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Manor Township native Knepshield places third at wrestling nationals

| Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, 11:48 p.m.
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley's Conner Quinn tries to put one past Kittanning goaltender Cameron Langham during the PIHL Outdoor Charity Series game at North Park Ice Rink Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley junior Otto Schaefer tries to put one past Kittanning goaltender Cameron Langham during the PIHL Outdoor Charity Series game against Kittanning at North Park Ice Rink Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley Herald
Quaker Valley's Ryan Lottes collides with Kittanning's Hunter Grafton as Christian Miller looks on during the PIHL Outdoor Charity Series game at North Park Ice Rink Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Leader Times
Quaker Valley's Adam Pilewicz is knocked down by Kittanning's Hunter Anthony during the PIHL Outdoor Charity Series game at North Park Ice Rink Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. Kristina Serafini | Leader Times

Addison Knepshield left Lehigh University last weekend with an addition to his collection of high school wrestling medals — just not the one he wanted.

Knepshield, a Manor Township native and senior at Blair Academy (N.J.), a boarding school, placed third in the 182-pound weight class of the National Prep Wrestling Championships on Saturday.

Seeded No. 2, he hoped to reach the finals, where he anticipated a rematch with Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) senior Eric Morris, the No. 1 seed as well as one of the country's top 182-pounders. But a 6-4 overtime loss to No. 3 seed Tyler Patrick of McDonogh (Md.) in the semifinals spoiled Knepshield's plans.

Morris met Patrick in the finals and won, 10-0. Knepshield, meanwhile, edged his New Jersey rival, Lawrenceville's Matt Apuzzi, 1-0, in a consolation semifinal; he beat Apuzzi, 9-6 and 10-4, earlier this month.

An anticlimactic third-place bout followed, and Knepshield won by injury default over Lawrenceville (Mass.)'s Isaiah Bellamy, who suffered from concussion-like symptoms in an earlier match and threw in the towel during his bout with Knepshield.

To reach the semifinals, Knepshield pinned Kahler Martin of Trinity Christian (Texas) and Good Counsel (Md.)'s Nick Miller. Then in the quarterfinals, he won, 16-1, over Germantown (Pa.)'s Luke Kisselback.

Knepshield's third-place finish rated as his best at Blair Academy. As a sophomore, he placed fourth in the 170-pound weight class.

Earlier this month, Knepshield verbally committed to Virginia.

Vikings on ice

Beneficiaries of the PIHL Open Class' co-op rule, three Apollo-Ridge students belong to the Indiana hockey team (18-2-1), which is the No. 2 seed in the Chiefs Cup tournament and will play No. 3 Greensburg Salem on Tuesday night at S&T Bank Arena in Indiana.

Tanner Baylor finished sixth among the Little Indians in regular-season points with 26 (10 goals, 16 assists). He earned three assists in the team's 8-3 win over No. 7 Altoona Sunday night.

Mike DeMeno and Zach Jones also attend Apollo-Ridge but suit up for Indiana. DeMeno had five points during the regular season (one goal, four assists). Jones had six, all of which were assists.

Rough patch

Kittanning's hockey team isn't worried about playoff qualification, but it'd like to stop tumbling down the standings during the final week of the regular season.

The Wildcats (13-7-1) are postseason-bound — 10 of Class A's 12 teams advance. Where in the 10 is the critical part. They lost three in a row — all to teams with comparable or better records — before ending the skid with a 4-1 road win Monday night over Serra Catholic (11-10), which edged Kittanning earlier this season.

Class A's top six teams receive byes. Quaker Valley (21-0) has a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot with one game left on its schedule. Mars (17-3-1) is a firm No. 2, and Freeport (15-4-1) is safe at No. 3.

A logjam in the standings follows: Kittanning, Westmont Hilltop (13-7-1) and Thomas Jefferson (13-8).

To further complicate matters, the Wildcats split their season series with Thomas Jefferson and lost twice to Westmont Hilltop.

Kittanning finishes its regular season Thursday at home against Quaker Valley, so the Wildcats face the possibility of finishing with a costly loss. However, they gave Quaker Valley a scare Friday, forcing overtime before falling, 3-2.

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