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Tyrone wrestlers fall in state semi’s; Garbinsky to wrestle for third, Schopp going for fifth

Looking for a takedown Tyrone freshman Ronnie Garbinsky lost to Mason Beckman of Reynolds by the score of 7-4 in last night’s state semi-final. Garbinsky bounced back in the consolations to defeat Tanner Hough of Westmont, 2-0. Garbinsky will wrestle for third place today in Hershey. (The Daily Herald/Photo courtesy of the Bedford Gazette) So so close Sophomore A.J. Schopp dropped a heartbreaking 4-0 semi-final match to Joe Spisak of Boiling Springs last night. Schopp then lost in a rematch of last year’s 103 lb. state final to Frank Martellotti 6-2 in the consy-semi’s. A.J. will be wrestling for fifth place today against United’s Evan Henderson. (The Daily Herald/Photo courtesy of the Bedford Gazette)

It hasn’t happened since 1943 when Tyrone High’s Nelson Gault and George Dannaway both reached the state finals at Penn State University’s Rec Hall, but freshman Ronnie Garbinksy (103 lbs.) and sophomore A.J. Schopp (112 lbs.) came close last night at the PIAA Class AA wrestling championships in Hershey.
Gault and Dannaway lost in the finals that year, as did the young Tyrone duo of Garbinsky and Schopp, both dropping tough decisions to highly talented opponents. Garbinsky and Schopp fell into the consolation fourth round matches after their defeats.
Garbinsky (38-4) faced off with freshman Mason Beckman (48-7) of Reynolds in the semi-final. Beckman quickly scored a takedown on the young Golden Eagle grappler, with Garbinsky escaping making the score 2-1 after the first period.
It was Beckman’s choice to start the second period and he deferred to Garbinsky, who chose the bottom position. Garbinksy escaped from the bottom to tie the score at 2-2. With 15 seconds left in the second period, Beckman again scored a takedown to go up 4-2. Garbinsky managed to escape before the period came to an end, making the score after two periods, 4-3.
Beckman decided to take the bottom position to begin the third period, and escaped soon after, to bring the bout to a 5-3 score. Beckman scored another takedown on Garbinksy with under 30 seconds left in the match to go up 7-3. Garbinksy escaped before the period ended, making the final score 7-4.
Beckman used takedowns in all three period to defeat Garbinksy, dropping the Golden Eagle grappler into a consolation fourth round match-up with Westmont-Hilltop’s freshman Tanner Hough. Hough defeated Pius X’s Justin Mazza in the consy third round bout by a 4-1 decision. Beckman will face Luke Frey of Montoursville in the final. Frey defeated Geoff Alexander of Shady Side Academy by a score of 3-2.
As for returning silver medalist A.J. Schopp (38-5), he suffered a tough and perhaps controversial 4-0 decision to Boiling Springs sophomore Joe Spisak (38-5). The loss puts Schopp also in the fourth round consolations where he will face a familiar opponent – returning state champ Frank Martellotti of Shady Side Academy, who defeated Zane Yocco of Brandywine Heights by the score of 12-2. Martellotti defeated Schopp in last year’s state final.
In the Spisak versus Schopp match, the wrestlers were on their feet most of the first period until Spisak scored a takedown with 15 seconds left in the first period to go up 2-0. Spisak had his choice to start the second period and he chose the neutral position, which was the beginning of a scoreless second period.
Down 2-0 going into the third period, Schopp chose the top position to look to turn Spisak with tilts, but Spisak quickly reversed Schopp to make the score 4-0. With about 41 seconds left to go in the match, Schopp was close to coming out from bottom with a reversal and potential back points. But, Spisak was given an injury timeout to much of the dismay to Tyrone head coach Blair Packer.
Spisak rode Schopp out for the rest of the period to win by a score of 4-0. Spisak will face Keystone Oaks undefeated wrestler, Anthony Zanetta in tomorrow night’s final.
“I think there was a controversial call where A.J. was coming on him with a crossface, I mean we’re talking not a second away from it when the kid screamed out,” said Coach Packer. “But there’s no injury to the kid. You just have to question that stuff.”
Packer said that could have made the difference, because Schopp’s crossface to Spisak could have put Spisak to his back and that could of potentially been a four point move. Schopp could have tied the match and been on the top position, where Schopp is a tilt specialist.
“Getting into this tournament shows how good these two kids (Garbinksy and Schopp) are, and I know that their sights were set for the top spot,” said Packer. “But sometimes you meet someone who stops the moves that have worked for you all season. That was the case for both of them.”
Packer added, “Absolutely there is no shame in where they are right now. We have to come back and take a place, and see how high we can climb on this ladder.”
Fourth Round Consolation Results for Tyrone
After a tough semi-final loss, Tyrone’s 103 lb. freshman Ronnie Garbinsky fell into the fourth round consolation semi-final to wrestle Tanner Hough (33-9) of Westmont-Hilltop. Garbinsky came back strong and posted a 2-0 win over Hough. Garbinsky scored a late reversal with 45 seconds left in the match to advance to tomorrow afternoon’s consolation final match.
Garbinksy carries a 39-4 mark to the consy final where he will wrestle senior Brian Scritchfield (35-11) of Jefferson Morgan High School. Third or fourth place is up for grabs in the match-up. Garbinsky defeated Scritchfield in the quarterfinals earlier by a score of 5-3.
In a repeat of last year’s PIAA Class AA 103 lb. title match, Tyrone sophomore A.J. Schopp (38-6) dropped a tough 6-2 decision to defending state champ Frank Martellotti. Schopp will wrestle United freshman Evan Henderson (37-4) in a battle for fifth or sixth place. Henderson lost in the consolation semi-finals to Brock Waghen of Milton by injury default in 1:49.
The consolation final matches for third, fifth and seventh place begin at the Giant Center in Hershey at 12:30 p.m. The PIAA Class AA finals begin at 2:30 p.m.