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Unbeaten Norwin sophomore Phipps one of 26 area wrestlers set for Southwest regional

Gary Bills | For the Norwin Star
Norwin sophomore Drew Phipps (right) wrestles Penn-Trafford's Matt McGillick during the 195-pound final at the WPIAL Section 1-AAA tournament on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at Gateway High School.

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Other area pairings

Class AAA

Dom Devine (19-8) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Zach Crankshaw (16-12) of Penn Hills, at 106; Kevin Stalter (23-8) of McKeesport vs. Brendan Price (34-5) of Canon-McMillan and Tyler German (10-10) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Aj Marino (7-5) of Trinity, at 113; Kevin Miller (18-7) of Norwin vs. Brendan Hasson (31-7) of Belle Vernon and James Barrickman (19-7) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Mason Luckiewicz of Hempfield (10-11), at 120; and Braden Flinn (27-9) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Nick Zoria (27-11) of Seneca Valley, at 126. Nick Burkett (25-9) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Pasqualino Mastrangelo (17-8) of Central Valley and Josh Ridgeway (21-10) of Norwin vs. Nino Bonaccorsi (25-7) of Bethel Park, at 132; Brandon Ingram (24-12) of McKeesport vs. Italo Merante (27-4) of Peters Township and Carter Shar (24-12) of West Mifflin vs. A.J. Boeh (23-12) of North Allegheny, at 138; Brendan Cusick (9-10) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Drew Landefeld (6-9) of North Allegheny, Kyle Turkovsky (15-13) of Norwin vs. Jordan McGonigle (29-4) of Shaler and Randal Wilson (16-9) of West Mifflin vs. Collin Eger (14-15) of Chartiers Valley, at 145. Mike Congdon (17-16) of West Mifflin vs. Jared Ahlgren (15-9) of Blackhawk, at 160; Byron Minous (24-8) of Thomas Jefferson vs. Dakota Lange (25-9) of Kiski Area, at 170; Taylor Anderson (15-16) of McKeesport vs. Ben Johnson (6-23) of Trinity and Colt Belardia (18-5) of Elizabeth Forward vs. Lou Maser (16-17) of Hempfield, at 182; and Shawn Devey (17-5) of West Mifflin vs. John Bojanac (26-11) of Butler.

Class AA

Noah Stoker (20-10) of South Allegheny vs. Logan Blackburn (22-6) of District 6 Westmont Hilltop, at 113; Justo Hernandez (27-11) of South Allegheny vs. Luke Lloyd (20-12) of Avella, at 120; Cody Jenkins (24-16) of South Allegheny vs. Garrett Thomas (23-4) of District 5 Bedford, at 138; Lucas Richardson (25-14) of Yough vs. Connor Buttry (32-5) of District 5 Chestnut ridge, at 182; Yough's Sever vs. Seth McLendon (30-4) of District 6 United and South Allegheny's Hitchens vs. Raymond March (12-6) of District 6 Ligonier Valley.

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 12:39 a.m.

Norwin sophomore Drew Phipps appears to be making the most of his abbreviated wrestling season, taking an unbeaten record into the PIAA Class AAA Southwest Region tournament Thursday through Saturday at Canon-McMillan.

Phipps, who missed a large portion of the year because of an ankle injury, is 20-0 at 195 pounds after claiming his second consecutive WPIAL Section 1-AAA championship Saturday at Gateway.

He is seeded No. 2 for the regional event and will open against the winner of a preliminary-round match between James Zeremenko (9-10) of Canon-McMillan and Jake Kraus (13-14) of Hampton.

“Overall, I felt good,” Phipps said of Saturday's matches. “I definitely could have stepped it up a little in the finals, but a win's a win.”

He won the title to earn a first-round bye Thursday by defeating Vaughn Flodine of Penn Hills, Travis Schmeling of Latrobe and Penn-Trafford freshman Matt McGillick by a 10-4 decision in the final.

Norwin coach Todd Schuchert was impressed with Phipps' effort after the injury, saying, “Drew has a chance to win the whole (WPIAL) tournament,” which serves as the Class AAA Southwest regional.

Twenty-six wrestlers from Daily News-area schools have qualified for regional tournaments, including 19 in Class AAA, led by Thomas Jefferson with seven.

Norwin, with Phipps among the field, and West Mifflin will send four each to the Class AAA competition. McKeesport qualified three and Elizabeth Forward one.

The Class AA regional Friday and Saturday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown will include four wrestlers from South Allegheny and three from Yough.

A pair of 220-pound juniors — Seth Hitchens (33-7) of South Allegheny and Tom Sever (31-7) of Yough — offer the most impressive record among local Class AA qualifiers.

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

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