Southmoreland's Griffiths hopes to break through in semifinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For a third time in as many seasons, Southmoreland's Austin Griffiths advanced to the semifinals of the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional Championships on Friday at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown.
His past two semifinal appearances ended with heartbreaking losses.
The junior 113-pounder hopes this is the year he breaks through.
Two Southmoreland wrestlers are in the semifinals, as sophomore heavyweight Jake Beistel also advanced.
Semifinal-round bouts begin at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The top five wrestlers in each weight class qualify for the PIAA championships in Hershey.
“It'll be better if I win tomorrow, instead of like usual,” Griffiths said of his third visit to Johnstown, which included a 5-0 win in the first round and a 12-0 major decision in the quarterfinals. “(Coming up short) was tougher, probably freshman year. It doesn't bother me as much now.”
Griffiths joked about the memories — good and bad — made at the War Memorial.
“I've spent a lot of time here now,” he said.
“I'm starting to remember this arena. It's kind of scary. I'm walking around in the back, and I'm like, ‘Hey, this is where the Zamboni is.' And then I think to myself, ‘How did I know that?' ”
To make this Johnstown trip truly sweet, Griffiths acknowledged, would be a rematch with Burgettstown junior Austin McDermitt, who defeated Griffiths in the WPIAL finals last week and a season ago.
“I'd definitely like to wrestle him, and I'd definitely like to get some revenge,” said Griffiths, who beat McDermitt for third place in last year's regional tournament.
Beistel, who placed fifth in the region as a freshman, can earn another trip to Hershey with one more win in this tournament.
Sophomore 132-pounder Evan Myers' bid for a spot in the semifinals disappeared in dramatic fashion, as he lost in the ultimate rideout portion of overtime during his quarterfinal-round bout with Huntingdon senior Devon Green, the District 6 champion.
Myers, on top during the rideout, allowed a reversal with 2 seconds left in the 30-second period.
Myers lost his first consolation bout to exit the tournament. Sophomore 106-pounder Cole Lambie, who dropped a quarterfinal to a No. 1 seed, is still alive in the consolation bracket.
For Mt. Pleasant, junior 145-pounder Austin Mears remains in contention for third. Sophomore 220-pounder Josh Lind and junior 160-pounder Ethan Charlesworth both exited the tournament despite winning their first-round bouts.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.