Plum brings home team title from West Mifflin
By Michael Love
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
The Plum varsity wrestling team has produced numerous top results so far in the 2013-14 season, and the Mustangs added to that Saturday in dominant fashion at the Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic at West Mifflin High School.
Plum wrestlers brought home 10 top-eight medals, including championships from Tony DiNinno and Nate Turchick at 106 and 195, respectively.
It all contributed to a first-place team finish by 70 points over second-place North Hills.
“With the start of the season that they had, I knew they were capable of much more,” Plum head coach Mike Supak said.
“They had talked about having a chance at being in the top two or three if they wrestled well. After the first day, bringing ten back, it was a good indicator they had a chance to win the title.”
Supak said the team wasn't looking at where the other teams were but was trying to improve its point total as much as possible and letting the whole thing play out at the end.
“Everyone was fighting for each other,” Supak said.
Nate Turchick went 4-0, beating Elizabeth Forward's Luke Fournier, 9-3, in the title bout after recording three straight falls through the semifinals.
He now is 14-2 on the season.
DiNinno wrestled three times, and his pin of Cambridge Springs' Jake Kuhn in the 106-pound championship match came with 44 seconds left in the second period.
He upped his overall record to 15-2.
The Mustangs wrestled at the Steve DeAugustino Holiday Classic for the third year in a row, and they have had success every time.
Last year, Plum was fourth, while North Hills took the team title.
In 2011, the Mustangs were fourth, as the host Titans claimed the top spot.
In addition to DiNinno and Nate Turchick's titles, Hunter Fenk (182) placed second, and he added his runner-up finish Saturday to his Eastern Area championship from early in December.
Fenk lost for the first time this season in the title bout, a tough 7-5 setback to North Hills' Elliot King in overtime, but he went 3-1 in four matches to up his record to 14-1 on the season.
Dom Davido (120), Tommy Zummo (126), Zach Martin (152) and Stephen Turchick (285) earned third-place finishes, while Eric Green (145) took fourth.
Rounding out the medalists for Plum were Anthony Borrasso (113) in fifth and Ronny Amato (132) in seventh.
Green, Nate Turchick and Stephen Turchick each medaled at West Mifflin for the third straight year.
Green was third in both 2011 and 2012, while Nate Turchick took third in 2011 and fifth last year. Stephen Turchick was fifth in both 2011 and 2012.
Three other Plum wrestlers — Nick Meyers (138), Zeke Bonura (160) and Thomas McCoy (170) — competed at West Mifflin, and all three won at least two matches. Meyers went 3-2, while Bonura and McCoy both ended up 2-2.
“We had some guys we expected to be right up there at the end, but there were other guys like Anthony and Ronny who got a chance to show they can perform at that level,” Supak said.
“They took advantage of that.”
Supak said he was proud of the way his wrestlers supported each other during respective attempts at titles and medals.
“As with any good team, cohesion is important, and they continue to be focused in the same direction,” Supak said.
“Like I've said before, it's a veteran team that has goals and knows what it takes to achieve them. Even our younger wrestlers are improving and are feeding off the veterans.”
The top four teams in the standings at the West Mifflin tournament are Section 3B squads.
In addition to Plum and North Hills, Shaler placed third, and Fox Chapel took fourth.
Plum is 2-0 in its subsection with wins over Hampton and Fox Chapel, and it jumps right back into section competition Thursday at 7 p.m. at Shaler.
The Mustangs clinch a spot in the Section 3 team playoffs with a win over the Titans.
Plum hosts a nonsection match against rival Gateway on Monday at 7 p.m. before hosting North Hills next Wednesday at 7.
The section finale at Pittsburgh Central Catholic is Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.
“They got to see Shaler and North Hills (at the West Mifflin Tournament), and they know they are solid teams,” Supak said.
“They know what they need to do to show they are that caliber of a playoff team.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.
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