Wednesday, January 18, 2023 | 22:07

Plum’s wrestling coach, Mike Supak, implemented some last-minute changes to his lineup Wednesday night and the plan paid off when the visiting Mustangs halted Kiski Area’s dominating streak of six WPIAL section titles. awesome way.

“This victory puts us in a better position,” said a happy Supak with a wink.

No. 8 Plum jumped into Kiski Area early, winning four of the first five bouts and reaching a 47-20 decision to claim the Section 1-3A banner and secure a better seed to enter the WPIAL tag team tournament starting of January 30. .

The three best teams in each section will register.

For Plum (8-1, 4-0), it was the second victory of the season against Kiski Area (7-8, 3-1), who had just won six section titles between 2017-22.

“This is definitely a satisfying result because we are trying to line up to make a playoff run,” Supak said. “I think we have a pretty good team. We made some changes, and I don’t think they were expecting some of the guys we sent there. We know they always fight hard.”

Junior Antonino Walker returned from an injury absence to score a close 6-5 decision over Kiski Area’s Mark Gray at 172, while Supak inserted Andrew Claassen off Donavin Harbison, whom Classsen pinned in 2 minutes, 49 seconds.

Walker’s presence required Jack Tongel to move up one spot in the lineup to 189, where he suffered a heavy 11-0 decision loss to Kiski Area’s Cooper Roscosky.

Owen Campbell (107), Rylen Campbell (114), Sam Snyder (121), Trent Reese (133), Carl Raitano (139), Charlie Campbell (145) and Julien Sepelyak (160) added the other wins for Plum, who also defeated Kiski Area, 41-30, in the third-place match at the Hampton Duals on December 10.

“We thought this was going to be a much closer game than it was,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “They fought very well against us tonight. Give credit to those guys for fighting as hard as they did.”

In addition to Claassen, two other Plum wrestlers, Reese and Sepelyak, came out with pins. Snyder, meanwhile, won via technical knockdown over Amari McNeil after taking a 16-1 lead with just four seconds to go.

Ryan Klingensmith (127), Logan Bechtold (152) and Jack Crider (285) joined Roscosky as the Kiski Area victors, Crider’s victory coming through injury against Olandis Freeman, who left the canvas in the first half for a knee injury.

Supak said it was too soon to say when Freeman might return to the Plum lineup.

Plum is scheduled to fight Friday and Saturday at the annual Allegheny County Championships at Fox Chapel.

For now, Kiski Area, which is inactive until a Wednesday trip to Shaler, must settle for runner-up in the section, where the Cavaliers have finished on top a total of 27 times, dating back to 1972.

During their recent six-section championship series, Kiski Area also captured three straight WPIAL Class 3A titles from 2017 to 2019 and finished as the PIAA runner-up in 2018. The Cavs have also garnered a pair of third-place finishes in 2017 and 2019.

The decorated wrestling poster inside the Kiski Area gym contains all but the three most recent section titles (2020-22), which will not go up on the wall until a second poster is added. The original banner is filled with the school’s first 24 championship years listed.

“That’s definitely a goal to achieve,” Heater said. “That’s something we really feel like we worked hard enough to achieve this year. We just didn’t do enough tonight.”

Tags: Kiski Area, Plum

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