Norwin's Heath Coles tops rival to win WPIAL Class AAA wrestling title
Not much separates Norwin senior Heath Coles and Greensburg Salem senior Tyler Reinhart.
The two have met five times this season and each time the match was decided by one point.
Coles improved his record against Reinhart to 3-2 by getting an escape with four seconds left for a 4-3 victory in Saturday's 152-pound final at the WPIAL/PIAA Class AAA Southwest Regional championship at Norwin.
It was Coles' second consecutive WPIAL title and also the second time he did it by defeating the guy who beat him a week before in the Section 1 tournament.
“I thought I was going to win by two this match, but Tyler kept coming at me,” Coles said. “It's always going to be close unless someone opens up.
”It's gone back and forth. Hopefully, we'll meet in the state finals. All I just tried to do was kick away for the escape.”
Coles wasn't the only wrestler from the area to become a two-time champion. The others were Hempfield sophomore Sam Krivus (120), Connellsville senior Ethan Kenney (132) and Latrobe junior Zack Zavatsky (160).
Krivus, the 106-pound winner in 2012, turned in a dominating, 12-0 win against Central Catholic sophomore Vincenzo Joseph.
Krivus took the action to Joseph, who upset Canon-McMillan's Dalton Macri, 10-2, in the semifinals, from the start with a takedown and a three-point nearfall for a 5-0 lead. Krivus was so dominant, that he wouldn't even concede an escape to Joseph late in the match.
Kenney, a winner at 106 in 2010, outscored Franklin Regional junior Tyler Smith, 14-12, in a wild match at 132. Kenney used a five-point move in the first period and held on for the win.
Zavatsky jumped out quickly against Greensburg Salem senior Zach Voytek, winning 7-2.
Latrobe freshman Luke Pletcher continued to show why he's ranked No. 1 in the state. He defeated North Hills freshman Gage Curry, 4-1, in the 106 finals.
The Canon-McMillan trio of Connor Schram (126), Solomon Chishko (145) and Cody Wiercioch (170) became the first to become three-time champions from the same school during the same season.
Connor Schram (126 pounds) and Solomon Chishko (145) held on for 3-2 wins against Franklin Regional wrestlers to claim their third titles, while Cody Wiercioch (170) had an easier time, defeating Chartiers Valley junior Noah Wilps, 9-1, for third trifecta.
Schram won his third consecutive title, but the ending was a little scary and controversial. He defeated Michael Kemerer of Franklin Regional, the returning 106-pound champion, 3-2. Kemerer almost came up with a takedown in the final 10 seconds.
Chishko captured his title by defeating Josh Shields and did a split during the final 30 seconds to avoid a takedown.
There were four upsets during the finals. Waynesburg sophomore A.C. Headlee pulled off the first at 113 when he defeated North Allegheny junior Dom Forys, 7-5. Headlee used a reversal and takedown in the second period to grab a 4-1 lead and held on.
Connellsville's Ethan Kenney outscored Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith, 14-12, at 132 to win his second title.
Central Catholic's Zach DeLuca won the 220-pound title with a 10-5 win against Canon-McMillan's Alex Campbell, who was seeded No. 1.
But the shocker came at 195 when Hampton senior Jacob Hart knocked off returning WPIAL and PIAA champion Matt McCutcheon of Kiski Area, 3-1, in overtime.
“This was a huge confidence builder,” Hart said. “I lost to him in the summer by five or six points, so I knew I had to keep in close and wear him out. I felt pretty good in overtime.”
Other district winners were Franklin Regional's Josh Marcua (138) and Kiski Area's Shane Kuhn (285).
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.