Mt. Pleasant cruises into semifinals
The Mt. Pleasant Area wrestling team likes to work fast. It doesn't want to waste its time on the mat, so its look for a quick pin.
That's exactly what the Vikings did Wednesday night in the WPIAL Class AA Team Tournament.
Mt. Pleasant rolled over Mars Area 49-22 in its first-round match and then decked rival Derry Area 51-16 in the quarterfinals.
The Vikings, who improved to 17-5, advance to the semifinals against West Greene at 6 p.m. on Friday at Charleroi Area. Fort Cherry meets Burrell at 8.
Derry, which fell to 9-9, advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Highlands 39-38. The Trojans benefited from a flagrant misconduct penalty, costing the Rams a team point.
Against Mars, the Vikings used three pins, a forfeit and two technical-fall victories to topple the Planets. Donnie Ament (145 pounds) was awarded a forfeit, while Joe Geary (130), Nic Harr (135) and Michael Brown (160) posted falls.
"We're pretty deep, and depth is the key in winning championships," Mt. Pleasant Area coach Mark Mears said. "We're a pinning team. We get our share of pins. If you keep on getting bonus points in the team championships, you'll win a lot of matches."
Mars actually led 12-3 after the first three bouts. The match began at 189 pounds.
But a technical-fall win by Allen Park (103) and a major-decision victory by Zach Holt (112) tied the match at 12. After Mars' Adam Smetara defeated Ty Vanella 12-3 to give the Planets a 16-12 edge, the Vikings ran off five consecutive wins to grab control of the match and take a 39-16 lead. Lee Vanella (125) won by technical fall, and Geary and Harr followed with pins.
Derry grabbed a 33-14 lead over Highlands in its match and then held on for the victory. The Trojans used pins by Dave Yacobucci (275), Joel Rudy (103), Troy Dolan (112) and David Kelly (119) to grab a 24-12 lead.
But the turning point came when Robert Lyons (130) won by disqualification over George Stettmeir, who was penalized for a flagrant misconduct penalty. The decision gave the Trojans six team points and took one team point away from Highlands.
"That's a very tough way to lose," Highlands coach Jeff Pollick said. "The kid thinks he cost the team the match, but he didn't. I'm not sure it was a good call."
Ryan Kemp (145) clinched the victory for the Trojans with a pin at 145. Highlands finished strong with two pins and a forfeit, but the Rams came up short.
In the quarterfinals, the Vikings took advantage of three forfeits and used pins by Ty Vanella (119), Geary (130), Harr (135), Steffen Firmstone (140) and Ament (145) to topple Derry for the second time in a week. Mt. Pleasant won 54-15 last week in the Section 2-AA season finale.
Derry coach Mike Wood said he knew it was going to be tough to defeat the Vikings, especially with the three forfeits.
"They are so solid from top to bottom," Wood said. "We did win five bouts, and we did reverse two losses. Joel (Rudy) won, and he was pinned in last week's match, and Ryan (Kemp) won and he lost to his opponent. It showed the hard work in the room paid off."
The Trojans other victories were by Yacobucci (275), Dolan (112) and Brandon Boyd (160).