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Mt. Pleasant pins EF in nonsection match

| Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 11:54 p.m.

Even though the Mt. Pleasant wrestling team lost to Burrell in the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs on Wednesday, Vikings coach Mike Long was pleased with his team's effort, especially considering the Vikings lack the depth of the top-end Class AA teams.

On Friday, the host Vikings continued to build positive momentum for the individual portion of the season as they scored a 52-25 win over Class AAA opponent Elizabeth Forward in a nonsection match.

“This was important for us,” Long said. “I was pleased with how we wrestled against Ellwood City and Burrell (in the playoffs). We lost to Burrell, but it wasn't due to us not wrestling hard. And we like to get these extra looks. It helps when it comes time for individuals.”

Aldo Garcia (132 pounds), Evan Haines (160), Justin Overly (182) and Jack Keslar (285) recorded falls for the Vikings (11-4).

Overly and Elizabeth Forward's Luke Fornier nearly went the distance, but Overly pinned Fornier with just 25 seconds remaining in the third period. Overly's victory got Long's attention.

“Justin Overly had a big win,” Long said. “He wrestled a really solid kid.”

Mt. Pleasant's Austin Mears (145) also had a strong showing with a 16-5 major decision over Steve Morgan. Jeremy Lawrence (113), Mike Novak (126), Ethan Charlesworth (152) and Eli Holt (195) each were awarded a forfeit victory.

Like Mt. Pleasant, Elizabeth Forward also wanted to use the match as a tuneup for the individual competitions, which will begin with sectionals later this month.

“At this point, everything is practice,” Elizabeth Forward coach Rich Scheuerman said, noting three of his wrestlers are out of the lineup due to illness or injury. “We're trying to move people around, but we just need to practice harder and prepare. But some of our young guys are getting better and some of our veterans are stepping up.”

Adam Oatman (220) had a pin for the Warriors (6-6). Jake Terrick (138) and Colt Belardia (170) won by major decision and decision, respectively. Alex Lukart (106) and Luke Etzel (120) each received a forfeit win for Elizabeth Forward.

Before individual competition gets underway, the Vikings will host Albert Gallatin in a nonsection match on Wednesday.

“It gives the kids different looks, and we need those different looks,” Long said.

Jason Black is the Local Sports Editor of the Daily Courier. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com.

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