21 WPIAL wrestlers reach PIAA Class AA quarterfinals
By Bill West
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 10:27 p.m.
HERSHEY — After he endured the first two losses of his season in one afternoon, Charleroi junior Nick Gavazzi left Johnstown last Saturday with the weight of a flawless record no longer on his shoulders.
A relieved Gavazzi arrived in Hershey for the PIAA Class AA individual championships, and that spelled trouble for Bethlehem Catholic's Ryan Todora, Gavazzi's first-round opponent.
Gavazzi (35-2), the fifth-place finisher at 138 pounds in the Southwest Region, pulled off one of the day's biggest upsets when he pinned Todora, a returning state medalist and the Southeast Region's champion, in the second period Thursday at Giant Center.
“I'm back to myself,” said Gavazzi, a two-time WPIAL champion. “I think those losses were a good thing.”
The match, scoreless through the first period, turned in Gavazzi's favor 1:00 into the second period, when the junior, on top, used a power half-nelson to twist Todora on the mat.
Gavazzi, who went 1-2 in the PIAA tournament last season, will meet Line Mountain senior Seth Lansberry, a returning seventh-place state medalist at 132, in the quarterfinals, which begin at 9 a.m. Friday.
“I'm just going and having fun,” Gavazzi said.
Gavazzi is one of 21 Class AA quarterfinalists from the WPIAL. Five teams — Burrell, Chartiers-Houston, Jefferson-Morgan, Kittanning and South Fayette — each advanced two.
For Chartiers-Houston's senior duo, Tanner Sutton (145 pounds) and Garrett Vulcano (195), hopes for some long-awaited hardware are high.
Vulcano, who went 1-2 a season ago in his state debut, cruised with a 10-1 victory over Hamburg junior Austin Bashore.
Sutton, a third-time state qualifier, handled Schuylkill Valley senior Zach Homan, 14-6.
“Me and (Vulcano), we've been next-door neighbors since forever,” Sutton said, “and after we lost in that blood round last year, we both looked at each other and said we're going to do our best to make sure this never happens again.”
On the opposite end of the age spectrum are freshmen George Phillippi and Greg Bulsak.
Bulsak, South Park's 126-pounder, continued his remarkable run with a 3-0 victory over Wyomissing senior Jaquan Gordon in the first round.
Phillippi, Derry's 113-pounder, advanced by toppling Wilkes-Barre GAR junior A.J. Luton, 9-0.
“I talked to the previous state winners and they said, ‘Focus on the match at hand. Don't look ahead,' ” Phillippi said. “That was easy to do.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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.
- Nolf’s lone career loss serves as catalyst for continued excellence
- Norwin’s Phipps places 4th at PIAA Class AAA finals
- Peters Township, Penn-Trafford standouts to meet with finals berth on the line
- Franklin Regional wrestler backs up his words with 1st state title