Burrell wrestling team edges Valley in section showdown
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A long, loud, post-match locker room speech said it all.
The champs were hot and bothered.
Despite another victory, Burrell's wrestling coaches weren't in a celebratory mood after the Buccaneers escaped with a 36-34 victory over Valley on Wednesday night in New Kensington.
Burrell's program has a standard — a foot-on-the-throat mentality that thrives on making teams submit. The old “a-win-is-a-win” thing doesn't mean much to the six-time defending WPIAL champions, who seemed unusually humbled after Valley gave them all they could handle.
“We're just not catching fire; we weren't like ourselves,” Burrell coach Bud Sines said. “We did the minimum to get this win. We can't wrestle like this (in the postseason) and expect to win.”
Valley (7-2, 2-2) was hoping to upset the Class AA No. 2-ranked Bucs (7-3, 4-0) and force a three-way tie for first place in Section 3B with Burrell and Kittanning. But a pair of forfeits, a couple of surprises and a shortage of pins kept the Vikings from pulling off the upset.
“We didn't get the bonus points when we needed them,” Valley coach Steve Ansani said. “We had some guys locked in cradles, but couldn't get the pins. We were close, but not close enough.”
Burrell's most impressive win came from freshman Damon Greenwald, who stunned defending WPIAL champion and No. 1-ranked 126-pounder Pat Dewitt, 7-4.
“Both medaled at the county tournament (last weekend),” Sines said. “You never know what you're going to get with a freshman, but Damon got a big win for us.”
A junior, Dewitt fell to 17-4.
“Greenwald really stepped up,” Ansani said.
Valley's C.J. Ragins also pulled a surprise at 138, pinning Jason David in 2:49 to put the Vikings up, 16-7.
Back-to-back pins by Steven Edwards (145) and Phil Marra (152), the normal 160-pounder who replaced injured Corey Fallaroni, gave Burrell its first lead at 18-16. Marra had a team point deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct. Valley went back up, 22-18, after nine matches, but Dakota DesLauriers won by fall at 182 to give the Bucs a 24-22 advantage.
Some were hoping to see DesLauriers (13-0) face Valley's Terrell Fields, but Fields opted to go at 195 and picked up six points, pinning Corey Arabia to give Valley a 28-24 advantage with three bouts left.
Two Valley forfeits sealed the Vikings' fate, however. Valley freshman Jihad Ratliff posted a pin at 106 in the final bout to make it 36-34.
Valley's 285-pounder, Dom Dorsey, did not wrestle because of disciplinary reasons, Ansani said. Valley's Josiah Hughes (120), one of only two seniors on the team, picked up a win on senior night.
“We're used to a more up-tempo style,” Ansani said. “They slowed us down. We just have to develop that killer instinct when we get guys on their backs.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.