Connellsville's Kenney brothers advance to WPIAL wrestling semifinals
Connellsville senior Ethan Kenney didn't come into the WPIAL/PIAA Class AAA Southwest Regional expecting to have any lackluster performances. However, the Falcons' 132-pounder struggled to get any momentum in his quarterfinal bout against Upper St. Clair's Corey Wilding on Friday at Norwin High School.
“I wrestled as bad as I could have,” Ethan Kenney said. “I didn't take enough shots, and I couldn't turn him.”
Despite the tough critique of his own performance, Ethan Kenney still had enough to earn a 4-1 win and advance to Saturday's semifinals, which begin at noon.
Ethan Kenney is one of two Falcons to make it to the semifinals, but he knows that in order to keep advancing, he'll have to come up with a much better effort than what he turned in on Friday.
“It was a win, but I'd rather get that match out of the way rather than have that in the semis,” Ethan Kenney said. “Hopefully I can wrestle with some better tempo.”
Ethan Kenney will take on North Hills' Drew Walker in the semifinals.
Ethan's younger brother Tyler Kenney (106) also advanced to the semifinals after winning via injury default in the first period over Ringgold's Douglas Gudenburr. Tyler Kenney will wrestle top-seeded Luke Pletcher of Latrobe.
All eight Connellsville wrestlers that competed Friday are still in the hunt Saturday.
Tommy Provance (160) kept his state hopes alive thanks to a 4-2 win over Kiski's Shawn McGowan. Provance will compete in the second round of consolations beginning at 10 a.m.
Daniel Leonard (113), William Bell (138), Tyler Steele (145), Matt Butler (195) and Dylan Miller (285) all suffered quarterfinal losses but will have the opportunity to regroup beginning with bouts in the second round of consolations.
“We went 3-5,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said in regards to Friday's matches. “Tommy (Provance) had a nice win, and both Kenneys had nice wins.”
Dolde noted that Saturday's action will be a major test, especially for those wrestlers trying to battle their way through the consolation bracket.
“Those guys will be facing even better competition, and they have to pick it up,” Dolde said.
The consolation finals will start at 6 p.m. followed by the championship bouts at 7:30 p.m. The top three wrestlers in each weight class advance to the PIAA championships next week at Giant Center in Hershey.