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Latrobe wrestling team cruises into WPIAL Class AAA final

| Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, 10:33 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
South Fayette's Andrew John controls Jefferson Morgan's Damian Belford during their 106-pound bout during the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at Norwin High School on Jan. 31, 2014 in North Huntingdon. South Fayette defeated Jefferson Morgan 37-29.

Canon-McMillan's run of consecutive of WPIAL Class AAA team titles came to a crashing halt Friday at Norwin.

Latrobe dominated the upper weights, received three huge wins in the lighter weights and rolled to a 42-20 semifinal victory.

The Wildcats earned a rematch against No. 1 Franklin Regional, which defeated North Allegheny, 49-24. The finals are slated for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Chartiers Valley.

Franklin Regional defeated Latrobe, 46-28, on Jan. 22 in the Section 1-AAA final.

Burrell has a chance to win its eighth consecutive title after it pounded Burgettstown, 66-6, in the Class AA semifinals. The Bucs get a rematch against South Fayette, which edged Jefferson-Morgan, 37-29. The Bucs defeated South Fayette, 35-30, in the 2013 final.

The Class AA final is 4 p.m. The consolation for third place will be held at noon in Class AA and 2 p.m. in Class AAA.

Latrobe's Ethan McCoy defeated Brendon Price, 6-2, at 113 pounds in the night's first match.

“I thought Brendon wrestled well, but their kid just smothered him on top,” Canon-McMillan coach Jason Cardillo said. “It was Latrobe's night.”

Luke Pletcher (120), Jake Shaffer (160), Zack Zavatsky (182) and Logan Carns (220) had pins for the Wildcats, who received close wins from Ethan Stas (132), Ethan Smith (145) and Travis Schmeling (195).

“When I was a freshman, we were the first team to qualify for the state tournament,” Latrobe senior Dom Scalise said. “It's a great feeling to knock off the defending champions. When we got the wins in the middle weights, our bench was excited and their bench was dead.”

Latrobe coach Tad Harbert said it was the most complete match his team has wrestled this season. He's looking forward to the rematch against Franklin Regional.

The Panthers turned in another dominating performance, winning nine of 14 matches against North Allegheny. All nine were either by pin, technical fall or major decision.

Franklin Regional senior Tyler Smith said the top wrestlers on the team take it upon themselves to get bonus points.

“The coaches don't pressure us. We do,” Smith said. “We like to rack up the points.”

Devon Brown (106), Michael Kemerer (138), Josh Maruca (145) and Charlie Mazon (286) posted falls. Spencer Lee (113), Smith (132) and Josh Shields (152) won by technical fall.

“We going for our first WPIAL title,” Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said. “We're really wrestling well.”

Burrell won 13 of 14 matches against Burgettstown.

A pin by Andrew John (106) in the final match sent South Fayette to the finals. John pinned Damon Belford in the second period.

“We just went out and did what we were expected,” Burrell senior Steven Edwards said. “Not to sound cocky, but we expected to be in the finals.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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