SHARON – Corey Bush of Ridgway and Jesse Wolfe of Johnsonburg both finished third in their respective weight classes to advance to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey after the Northwest Regional Championships Saturday at Sharon High School.
Bush (119) finished it off with a 2-0 win the third-place match against Karl Lightner of Smethport. Bush scored with two back points in the third period en route to the 2-1 win.
Bush opened in the semifinals against Jarray Norris of Sharon and fell 10-9 in the ultimate tiebreaker. Bush trailed 7-6 in the third period but was able to tie the bout up as Norris was called for his second stalling violation to tie the match. The two went through the one-minute sudden victory period and into the tiebreaker periods. In the first 30-second period, both wrestlers were able to score reversals to leave the bout at 9-all. Neither wrestler scored in the second overtime and the match proceeded to the ultimate tiebreaker. Bush, scoring first in the match, had the choice and chose the up position. Norris was able to escape and grab the victory.
Bush bounced back with a dominant 18-2 technical fall over Nick Hart of Cambridge Springs to reach the consolation final; it also was his 100th victory.
Wolfe opened with a 7-2 loss to Nate Diaz of Greenville in the semifinals. Wolfe came back in the consolation semifinals with a 1-0 decision over Mike Bauer of Clarion, then had a 1-0 decision over Nate Stidham of Hickory.
“I thought he had a real good tournament,” Johnsonburg coach Tom Launer said. “He’s been doing a real good job defensively, the kid doesn’t quit.”
Slade Horner of Ridgway finished fourth at 135 pounds, losing his consolation final 1-0 to Riley Smith of Fort LeBoeuf.
Horner opened against Corey Voorhis of North East in the second round of consolations. The match was tied at 1-all, proceeding to an ultimate tiebreaker period. Horner took the bout 2-1 in the ultimate tiebreaker period.
Max Zimmerman started in the semifinals with a 7-2 loss to Austin Matthews of Reynolds. Zimmerman then went into the consolation semifinals, losing 3-0 to Horner in a rematch of the district final.
“Max wrestled well, he had some very tough kids to wrestle,” Launer said. “He had an outstanding season and career, we’re really going to miss him.”
Kyle Caggiano (140) of Ridgway advanced to the consolation semis with a 7-2 decision over Seth Rendulic of Conneaut Lake but lost 5-3 in overtime to Garret Smith of Seneca in a rematch from the preliminary round. Caggiano had tied the bout late with an escape but the Seneca wrestler was able to secure a takedown in overtime for the victory. Caggiano was 1-2 on the weekend.
D.J. Skraba (160) opened in the consolation round against Ron Clark of Brookville with a 3-1, before losing a 2-1 decision to Nate Smith of Seneca. Skraba was 2-2 on the weekend.
Chad Quail (215) opened up in the second round of consolations against Logan Stout of Brookville. Quail earned an escape halfway through the second period to take a 1-0 lead. Stout escaped in the third period to tie the bout at 1-all. Stout scored a late takedown for a 3-1 victory. Quail finished 1-2 on the weekend.
“I’m real pleased with the effort from these kids, they always give 100 percent,” Ridgway coach Gary Gerber said.
Gerber said the younger wrestlers have a chance to do even better next season.
“They had some great experience, they’ve seen what it’s like and that can motivate them for next year,” Gerber said.