Kiski Area duo fall just short of PIAA wrestling gold
By Bill West
Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013, 11:36 p.m.
HERSHEY — Because the PIAA Wrestling Championship brackets use pre-drawn pairings rather than subjective seedings, Kiski Area junior Shane Kuhn accepted that his path to the Class AAA heavyweight final put him on a collision course with nationally ranked Nazareth senior Aaron Bradley in the semifinals.
As expected, Bradley, a consensus top-10 heavyweight nationwide, and Kuhn, also a national name, clashed Saturday at Giant Center.
Kuhn fell from the ranks of the PIAA's unbeaten.
Then he bounced back in convincing fashion to take third, a one-place improvement from his finish a season ago in the weight class.
Kuhn (42-1) followed his 3-0 loss to eventual champion Bradley by pinning Methacton junior Tracey Green in the morning session, and then he wrapped up his tournament with a 3-0 victory over James Coughlin senior Brad Emerick in the medal match.
“I had a feeling that my semis match would be more like a finals match,” Kuhn said. “And after that, I knew third was the goal, but it wasn't really what I came here for.”
Senior 195-pounder Matt McCutcheon (37-2), a champion last season at 182, also left Hershey disappointed, as he lost to Hampton senior Jake Hart in a title match for the second time in a week. Hart, who won the WPIAL final in overtime, prevailed, 6-1.
“He's not the kind of kid who's going to complain and whine about it,” Kuhn said of McCutcheon, who apologetically offered no comment. “I feel for him. But I know that's not his only goal. He has goals down the road in college. That's the big picture. This will probably motivate him, if anything.”
McCutcheon, who also medaled as a sophomore, went into the rematch eager for revenge and aware that Hart, an Edinboro recruit and a returning state runner-up at 195, could handle the pressure of the PIAA stage.
Both escaped on each other to tie the match at 1-1. Hart went ahead, 2-1, after the officials penalized McCutcheon for fleeing the mat as he tried to avoid a takedown with 48 seconds left in the third period.
McCutcheon, forced to take more risks, attacked in desperation, but his aggression backfired, and Hart added four points on a takedown and near-fall in the final 12 seconds.
Kiski Area coach Chuck Tursky questioned the fleeing call. But he acknowledged the match might've gone Hart's way without the officials' help.
“It was going to be a tough match to just get a takedown,” Tursky said. “And the person who got a takedown was probably going to win that match.”
McCutcheon, who will wrestle at Penn State, leaves Kiski Area with the legacy of securing the Cavaliers' first individual state title.
Kuhn, who has Division I offers for wrestling and football, knows he has the talent and drive to deliver Kiski Area gold next season.
“He's right up there with the best,” Tursky said. “That (semifinal) was probably the match. That could've been a final match, I felt.
“It's pretty amazing (Kuhn placed third) because after you're undefeated all year, and you take that first loss, there are some people that have problems bouncing back.”
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.
- Defending WPIAL, PIAA champion Krivus hopes to carry Hempfield wrestling
- West Mifflin wrestling team opens up with new look
- Greensburg Salem wrestling to rely on group strengths
- Belle Vernon wrestlers pin Thomas Jefferson
- Hempfield rallies behind 4 pins to beat Greensburg Salem
- Connellsville wrestling picks up 1st win of season
- Burrell routs Kittanning in Shields’ coaching debut
- Moon wrestling program building with Quaker Valley’s cooperative agreement
- Connellsville wrestling routed by Latrobe in opener
- McKeesport wrestlers growing in numbers
- Elizabeth Forward wrestler earns redemption at Chartiers-Houston tournament