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Canon-McMillan advances to PIAA finals

| Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 10:27 p.m.
Burrell heavyweight Allan Beattie (top) watches the final match against Chestnut Ridge during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
South Fayette's Kevin Chaussard (bottom) fights off a pin attempt by Saucon Valley's Tyler Harka in their 126-pound match during the opening round of consolations at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Chaussard lost by fall at 1:21. Saucon Valley eliminated South Fayette with a 41-16 victory. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Redbank Valley's Cal Haines (bottom) is pinned by Bermudian Springs' Brock Linebaugh at 2:15 in their 106-pound match during the quarterfinal round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Redbank Valley lost to Bermudian Springs 34-30. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Redbank Valley's Tanner Altobelli (left) battles Bermudian Springs' Chase Mueller in their 120-pound match during the quarterfinal round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Altobelli scored a 14-8 decision and Redbank Valley lost to Bermudian Springs 34-30. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Burrell's Dustin Maloney (left) gives up back points in his 160-pound match against Chestnut Ridge's Bradie Bollman during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Maloney lost by a 17-2 technical fall. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
South Fayette's Michael Fetchet cheers on teammate Seth Carr during 120-pound match against Saucon Valley during the opening round of consolations at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Saucon Valley eliminated South Fayette with a 41-16 victory. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Burrell head coach Bud Sines (left) and assistant coach Josh Shields react to a call in their match against Chestnut Ridge during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
South Fayette's Seth Carr (top) battles Saucon Valley's Bryan Israel in their 120-pound match during the opening round of consolations at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Carr lost by a 3-1 decision. Saucon Valley eliminated South Fayette with a 41-16 victory. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Chestnut Ridge's Virgil Burns attempts to pin Burrell's Allan Beattie (bottom) during their 285-pound match during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Beattie lost by fall at 3:23. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
South Fayette's Andrew John (bottom) fights off a pin attempt by Saucon Valley's Jack Hill in their 106-pound match during the opening round of consolations at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. John lost by a 9-3 decision. Saucon Valley eliminated South Fayette with a 41-16 victory. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Burrell assistant coach Josh Shields reacts in the match against Chestnut Ridge during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Redbank Valley's Brandon Bailey (left), shown wrestling during the PIAA Class AA team championships in Hershey, is one of several Bulldogs expected to contend for District 9 individual titles Saturday at Clarion University. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Redbank Valley's Ryan Kube (bottom) is pinned by Bermudian Springs' Bayley Oberlander at 5:52 in their 106-pound match during the quarterfinal round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Redbank Valley lost to Bermudian Springs 34-30. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Chestnut Ridge's Derrick Claar attempts to pin Burrell's Noah Hanna (bottom) during their 120-pound match during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Hanna lost a 7-2 decision. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Burrell's Dakota DesLauriers scores a takedown on Chestnut Ridge's Tyler Dibert in their 182-pound match during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. DesLauriers won an 11-3 major decision. Burrell was eliminated from the tournament with a 34-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon McMillan's Sammy Minor (top) attempts to pin Easton Area's Willie Alford in their 170-lb match during the semifinals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Minor won by a 8-1 decision. Canon McMillan defeated Easton Area 37-35. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Nick Konyk (bottom) reacts after he was pinned in 31 seconds by Central Dauphin's Evan DiSora in their 160-pound match during the semifinals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Central Dauphin defeated Franklin Regional 41-25. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Cody Wiercioch (top) pins Easton Area's Patrick Pierson at 1:56 in their 182-pound match during the semifinals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Easton Area, 37-35. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram (top) spins around Easton Area's James Saylor in their 126-pound match during the semifinals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Schram won by a 19-4 technical fall. Canon-McMillan defeated Easton Area, 37-35. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Kyle Berk (bottom) fights off a pin attempt by Central Dauphin's Austin Camacci in their 113-pound match during the semifinals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Berk lost by a 15-8 decision. Central Dauphin defeated Franklin Regional, 41-25. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Alex Campbell celebrates after pinning Erie McDowell's Dakota Mclean at 21 seconds in their 220-pound match during the quarterfinal round at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Erie McDowell 35-27. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Cody Wiercioch (right) attempts to pin Erie McDowell's Kyle Rogers in their 182-pound match during the quarterfinal round at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Wiercioch won by fall at 2:37. Canon-McMillan defeated Erie McDowell, 35-27. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer (right) takes down Owen J Roberts' Colby Frank in their 126-pound match during the quarterfinal round at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Kemerer won by a 8-2 decision. Franklin Regional defeated Owen J Roberts, 29-28. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
North Allegheny's Alex DeCiantis (right) throws Erie McDowell's Andrew Bradley in their 195-pound match during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. DeCiantis won a major decision, 17-6. North Allegheny was eliminated after falling to Erie McDowell 31-24. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
North Allegheny's Dom Forys (top) attempts to pin Erie McDowell's Paul Deitz in their 120-pound match during the consolation second round at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on February 08, 2013. Forys won a major decision, 19-4. North Allegheny was eliminated after falling to Erie McDowell, 31-24. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

HERSHEY — Canon-McMillan gets a chance to defend its PIAA Class AAA team wrestling title, but it won't be easy.

The Big Macs (18-0) will be the underdogs against Central Dauphin (24-0) in the finals at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Giant Center.

And being the underdog is just what Canon-McMillan senior Cody Wiercioch wants.

“Technically, we're not supposed to win,” Wiercioch said. “We just have to wrestle like we're taught and get it done.”

Canon-McMillan moved into the finals by defeating Erie McDowell, 35-27, in the quarterfinals and then perennial District 11 and state power Easton, 37-35, in the semifinals Friday night.

Central Dauphin advanced by defeating Parkland, 32-27, in the quarterfinals and Franklin Regional, 41-25, in the semifinals.

Franklin Regional, making its first trip to the state tournament, reached the semifinals by defeating Owen J. Roberts, 29-28, in the quarterfinals.

Easton started quickly against Canon-McMillan, getting two 31-second pins at 152 and 160 pounds. But Sammy Minor stopped Easton's quick start with a win at 170, and Wiercioch followed with a pin to trim the deficit to 12-9.

“We have Central Dauphin, we beat them once (last year's semifinals) and I think we can do it again if we wrestle to our abilities,” Wiercioch said. “I got a big pin and everyone stepped up in close matches. We're on our game right now.”

Canon-McMillan scored bonus points in six of its seven wins. Alex Campbell (220), Adam Broglia (285) and Brendon Price (106) collected pins, and Dalton Marci (120) and Connor Schram (126) had technical falls.

Canon-McMillan erased an 18-9 deficit with three consecutive pins to grab a 27-18 lead.

“This was a total team effort,” Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary said. “They stepped up. They wanted to get back into the finals, and I'm proud of all the kids' efforts. I'm proud of the coaches who helped prepare in the finals.”

Franklin Regional (21-4) started its semifinal in the heart of Central Dauphin's lineup. The four-time PIAA champion raced to a 15-0 lead and was up, 38-8, before Franklin Regional got to its top wrestlers.

“They have a meat-grinder in the middle, and they got that snowball effect,” Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said. “They've been here before, and they got their bonus points. We came back in the later rounds, it was a good match. I learned we're in great shape and what we have to work on. I'm eager to see how we bounce back.”

Jake Pickup (182), Luke Fleck (285), Mike Kemerer (126), Tyler Smith (132) and Josh Shields (145) picked up wins for Franklin Regional. Fleck and Smith recorded pins.

Also in Class AAA, North Allegheny won a first-round consolation match over Mifflin County, 46-12, but had its PIAA run come to an end with a 31-24 loss to Erie McDowell in the second round of consolations.

In Class AA, South Fayette fell to Saucon Valley, 41-16, in the first consolation round, while Burrell started the day with a 39-16 win over Western Wayne but then fell to Chestnut Ridge, 34-24, in round two of the consolations.

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

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