HERSHEY – It wasn’t about how Ridgway wrestling started Thursday, it was how the Elkers finished.
After a slow start, Ridgway closed with nine straight wins in a 54-21 dual victory over Lower Moreland in the second round of the PIAA Team Wrestling Championship.
Ridgway now faces Towanda in the state quarterfinals at noon Friday. Towanda won over Ridgway 40-23 at the Towanda Duals on Jan. 8.
Of the nine wins to close out the dual, five of them were pin. Ridgway had six pins overall along with two technical falls and two major decisions.
“We knew very little about our opponents, they’re hard to get much about,” Ridgway coach Gary Gerber said. “They were well-coached and well-conditioned kids. We made a move at 140 putting Zac McKnight in there, he came up big for us. Slade kind of turned it a little bit. Zac turned it and it started rolling, we opened it up.”
Ridgway lost four of the first five bouts and trailed 21-6 after the 130-pound match. The Elkers began to assert control at 135 as Slade Horner took care of Hank Campbell of Lower Moreland in a 16-0 technical fall in six minutes. Horner was dominant during the match but was close to only getting a major decision, leading 14-0 in the waning seconds. Horner was able to score two back points at the final horn to accrue the extra team bonus point for Ridgway and make the margin 21-11.
Zac McKnight was summoned in at 140 pounds for Ridgway and pinned Lower Moreland freshman Yoni Alush in a time of 1:36. McKnight is now 3-5 on the season.
“Because of what the score was, we had to take the shot,” Gerber said. “Zac has been wrestling that all year, he’s a JV wrestler but he’s really a varsity wrestler. He just can’t find a spot in our lineup right now because of what he weighs. He did a great job for us, he’s been looking good for us all year. He got the chance to shine and he did.”
Gerber said the win from McKnight was a motivating factor for the rest of the dual.
“He accepted the challenge and did extremely well, he got the team motivated,“ Gerber said. “They knew when they got that one, he had more big guns coming up behind him, they knew we were in good shape.”
Kyle Caggiano evened the dual with an 8-0 major decision over Lower Moreland senior Dominic Scirrotto. Like Horner, Caggiano went from a 6-0 decision to a major decision by scoring two back points late in the bout to earn an extra team point.
Steve Mitchell wore down Jesse Goldstein and pinned the Lions wrestler in a time of 3:46 at 152 pounds to put the Elkers ahead 27-21. Jake Himes pinned Matt Terrenzio of Lower Moreland in 1:52 at 160 and D.J. Skraba had little trouble in a 16-1 technical fall (4:09) over Rashan Chanyothi of the Lions.
Pick up a copy of the Friday, February 11, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.
Ridgway 54, Lower Moreland 21
103 - Seung-Gyu Rim (LM) pin Cody Stahl (RI), 1:02 (6-0 LM)
112 - Kyle Baker (LM) pin Ricky Jay Javier (RI), 3:27 (12-0 LM)
119 - Corey Bush (RI) pin Jon Aurit (LM), 4:41 (12-6 LM)
125 - Timmy Yu (LM) pin Trevor Delahunt (RI), :29 (18-6 LM)
130 - Mike McKenna (LM) dec. Dakota Dahler (RI), 6-4 (21-6 LM)
135 - Slade Horner (RI) tech fall over Hank Campbell (LM), 16-0, 6:00 (21-11 LM)
140 - Zac McKnight (RI) pin Yoni Alush (LM), 1:36 (21-17 LM)
145 - Kyle Caggiano (RI) maj dec Dominic Scirrotto (LM), 8-0 (21-21)
152 - Steve Mitchell (RI) pin Jesse Goldstein (LM), 3:46 (27-21 RI)
160 - Jake Himes (RI) pin Matt Terrenzio (LM), 1:52 (33-21 RI)
171 - D.J. Skraba (RI) tech fall over Rashan Cyanotic (LM), 16-1, 4:09 (38-21 RI)
189 - Seth Stahl (RI) pin George Zisis (LM), :51 (44-21 RI)
215 - Chad Quail (RI) maj dec Nick Brunswick (LM), 11-2 (48-21 RI)
285 - Jesse Sheasley (RI) pin Andrew DeRocini (LM), :41 (54-21 RI)