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Four Kiski Area wrestlers advance to semifinals

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 11:09 p.m.
Kiski Area's Cole Landowski (top) pins Hampton's Kevin Synan at 5:33 in their 145-pound match in the quarterfinal round of the WPIAL Class AAA individual wrestling championships Friday, March 1, 2013, at Norwin. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)

Kiski Area heavyweight Shane Kuhn is fortunate to still be contending for a gold medal at the WPIAL/PIAA Southwest Regional Class AAA wrestling tournament at Norwin.

Kuhn, the top seed at 285, was called for an illegal slam with five seconds left in the match against Gateway senior Jaymar Parrish.

Instead of Parrish taking the win, Gateway assistant coach Bob Ladick told him to continue. Kuhn ended up with a 3-2 win and a spot in the semifinals noon Saturday.

After the match, Kiski Area coach Chuck Tursky had Kuhn walk over to thank Ladick. He also let the junior know he wasn't pleased with the way he wrestled.

“When I first got started in coaching, that would not have happened,” Tursky said. “A lot of coaches would have taken the win. Bob is a class act.”

Overall, it wasn't a bad night for Kiski Area. Along with Kuhn, three others — Cole Landowski (145), Tyler Worthing (170) and Matt McCutcheon (182) — advanced.

Kyle Skelly (152) was the only Kiski Area wrestler to lose in the quarterfinals. He dropped an ultimate tiebreaker overtime match to Pine-Richland sophomore Brendan Burnham, 3-2.

“It was a great performance, but we still have a lot of wrestling,” Tursky said. “We have to keep the momentum going and keep working. It was close match for Kyle. He just came up short.”

Landowski, the third seed, advanced with a third-period pin of Hampton's Kevin Synan. He'll face No. 2 Josh Shields of Franklin Regional in the semifinals.

Worthing, a freshman, defeated Butler junior Ryan Hannon, 5-2. He'll face Canon-McMillan senior and returning WPIAL and PIAA champion Cody Wiercioch.

“I'll tell him to go out and do his best,” Tursky said. “I really won't have to tell him that; he will do that.

“We've asked him to go up to 195, 182 and now he's at 170. He's really picked it up a notch against the older guys.”

“It's a tough thing to do wrestling at the higher weights,” Worthing said. “But when you have a wrestling partner like Matt McCutcheon, best in the country, it doesn't get any better than that. I'm pretty excited.”

McCutcheon, a returning WPIAL and PIAA champion, was in the same boat as Worthing when he was a freshman. He qualified for the states by finishing third.

“The toughest part is being able to hand fight with the bigger guys and staying in good shape while you're hand fighting them,” McCutcheon said. “You have to get used to wrestling at this level.”

McCutcheon (33-0) had no problem advancing. He pinned Connellsville sophomore Matt Butler in the second period. McCutcheon will face North Allegheny sophomore Zach Smith in the semifinals.

Plum had two wrestlers reach the quarterfinals, but both dropped their matches.

Freshman Tommy Zummo dropped a 16-1 technical decision to Central Catholic sophomore Vincenzo Joseph at 120, and senior Jake DiGullio dropped a 5-1 decision to Montour's Cole Macek at 220.

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