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Canon-Mac's Chishko wins 4th WPIAL title

| Saturday, March 1, 2014, 2:30 p.m.

Canon-McMillan senior Solomon Chishko changed his wrestling style this season.

“I've been training to widen the gap against my opponents and try to beat them by more than I have in the past,” he said. “I used to be known for a slower pace, and I'm trying to get out of that now.”

Chishko put that style on display this week and breezed to his fourth WPIAL Class AAA title by defeating Franklin Regional junior Josh Maruca, 9-4, in the 145-pound final at the WPIAL and PIAA Southwest Regional on Saturday at Canon-McMillan.

Chishko (23-3) became the 24th wrestler to win four WPIAL titles. Maruca (36-5) was the returning 138-pound winner.

“It's a pretty cool achievement,” Chishko said. “I joined guys like Nico Megaludis, Jimmy Gulibon and Jason Nolf. It means a lot because I've put in a lot of hard work.”

“Winning WPIALs four times is awesome, but I want to win another state title again and show everyone I'm a step ahead.”

Latrobe senior Zack Zavatsky (38-0) became the 67th three-time winner with a 5-1 victory against Mt. Lebanon junior Kellan Stout (33-3) at 182 pounds.

“It's amazing wrestling in the WPIAL. Being in the finals four times and winning three times is surely special,” Zavatsky said. “I've always looked forward to this tournament, ever since I was a freshman.”

Zavatsky teammate Luke Pletcher (39-0) claimed his second title with an 11-3 win against Brendan Hasson (34-8) of Belle Vernon at 120. He dominated the action from the start.

“I was happy how I wrestled here,” Pletcher said. “I want to start my roll now. I wasn't wrestling like I know how to wrestle the past few weeks. I was putting too much pressure on myself.”

Kiski Area senior Shane Kuhn (36-1) claimed his second consecutive heavyweight title by defeating by 5-2 decision Mt. Lebanon junior Zeynul Zaynullayev (33-4).

There were a few upsets in the finals.

Canon-McMillan senior Dalton Macri (36-2) used a takedown at the buzzer for a 4-3 win at 126 pounds and denied Hempfield junior Sam Krivus (38-3) of his third title.

Krivus was protecting a 3-1 lead in the third period but was called for stalling twice, giving Macri a penalty point. Macri then pushed the attack and was awarded a takedown.

“Sam is a great wrestler and hard to score on,” Macri said. “I just kept attacking, and when you do that, good things happen.”

It was the first time in eight tries that Macri had beaten Krivus.

Penn-Trafford freshman Cameron Coy (35-5) pulled off the biggest upset when he used a second-period reversal and third-period takedown to defeat Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith, 5-2.

It was the fourth time Smith (33-1), the returning PIAA 132-pound champion, had finished second in the WPIALs.

Coy had lost a lot of close matches to good wrestlers this season. This time, his persistency paid off.

“I brought my ‘A' game,” Coy said. “I came out firing and got the job done. No one expected me to win. I was the underdog, and I came out and had fun.”

The other upset was Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph (36-3) edging 2012 champion Michael Kemerer of Franklin Regional (40-2), 5-2, in 138.

Franklin Regional claimed the tournament team title with 170 points. The Panthers had six in the finals and came away with three wins.

Junior Devin Brown (33-0) used a third period reversal to edge North Hills sophomore Gage Curry (35-1), 2-1, at 106; freshman Spencer Lee (45-0) pinned North Allegheny freshman Luke Landefeld (34-8) in the second period at 113; and junior Josh Shields (38-4) defeated Latrobe sophomore Jake Shaffer (33-10), 9-4, at 152.

The other winners were Belle Vernon sophomore Austin Bell (38-5) at 160, Central Catholic senior Kyle Coniker (27-3) at 170, Montour senior Cole Macek (32-0) at 195 and Kiski Area sophomore Tyler Worthing (32-1) at 220.

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

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