Kittanning's Nolf tops rival Zanetta in close match for third WPIAL title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
If nothing else, Kittanning junior Jason Nolf's run-ins with Keystone Oaks senior Nick Zanetta affirm that the Wildcats' standout needs just a few points to win big bouts.
In a rematch of last week's Section 3-AA tournament final, Nolf defeated Zanetta, 3-0, on Saturday night at Chartiers Valley High School in the title round of the WPIAL Class AA individual championships' 132-pound weight class. Nolf improved to 38-0 this season and claimed his third WPIAL title.
“I had to keep my pace up and hand-fight more, create more opportunities for myself,” said Nolf, who won, 1-0, with a third-period escape Feb. 16. “He had more offense, too. He shot a lot more and hand-fought more.”
Despite increased efforts by both wrestlers to score, a 0-0 tie again existed after two periods. Nolf, on bottom to start the third period, escaped after just 19 seconds. He added a takedown late.
“We both wrestled differently and kind of adapted to the things that happened in the last match,” Zanetta said. “I was in on a couple shots. I just need to capitalize and finish. He's tough to finish on shots. Everyone is tough to finish on at this point.”
Asked about Nolf's ability to again escape quickly, Zanetta explained: “Two minutes is a long time, so if you don't think you can (ride him out), it's better to go for a takedown.”
Nolf thwarted Zanetta's better shots with crafty countermeasures. Nothing about those close calls left the Kittanning junior shaken. Not even the match's outcome irked Nolf much — and Nolf often regards anything but a pin as at least mildly disappointing.
“I still try to pin everybody I wrestle,” Nolf said. “I just want to keep winning. I just want to take it match by match.”
A third Nolf-Zanetta title bout in as many weeks is possible, as both advanced to the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional tournament, which begins Friday at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.
“I don't care who I wrestle,” Nolf said.
Two teammates will join Nolf in Johnstown.
Senior 152-pounder Taylor Jack reached the WPIAL finals for the first time in his career, but he finished on the wrong side of a 6-3 decision to No. 1 seed and Freedom senior Boe Bonzo.
The result represented slight improvement for Jack, who lost, 14-6, to Bonzo a season ago. But Jack found no consolation in that fact.
“I expected to definitely not be in the same place as last time,” he said. “I can't even remember the last time, except that I got my (behind) beat.
“I probably should've moved my feet more, taken more shots. I know I'm a lot more focused and confident this year. I'm going all out because it's my senior year.”
Senior 195-pounder Zac Croyle rounds out the regional-qualifying trio. After an 8-2 loss in the semifinals, Croyle rebounded to place third, as he defeated Ellwood City's Brad Grinnen in the medal match.
Two Wildcats barely missed qualifying for the regional round. The top seven place-winners in each weight class advanced; Christian Emminger (126 pounds) and Elliot Zydonik (170) each took eighth.
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.
- Starkey: Burnett writing incredible final chapter
- Alvarez’s walk-off single lifts Pirates over Padres
- Alle-Kiski police try to get drivers to cool it
- New Kensington to consider bake shop
- Crude oil tumble signals low gasoline prices this fall
- Pirates notebook: Four players selected for All-Star Game
- New Kensington residents furious over road conditions
- Crazy Mocha owner likes comfort, says shrewd decisions foster growth
- Connellsville kicks off farmers market
- Torn thumb ligament puts Pirates’ Harrison on 15-day disabled list
- Players continue traditional pickup game