Hempfield rallies behind 4 pins to beat Greensburg Salem
Greensburg Salem wrestling coach Randy Parsley knew his team had to build a big lead to upset No. 8 Hempfield on Wednesday in the Section 1-AAA opener for both teams.
It didn't happen. The Golden Lions didn't build a big enough lead.
Hempfield (1-0, 1-0) used four consecutive pins and rallied to defeat No. 9 Greensburg Salem (1-1, 0-1), 34-30.
The Golden Lions raced to a 20-0 lead but an overtime win by senior Louis Maser and a pin by heavyweight Fred Mantsch keyed the rally for the Spartans, who reclaimed the Crosstown Cup trophy given to the winning team.
The Spartans have won nine of the 15 matches since the trophy was started. Greensburg Salem won it last year.
“The rally isn't how had planned it,” Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine said. “Louie's win was big, and Fred's pin got us going. Fred's pin was unexpected, and Matt Dean's pin got us big bonus points.”
Mantsch, Vincent Distefanis (106 pounds), Dean and Ricky Cavallo (120) recorded the consecutive pins to help erase a 24-3 deficit and gave the Spartans a 27-24 lead.
Josh Armstrong's pin at 126 pounds helped Greensburg Salem grab a 30-27 lead, but a decision win by returning state champion Sam Krivus (132) tied the score 30-30, and Joey Alessandro's major decision win gave the Spartans the win.
Parsley said he knew the loss at 195 was costly.
“We got pinned four times and only got two. That was the difference,” Parsley said. “If we would have had 30 points by the heavyweight match, I was confident we'd win. I thought we were better in nine of the 14 weight classes.
“When they forfeited to Lenny (Grebeck) at 160, we got the matches that we wanted. We just didn't get the wins we needed.”
The match started at 145 pounds, and Greensburg Salem junior Zach Mattucci got a 15-0 technical fall win against William Chilinsky for a 5-0 lead.
Troy Brown (152) followed with a 4-3 win against Philip Petit, and after Grebeck was awarded a forfeit, Brady Mason (170) and Korbin Bundy (182) earned decision wins.
Maser used a takedown with 23.5 seconds left in overtime against Zach Pasko for a 5-3 win to stop the Golden Lions' quick start.
“We don't have a true 195-pound wrestler, so we needed to make a decision on whom to forfeit to. We picked Lenny,” DeAugustine said. “It's nice to defeat your rival, but I wasn't thrilled with the way we wrestled. They did get the job done.”
Both teams are in tournaments this weekend. Hempfield is at the King of the Mountain tournament in Lock Haven, and Greensburg Salem goes to Independence, Ohio, to compete in the North Coast Classic.
Both coaches agree that they would have liked to see this match held later in the season, but the WPIAL schedule made it the first of the season.
“We always wrestled after the (Westmoreland County Coaches' Association) tournament in January,” Parsley said. “The season really has started yet.”