| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Connellsville wrestling team whips 2 foes to win Section 2-AAA title

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Evan R. Sanders | Daily Courier
Connellsville's Matt Butler (top) works to pin Peters Township's Mike Ament in the 195-pound match during the Section 2-AAA championship held at Connellsville Area High School on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Dave Stofcheck
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 10:54 p.m.

Dylan Miller, Ethan Kenney and Tommy Provance each recorded two falls as Connellsville breezed to the Section 2-AAA wrestling championship Wednesday night.

The Falcons defeated Peters Township, 48-17, in the finals.

Connellsville began with pins by Matt Butler at 195 pounds and Miller at 220 and closed the match by winning five straight weight classes.

“It was a nice win,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said. “With both Peters Township and Mt. Lebanon, there were a lot of tough matches. They're both tough clubs and well-coached.”

The Falcons advanced to the finals with an easy 52-12 win over Mt. Lebanon.

Peters Township claimed a spot in the championship with a thrilling 34-31 win over Belle Vernon.

With the score tied, 31-31, the Indians' Mackenzie Mitchell defeated Belle Vernon's Milton Kibaly at 170 pounds, 7-6, when he was awarded a penalty point with 10 seconds remaining in the third period.

Connellsville won four of the first five bouts in the finals, the only loss coming when heavyweight Gunnar Lynch dropped a 1-0 decision in three overtimes.

Lynch was also on the short end of a 1-0 decision in the semifinals.

Trailing 23-3, Peters Township won three straight bouts, beginning with Philip Mary's pin of Daniel Leonard.

Tyler Bucksio and Italo Merante followed with major decisions to cut Peters Township's deficit to 23-17.

But Ethan Kenney's pin of John Ivaschenko ended the Falcons' skid, and Connellsville didn't lose another match.

Dolde credits a grueling regular-season schedule with helping prepare his team for the postseason format of back-to-back matches.

“That's the way our athletic director sets it up for us,” Dolde said. “It's set up so we're peaking at the right time. The kids are seasoned. We have a lot of sophomores and freshmen wrestling, and we're hoping all the kids peak at the right moment.”

Connellsville's Francis Cavalier, Tyler Steele, Tyler Kenney and Butler each recorded two wins.

The semifinals started at 182 pounds, and Cavalier picked up a hard-fought 4-2 overtime decision over Mt. Lebanon's Baktiyar Zaynullayev.

A forfeit and Miller's pin of Blake Stewart quickly gave Connellsville a 15-0 lead.

After Zeynul Zaynullayev clipped Lynch, Tyler Kenney recorded a fall, and Leonard decisioned Kevin Kinyua; the lead was 24-3.

Beginning with Ethan Kenney at 138 pounds, Connellsville recorded four straight pins.

Connellsville will be back in action next Wednesday, when the WPIAL Class AAA team playoffs begin. The first round and quarterfinals will be Wednesday, with the semifinals and finals slated for Feb. 2.

Dolde is pleased with the direction his team is headed.

“We gave up some points tonight that we didn't have to give up,” Dolde said. “But both of the matches were good matches. This is the third time we've been in this type of tournament this season, and it has us ready for what's ahead of us.”

Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Wrestling