Greensburg Salem wrestling knocks off rival Hempfield
It's been six years since Greensburg Salem has celebrated a wrestling victory over rival Hempfield.
But Wednesday in the Section 1B-AAA season opener, Greensburg Salem ended the drought.
The No. 4-ranked Golden Lions rallied from a 10-point deficit to defeat No. 10 Hempfield (0-1, 1-1), 36-31, in a match at Spartan Field House. The win comes after Greensburg Salem's victory at the Northeast Classic in Ohio.
Greensburg Salem (1-0, 1-0) also claimed the “Crosstown Cup,” given to the winning team in the neighborhood rivalry. The last time it won was in 2005. The teams didn't wrestle the past two seasons.
Pins by Tyler Reinhart (152) and Zach Voytek (170), and a forfeit to Lenny Grebeck (160) erased a 25-15 deficit and gave the Golden Lions a 33-25 lead with two matches remaining.
After Hempfield's Dom Nania (182) pulled the Spartans to within 33-31 with a pin, Greensburg Salem's Raistlen Willett (195) did what Greensburg Salem coach Randy Parsley asked — just win.
Willett went into the third period scoreless against Hempfield's Kyle Hart but used an escape and takedown to win, 4-0.
“I had all the faith in Raistlen,” Parsley said. “When we got through 145 down 10, I figured we'd win. It was a little close early, but the 138 and 145 matches were key. Zach Mattucci's win at 138 was big.”
Hempfield won six of the 14 bouts and four were falls. The pins were by Corey Jones (285), Ricky Cavallo (113), Sam Krivus (120) and Nania.
“We had the matchups we wanted, we just didn't execute and get the bonus points,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. “Not winning 138 was the key. Corey and the guys down low and did their jobs.
“I hate losing, especially to your arch rival. But it was a good early-season match, and we can learn from this. I figured we'd compete against any team in the top 10.”
Greensburg Salem, which won eight bouts, got a pin from Anthony Cable (220) to begin the match and four decision victories, the biggest from Zach Mattucci at 138. He used a three-point nearfall in the third period to defeat Jesse Giallonardo, 7-3.
“This was a big early-season win,” Parsley said. “Our section is very strong with Norwin and Latrobe still ahead.”
Greensburg Salem will compete in the North Hills Duals on Saturday, where it is scheduled to meet No. 3 Kiski Area.
Hempfield is at Norwin next Wednesday for a section match.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-853-2109.