JOHNSTOWN - It was the most white-knuckle bout of the first day of the Southwest Regional Class AA Tournament, and it left Claysburg-Kimmel's Josh Brown and his his coach, Dave Marko, drained.
Brown, a two-time state qualifier and returning regional runner-up, and Beth-Center's two-time state medalist Zach Swarrow went to the ultimate tiebreaker tied, 2-2, and Brown had to ride Swarrow for 30 seconds.
And Brown did do it, but it certainly wasn't easy. The first 20 seconds or so, he held on to Swarrow's head, and it was clear he wasn't letting go. When the final seconds ticked off the clock - eight minutes and 30 seconds after the opening whistle - there was relief and jubilation on the C-K side.
"It was pretty nerve-wracking out there," Brown said, "but I got the win. [The merkle] is a good hold for 30 seconds when you're just trying to ride him out."
"In the overtime, I thought, we had back points," Marko said. "Swarrow tried to roll through and went to his back, and there was at least a three or four count there. But, hey, at the end of the day, he fought through all of that and came out on the good side. He was just hanging on and hanging on, and some of the work he did in the offseason in the weight room paid off."
It's not the first time, Brown and Swarrow had to go to the ulitmate tiebreaker. Brown survived an ultimate tiebreaker win over Swarrow in the Thomas Subaru Tournament semifinals, despite suffering a cut near his eyebrow that needed stitches later.
"It was exact same as the Thomas Tournament," Brown said. "He's hard to take down. On top, I think I worked pretty tough."
Interestingly enough, the same opponent that followed Swarrow in the Thomas semis is the same today. South Fayette's Seth Carr beat Brown in the Thomas finals, and now, after Carr beat Chestnut Ridge's Blake Dunlap, 13-3, in the quarters, they'll meet again. Brown just won't have his head wrapped this time.
"I've wanted a rematch for a long time," Brown said. "My eye isn't messed up now, and I think I'll do a lot better in this match. I'm ready for it."
"We're looking forward to taking on Carr and not having a bandage over our eye," Marko said.
On the whole, it was a rough day first day at the Cambria County War Memorial for area wrestlers in the rugged tournament. Of the 41 area guys, only 10 advanced to today's semifinals, scheduled for 11 a.m., including three from Chestnut Ridge and three from Bedford. Thirteen remain alive in the consolations.
Ridge's Tyler Dibert (170), Dan Albright (195) and Austin Buttry (285) advanced. Dibert pinned Portage's Cody Kephart in 3:19. Albright went 2-0, beating Southmoreland's Dakota Datz, 3-0, and pinning South Fayett's Zach Walker in 5:54. Buttry also went 2-0, pinning Chartiers-Houston's Nick Grady and beating Cambria Heights' Aaron Gill, 7-0.
Bedford advanced two-time regional runner-up Ryan Easter (120), Tanner Williams (152) and Caleb Grimes (170).
Easter, a two-time regional runner-up beat Central Cambria's Tom Opdenhoff, 6-0, to earn a semifinal berth against Cambria Heights' Joe Davis, a 3-1 winner over Valley's Josiah Hughes. Williams got by Cambria Heights' Levi Niebauer, 4-2. Grimes, who is the most surprising semifinalist given his move from 160 to 170 for the postseason, got by Richland's Nico Pecora, 2-1.
"Actually, it seems like he's wrestling better up a weight than he did at his own weight," Bedford coach Brian Creps said. "Sometimes with the quickness you gain being down a weight helps you out. He is a strong kid, so the strength isn't catching up to him. He's really wrestling well."
Ridge, which only has one wrestler alive in the consys - 106-pounder Aaron Burkett - leads the team race by a point over Bedford, 40-39. The Bisons, however, have four still alive in the consolations in Jonathan Gabriel (106), Garrett Thomas (126), Toby Brett (138) and Michael Brett (182).
"A couple of the other guys are disappointed with losing and not getting into the semis," Creps said, "but they were all able to win this evening, and that gets you to tomorrow. Tomorrow will be the big round. Tomorrow morning is when the tournament [team title] is won and lost."
Following Ridge and Bedford - the same order in the final Thomas standings - is South Fayette (37). Burrell (35) is fourth.
Huntingdon's Collin Glorioso (106) and Tussey Mountain's Mitchell Hall (285) also reached the semis and are assured of placing, but they're not assured of a trip to the PIAA Championships yet. Wrestlers have to place in the top five to go to Hershey.
Glorioso rolled to shutout wins of Valley's Jihad Ratliff, 6-0, and Burkett, 10-0. Hall recorded pins of Mapletown's Zach Brown and Southmoreland's Jacob Beistel.
Mo Valley's James Stodart (195) and Jake Ludwig (220) were upset in the quarterfinals, but they came back with consolation wins, as did (285) Cinderella story Jack Bunnell, who knocked off District 6 runner-up Crawford, 2-1.
"They've all had a rough match in this tournament," Mo Valley coach Justin Fye said, "but they know what they can do. We had a really good round in this round.
"Bunnell is capable of doing this. He wrestles really well in the room when he's wrestling Jake and James, me and the other coaches, but if you can learn to wrestle like a heavyweight, you can be in every match. He went out, was a aggressive, stayed in good positions and rode really tough on top."
Notes: The finals and consolation finals will be wrestled at the same time at 5 p.m. ... District 6 champion West Branch is tied with Cambria Heights and Kittanning for 14th place, but it has two semifinalists in Buzzy Maines (220) and Morgan Selepack (285).
Class AA Tournament
Avella (A), Avonworth (AVON), Beaver Area (BEA), Bedford (BED), Bentworth (BENT), Berlin-Brothersvalley (BB), Beth-Center (BC), Blairsville (B), Burgettstown (BURG), Burrell (BURR), Cambria Heights (CH), Carlynton (CAR), Central (C), Central Cambria (CC), Central Valley (CV), Charleroi (CHAR), Chartiers-Houston (CHART), Chestnut Ridge (CR), Claysburg-Kimmel (CK), Conemaugh Township (CT), Derry Area (DA), Ellwood City (EC), Forest Hills (FH), Fort Cherry (FC), Freedom (F), Highlands (HIGH), Huntingdon (H), Hyndman (HY), Jefferson Morgan (JM), Juniata (J), Keystone Oaks (KO), Kittanning (K), Ligonier Valley (LV), Mapletown (MAP), Marion Center (MC), Meyersdale (MEY), Moshannon Valley (MV), Mount Pleasant (MP), Mount Union (MU), Northern Bedford (NB), North Catholic (NC), North Star (NS), Penn Cambria (PC), Penns Valley (PV), Portage (P), Richland (R), Shady Side Academy (SSA), Somerset (S), South Allegheny (SA), South Fayette (SF), Southern Huntingdon (SH), Southmoreland (SOUTH), South Park (SP), South Side Beaver (SSB), United (U), Valley (V), West Branch (WB), West Greene (WG), Westmont Hilltop (WH),Yough (Y).
TOP 10 TEAM STANDINGS
1. Chestnut Ridge 40; 2. Bedford 39; 3. South Fayette 37; 4. Burrell 35; 5. Jefferson Morgan 27; 6. Mount Union and Penns Valley 25; 8. Beth-Center, Forest Hills and Meyersdale 23.
106-Phillips, WG, dec. Deliman, WB, 12-7; Glorioso, H, dec. Ratliff, V, 6-0; Burkett, CR, pinned Hritsko, 3:35; Gabriel, BED, dec. Neely, BENT, 6-0; Griffiths, SOUTH, maj. dec. Wiles, MC, 13-0; Howard, JM, won by injury default over Childers, NB, 5:33; 113-S. Carr, SF, maj. dec. Moist, MU, 10-0; Dunlap, CR, pinned Charles, Y, 2:41; Charlton, MEY, pinned Hernandez, SA, 1:24; Ju. Patrick, LV, dec. Rothka, BENT, 7-0; Burket, C, dec. Dennis, BURG, 7-0; 120-Opdenhoff, CC, dec. Novak, MP, 5-3; Davis, CH, dec. Myers, SOUTH, 7-0; Hughes, V, dec. Claar, CR, 8-5; Reckner, SSB, pinned George, R, 1:37; Swank, BB, pinned McGinnis, CHART, 1:55; M. Carr, SF, dec. Myers, SOUTH, 7-3; 126-Demaske, JM, pinned Green, H, 1:55; Day, MEY, dec. Vahaly, BENT, 4-3; Ging, SF, dec. Boozel, MU, 4-2; Myers, SH, pinned Charletta, Y, 1:21; Dewitt, V, dec. Crouse, CR, 11-8; Quarello, C, pinned Greenwald, BURR, 2:24; 132-Wentzel, SP, pinned Thomas, CH, 4:42; Shields, SH, dec. Gentry, SSB, 2-1 OT UTB; Wood, BENT, dec. Replogle, NB, 6-3; Miller, BB, tech. fall Blackmon, WG, 16-1, 3:32; Zanetta, KO, tech. fall Barrick, J, 16-1, 4:22; Andrejcik, BURR, dec. Hetrick, MEY, 10-5; 138-Edwards, BURR, dec. Fochtman, BB, 4-2 OT; Welsh, BC, maj. dec. Hoenstine, C, 15-5; Kusich, A, dec. Corle, NB, 6-1; T. Brett, BED, dec. Wentzel, SP, 6-3; Naglic, R, dec. Miller, JM, 4-2 OT TB; Wise, HIGH, dec. Bumbarger, WB, 2-1; 145-Johnston, WG, dec. Deist, MEY, 11-4; Sutton, CHART, pinned Nanna, J, 2:14; Gartland, NB, dec. Stay, BC, 3-2; Tan. Cahill, CT, tech. fall Trybus, KO, 17-1, 5:10; Mears, MP, dec. Decker, PV, 8-4; Zalar, JM, dec. Lynn, H, 3-0.
152-S. Fetchet, SF, dec. Fritch, NS, 5-2; Jack, K, dec. Crook, MC, 6-0; Tay. Cahill, CT, dec. McKee, BURG, 7-4; Williams, BED, pinned Struwe, BEA, 3:08; Niebauer, CH, dec. Carl, A, 3-0; Confer, PV, pinned Charlesworth, MP, 5:38; 160-Hull, CHART, dec. Brown, BC, 3-1 OT; Lohr, S, pinned Abbott, BURG, :47; Payne, SSB, dec. Norris, H, 9-4; J. Walker, SF, dec. Bollman, CR, 2-0; Hazel, PV, dec. Davenport, V, 7-6; Smith, MU, dec. Bowlen, JM, 6-4; 170-Pinkas, FH, pinned Wildman, WG, 3:02; Grimes, BED, dec. Churchin, NC, 3-2; Pecora, R, maj. dec. Fellecker, Y, 10-1; Kylor, MU, pinned Piper, MP, :39; M. Fetchet, SF, maj. dec. Dunbar, MEY, 11-1; Kephart, P, dec. Kincair, CHART, 7-5; 182-Crawford, CH, maj. dec. Richardson, Y, 18-5; Rogers, PV, pinned McKissick, CAR, 4:52; M. Brett, BED, pinned Simonelli, A, 3:14; Berkley, MEY, dec. Haney, SF, 7-2; Fields, V, maj. dec. Hropovich, U, 15-2; Overly, MP, dec. Eiler, S, 7-3; 195-Kyle, MU, pinned Holt, MP, 3:45; Oliver, U, dec. Grinnen, EC, 4-3 OT TB; Hitchens, SA, pinned Brumbaugh, TM, 3:17; Albright, CR, dec. Datz, SOUTH, 3-0; Z. Walker, SF, dec. Swartz, PV, 10-5; Croyle, K, dec. Nickelson, S, 9-3; 220-McLendon, PC, dec. Kazalas, KO, 8-1; Winegardner, CR, dec. Lind, MP, 2-1 OT TB; Shovestull, WH, pinned Fordyce, BENT, 3:41; Ludwig, MV, pinned McIntyre, FC, 1:34; Jacobs, WG, dec. Walker, BB, 5-3; Maines, WB, dec. Sever, Y, 3-2; 285-Smith, MU, pinned Coles, AVON, 4:22; Gill, CH, dec. Bedillion, WG, 9-2; Buttry, CR, pinned Grady, CHART, 1:29; Hall, TM, pinned Brown, MAP, :36; Beistel, SOUTH, pinned Bunnell, MV, :51; Emerick, HY, pinned Wolak, SP, 3:11.
106-McDermitt, BURG, pinned Phillips, WG, 1:11; Glorioso, H, maj. dec. Burkett, CR, 10-0; Griffiths, SOUTH, dec. Gabriel, BED, 3-2; T. Law, FH, dec. Howard, JM, 4-0; 113-Brown, CK, dec. Swarrow, BC, 3-2 OT UTB; S. Carr, SF, maj. dec. Dunlap, CR, 13-3; Ju. Patrick, LV, maj. dec. Charlton, MEY, 14-2; Phillips, DA, won by injury default over Burket, C, 5:32; 120-Easter, BED, dec. Opdenhoff, CC, 6-0; Davis, CH, dec. Hughes, V, 3-1; Reckner, SSB, dec. Swank, BB, 8-3; Jo. Patrick, LV, pinned M. Carr, SF, 1:03; 126-Demaske, JM, pinned Thomas, BED, 1:59; Day, MEY, maj. dec. Ging, SF, 11-2; Dewitt, V, dec. Myers, SH, 4-1; Bulsak, SP, dec.Quarello, C, 4-2; 132-Nolf, K, maj. dec. Wentzel, SP, 12-4; Shields, SH, dec. WOod, BENT, 6-4; Zanetta, KO, tech. fall Miller, BB, 16-0, 5:08; Andrejcik, BURR, dec. Hayles, WB, 5-0; 138-Heggs, J, dec. Edwards, BURR, 7-6; Welsh, BC, pinned Kusich, A, 5:05; Naglic, R, maj. dec. T. Brett, BED, 14-4; Gavazzi, CHAR, dec. Wise, HIGH, 12-5; 145-Tarr, B, maj. dec. Johnston, WG, 10-2; Sutton, CHART, dec. Gartland, NB, 4-0; Tan. Cahill, CT, pinned Mears, MP, 1:56; Marra, BURR, dec. Zalar, JM, 8-2.
152-Doak, B, dec. G. Fetchet, SF, 5-3; Tay. Cahill, CT, dec. Jack, K, 6-5; Williams, BED, dec. Niebauer, CH, 4-2; Bonzo, F, dec. Confer, PV, 12-6; 160-C. Law, FH, pinned Hull, CHART, :47; Lohr, S, dec. Payne, SSB, 5-3; J. Walker, SF, dec. Hazel, PV, 4-2 OT; Bry. Fochtman, BB, dec. Smith, MU, 8-5; 170-Conti, JM, dec. Pinkas, FH, 5-1; Grimes, BED, dec. Pecora, R, 2-1; M. Fetchet, SF, pinned Kylor, MU, 3:54; Dibert, CR, pinned Kephart, P, 3:19; 182-DesLauriers, BURR, pinned Crawford, CH, 1:33; Rogers, PV, dec. M. Brett, BED, 11-6; Fields, V, dec. Berkley, MEY, 6-3; Thompson, B, dec. Overly, MP, 8-1; 195-Vulcano, CHART, tech. fall Kyle, MU, 19-4, 5:26; Oliver, U, dec. Hitchens, SA, 3-2; Albright, CR, pinned Z. Walker, SF, 5:54; Croyle, K, dec. Stodart, MV, 8-4; 220-Temple, A, dec. McLendon, PC, 6-2; Shovestull, WH, dec. Winegardner, CR, 5-0; Jacobs, WG, dec. Ludwig, MV, 6-3; Maines, WB, dec. Bennett, HY, 7-3; 285-Beattie, BURR, pinned Smith, MU, 4:46; Buttry, CR, dec. Gill, CH, 7-0; Hall, TM, pinned Beistel, SOUTH, 4:50; Selepack, WB, pinned Emerick, HY, :38.
FIRST ROUND CONSOLATIONS
106-Ratliff, V, dec. Hritsko, CHART, 10-5; Wiles, MC, dec. Neely, BENT, 6-2; 113-Moist, MU, pinned Charles, Y, :19; Rothka, BENT, dec. Hernandez, SA, 5-2; 120-McGinnis, CHART, dec. Claar, CR, 7-6; George, R, dec. Trimmer, AVON, 6-0; 126-Vahaly, BENT, pinned Boozel, MU, 1:28; Crouse, CR, dec. Charletta, Y, 6-3; 132-Gentry, SSB, dec. Replogle, NB, 11-4; Barrick, J, tech. fall Blackmon, WG, 15-0, 4:26; 138-Hoenstine, C, dec. Corle, NB, 7-5; Wentzel, SP, maj. dec. Miller, JM, 15-2; 145-Stay, BC, dec. Nanna, J, 4-3; Decker, PV, pinned Trybus, KO, 3:28.
152-Crook, MC, pinned McKee, BURG, 1:45; Struwe, BEA, dec. Carl, A, 8-3; 160-Norris, H, dec. Abbott, BURG, 6-4; Davenport, V, dec. Bollman, CR, 6-2; 170-Churchin, NC, maj. dec. Fellecker, Y, 10-2; Dunbar, MEY, maj. dec. Piper, MP, 12-2; 182-Simonelli, A, dec. McKissick, CAR, 4-0; Hropovich, U, dec. Haney, SF, 3-1 OT TB; 195-Grinnen, EC, pinned Brumbaugh, TM, 2:47; Swartz, PV, pinned Datz, SOUTH, 4:56; 220-Fordyce, BENT, dec. Lind, MP, 5-2; Walker, BB, dec. McIntyre, FC, 8-2; 285-Bedillion, WG, dec. Grady, CHART, 3-0; Bunnell, MV, pinned Brown, MAP, :55.
SECOND ROUND CONSOLATIONS
106-Howard, JM, dec. Deliman, WB, 10-4; Gabriel, BED, dec. Ratliff, V, 5-1; Burkett, CR, maj. dec. Wiles, MC, 14-0; Phillips, WG, won by forfeit over Childers, NB; 113-Burket, C, won by forfeit; Moist, MU, pinned Charlton, MEY, :37; Rothka, BENT, dec. Dunlap, CR, 7-3; Swarrow, BC, pinned Dennis, BURG, 1:17; 120-M. Carr, SF, dec. Novak, MP, 10-3; Swank, BB, maj. dec. McGinnis, 8-0; Hughes, V, dec. George, R, 9-2; Myers, SOUTH, maj. dec. Opdenhoff, CC, 12-4; 126-Green, H, dec. Quarello, C, 5-3; Myers,SH, dec. Vahaly, BENT, 5-1; Ging, SF, dec. Crouse, CR, 8-6 OT TB; Thomas, BED, pinned Greenwald, BURR, :42; 132-Hayles, WB, maj. dec. Thomas, CH, 10-2; Gentry, SSB, maj. dec. Miller, BB, 10-0; Barrick, J, dec. Wood, BENT, 7-0; Wentzel, SP, dec. Hetrick, MEY, 5-0; 138-Bra. Fochtman, BB, dec. Wise, HIGH, 5-3; T. Brett, BED, dec. Hoenstine, C, 10-4; Wentzel, SP, dec. Kusich, A, 5-4; Edwards, BURR, dec. Bumbarger, WB, 9-3; 145-Deist, MEY, pinned Zalar, JM, 4:41; Stay, BC, pinned Mears, MP, 4:14; Decker, PV, dec. Gartland, NB, 2-0; Johnston, WG, dec. Lynn, H, 1-0.
152-Confer, PV, dec. Fritch, NS, 7-2; Niebauer, CH, dec. Crook, MC, 5-3; Jack, K, dec. Struwe, BEA, 5-1; G. Fetchet, SF, dec. Charlesworth, MP, 10-3; 160-Brown, BC, dec. Smith, MU, 1-0; Hazel, PV, dec. Norris, H, 4-3; Payne, SSB, dec. Davenport, V, 4-0; Bowlen, JM, dec. Hull, CHART, 5-1; 170-Kephart, P, dec. Wildman, WG, 7-3; Churchin, NC, dec. Kylor, MU, 5-3 OT; Pecora, R, dec. Dunbar, MEY, 9-4; Pinkas, FH, pinned Kincaid, CHART, 1:10; 182-Richardson, Y, dec. Overly, MP, 2-1; Berkley, MEY, pinned Simonelli, A, 3:53; M. Brett, BED, pinned Hropovich, U, :29; Crawford, CH, pinned Eller, S, 3:19; 195-Stodart, MV, tech. fall Holt, MP, 15-0, 3:25; Grinnen, EC, pinned Z. Walker, SF, 5:52 OT; Swartz, PV, dec. Hitchens, SA, 9-4; Nickelson, S, pinned Kyle, MU, 2:47; 220-Bennett, HY, tech. fall Kazalas, KO, 17-2, 4:14; Ludwig, MV, pinned Fordyce, BENT, 3:43; Walker, BB, dec. Winegardner, CR, 3-1; Sever, Y, dec. McLendon, PC, 3-2 OT TB; 285-Emerick, HY, pinned Coles, AVON, 2:22; Beistel, SOUTH, dec. Bedillion, WG, 8-1; Bunnell, MV, dec. Gill, CH, 2-1; Wolak, SP, dec. Smith, MU, 8-1.