mutton.

He began the day with a 4-3 win over ELCO junior Wes Bankus. He dropped a 5-2 decision in the consolation semifinals to Cambria Height's Aaron Gill. He'll wrestle for fifth.

“We thought Jake had the takedown in overtime to win it,” Southmoreland coach Ryan Shaw said. “Even the kid told the reporter he thought the match was over.”

Blairsville's Andrew Doak (152) and Scott Thompson (182) also lost quarterfinal matches. Doak, however, will wrestle for seventh place.

Four WPIAL wrestlers reached the finals in Class AA: Kittanning senior Jason Nolf (145), Burrell senior Steve Edwards (152), South Fayette junior J.J. Walker (160) and Avella senior Jake Temple (220).

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.




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