Four area wrestlers qualify for state tournament
JOHNSTOWN--Brothers Evan and Robert Henderson of United both clinched spots in the PIAA wrestling championships by placing in the top five at the Southwest Region tournament in Johnstown last weekend.
Travis Shaffer of Derry and Myers Miller of Ligonier Valley also qualified for the state tournament, which began Thursday in Hershey and will continue through Saturday.
Evan Henderson (112 pounds) finished third at the regional and Robert (130 pounds) placed fourth.
Evan (34-2) began his tournament with two easy victories before losing 4-1 to eventual champion Anthony Zannetta of Keystone Oaks. An 8-0 win over Jeremy Landowski clinched a state berth for Henderson before he capped off his tournament with a 4-2 overtime victory over Shady Side Academy's Frank Martellotti, a state champion at 103 last year.
Robert (34-5) started the tournament with a 13-4 win against Josh Shane and followed that with an upset of WPIAL champion Mitch Spencer of Avella. Henderson pinned Spencer at the 3:40 mark. Henderson lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Glenn Winslow of Cambria Heights but won his consolation match before losing to Spencer in the third place bout, 7-5.
Shaffer (39-6) finished in fourth place at 125 pounds and had to win three consolation bouts after losing in the quarterfinals to Forest Hills' Thomas McVicker, who would go on to finish second place.
Shaffer's run included a key 2-0 win in the consolation quarterfinals against District 5 champion Tyler Chesney. Shaffer lost in the third-place bout to Penn Cambria's Ryan Link 6-1.
Miller (32-8) qualified for the state tournament at 160 with a pin of Valley's Mike Kuhns in the fifth place bout.
Miller had defeated Kuhns in the first round of the tournament 4-2 but then lost in the quarterfinals 4-0 to Aaron Hrutkay of Beth-Center.
Miller battled back with a 5-4 overtime victory against United's Tyler Capitosti and a 3-2 win over Northern Cambria's Jonathan Rajnish. Miller lost to Fort Cherry's Sam Guidi in double overtime before pinning Kuhns for fifth place.
Blairsville's Adam Weinell barely missed qualifying for the state tournament at 103, losing to Jefferson-Morgan's Brian Scritchfield in the fifth place bout.
Before losing to Scritchfield, Weinell fell 2-0 in a tough overtime battle to Bedford's Trey Easter in the consolation semifinals.