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Plum takes 4th place in Allegheny County meet

| Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

After he stepped off the Allegheny County Wrestling Championship's medal stand at Fox Chapel High School on Saturday, Plum senior heavyweight Steve Turchick wandered through the crowd and studied his right hand.

Turchick made a fist. Then he straightened his fingers.

He opened and closed his hand every couple of minutes. The broken bone in the hand bothered him after any grueling match, but it became particularly irksome following losses.

Turchick came close to a county title but settled for silver as he ended up on his back in the finals against top-seeded Zeynul Zaynullayev of Mt. Lebanon, who secured a pinfall with 43 seconds left in the third period of their championship bout.

“I can wrestle with it; it just hurts after a tough match like that,” said Turchick, who broke the bone during a dual meet against North Hills on Jan. 8. “It (throbs) more like, ‘You just lost, you just lost.' ”

Turchick and senior 145-pounder Eric Green each made title bouts for Plum, which took fourth in the team standings with 147 points.

North Allegheny, which will compete in the semifinal opposite of Plum in the Section 3-AAA team tournament Wednesday, claimed the team title with 243.5 points.

“We're really looking at North Allegheny and trying to compete with them,” Green said.

The No. 1 seed in his weight class, Green lost 5-0 to No. 2 seed Corey Wilding of Upper St. Clair in the title bout. He allowed a takedown late in the first period but kept the potential for a comeback alive until late in the third period, when he allowed a second takedown just before the final whistle.

“I'm pretty happy with what I did, even though I didn't get the title,” Green said. “It's good to wrestle some people that you'll see later on at WPIALs and to see where you stand because WPIALs is definitely more important to me. It's a reminder of who I have to wrestle and how far I have to go to make a run to states.”

Turchick's brother, junior 195-pounder Nate Turchick, placed third with a 3-1 win over Mt. Lebanon's Bakhtiyar Zaynullayev — a cousin of the Blue Devils' heavyweight — in the medal match.

Other Mustang placewinners included Anthony Dininno, who took sixth at 106 pounds; Dom Davido, seventh at 120; Andrew McRandal, eighth at 170; and Hunter Fenk, fourth at 182.

Fox Chapel finished 14th in the tournament with four placewinners: sophomore Andrew Kopco (113 pounds), sophomore Austin Pisano (126), junior Ian Moritz (132) and senior Corey Mahon (152).

“Some of the kids who've had early struggles as varsity wrestlers had some success here,” Foxes coach Ron Frank said. “As a coaching staff, we're proud of how far we've come.

“We only have three seniors in the lineup, so we know we're going to be better tomorrow than we are today.”

Senior 145-pounder Nolan Wise left the venue as Highlands' only placewinner after taking fifth.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at wwest@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

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