Burrell wrestlers thump Valley, run section winning streak to 82
By Bill West
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 11:06 p.m.
One season after enduring some of the closest section wins in its decade of dominance, Burrell's wrestling team is back in the habit of claiming matches with authority.
The seven-time defending WPIAL Class AA champion Bucs (4-1, 4-0) secured the top spot in the Section 3-AA subdivision B with a 52-20 win over Valley (5-4, 2-2) on Wednesday night. Burrell will go for its 11th straight section title inside its gym next week in the Section 3-AA tournament, which kicks off the WPIAL team postseason. The Bucs open with a semifinal bout against subdivision A runner-up Avonworth.
“Just because Burrell is the name across our chests, nothing is guaranteed,” Burrell coach Josh Shields said. “We still have to go out and wrestle 14 matches tough. We have a huge bull's-eye on our back.”
Valley almost ended Burrell's section winning streak — now at 82 straight — last season when the Bucs pulled off a 36-34 victory. That match, combined with much of the starting lineup returning this season, gave the Vikings hope that they might test Burrell again.
Halfway through the 14 weight classes, a Valley upset remained possible as the Vikings, despite forfeiting at 220 and 285 pounds, trailed 18-14.
Then, Burrell's steamroller section arrived.
First-period pins by seniors J.R. Andrejcik (132), Steve Edwards (152), Derrick Beattie (160) and Nick Pattock (170) as well as a second-period fall by Corey Falleroni (145) provided a considerable lead to the Bucs, who recognized their seniors before the match.
“In a match like this, you can't give up the falls,” Valley coach Steve Ansani said. “But our guys are young, so we'll just come back and regroup.”
Beattie, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury, delivered the fastest pin of the night, in 18 seconds.
“We get it rolling there,” Beattie said of Burrell's middleweights. “We've got a lot of our seniors there. We're pushing the pace.”
Senior 182-pounder Terrell Fields secured Valley's only pin of the night in the match's final bout.
“To only give up one pin against that lineup, that's pretty impressive considering the caliber of guys they have,” Shields said. “So I was impressed with that, but to win at states, you have to have a solid lineup.”
While Burrell and subdivision B runner-up Kittanning will wrestle in Section 3-AA semifinal matches next week, Valley, the third-place finisher in subdivision B, will meet Keystone Oaks, subdivision A's third-place team, for a spot in the WPIAL tournament.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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