Eagles place four in top three of King of the Mountain Tournament

The Tyrone wrestling squad participated in the annual King of the Mountain Tournament held at Central Mountain High School in Mill Hall over the weekend, The always tough torunament featured 32 Triple-A and Double-A schools.
Thad Westley and Terry Tate each wrestled their way into the finals, but had their title hopes dashed and had to settle for second place in the prestigious event that is an offspring of the Lock Haven Classic and Bald Eagle Nittany Christmas Tournaments that were held at Lock Haven and BEN High Schools before the two wrestling giants merged into one high school.
T. J. Albright and Dane McCloskey finished in third place at their respective weight classes as the Eagles moved up three spots and added 15 team points from their 2002 finish. This time, Tyrone finished ninth, scoring 112.5 points and was one of six schools to have multiple finalists, led by Forest Hills with four finalists.
Penn Trafford of District III won the tournament with163 points, followed by Emmaus with 161.5, Greater Latrobe with 157, Forest Hills with 138 and Clearfield was in fifth with 137. Penn Trafford, Forest Hills, Red Lion and Clearfield each had two champions.
Thad Westley (10-1) drew a bye in the opening round at 135 , then won two straight matches by technical fall. Thad clouted Jaime Friant of Hughesvilled, 18-2 in 3:24, then shut out Josh Knecht of Athens Area, 16-0 in 5:58. In the semifinals, Westley fell behind Joe Ciampoli of Altoona, 4-2 after one period, and 7-4 midway through the third stanza, but battled back each time. With time running out in the final period, Thad escaped and registered a takedown, all in the last five seconds to pull out a 9-7 win that catapulted the Eagle senior into the finals. Tom Picarsic of Penn Trafford, controled the action through much of the final, earning 4-2 and 8-3 margins at the end of the first two periods. Westley cut the lead to 8-6 with an escape and two penalty points for Picarsic stalling, but ran out of time. Westley was a fifth-place finisher in 2002.
Terry Tate (10-1), a returning champion from 2002, also had a bye in the first round, then pinned Shawn Hyduk of Council Rock South, in 1:51 and Jay Richards of Mifflinburg in 5:04. In the semifinals at 275, Tate used three takedowns and a pair of escapes for an 8-2 win over Josh Cherish of Oil City. In the finals against Bryan Reiss of Emmaus, Tate fell behind 4-1 in the first period on a pair of takedowns by Reiss. The Tyrone junior edged a point closer in the second period when the two grapplers traded reversals and Tate managed an escape. In the third period, Tate scored a takedown, but Reiss countered with two escapes to maintain his two-point win, 8-6.
“The kids both Thad and Terry lost to are Triple-A state placers from last year,” said Tyrone coach Blair Packer. “Thad’s kid was a runnerup last year at states. This is the kind of competition that is going to make him. As the season goes on, if we just keep improving one week at a time we will do all right.”
Freshman T. J. Albright (9-4) became Tyrone’s first placewiner with a third place finish at 103. Albright byed through the firt round, then pinned Steve Tranel of Downingtown East in 0:58 and edged Caleb Douglas of Greater Latrobe 3-2 before falling to Ricky Rappo of Council Rock South by 13-2 major decision. In the consolation brackets, T. J. knocked off Micah Bollinger of Mifflinburg 6-2 in the consisemifinals and shut out Jason De Luca of Northern York, 4-0 to earn his third place medal.
Dane McCloskey (11-2) pinned Nathan Barroner of Hollidaysburg, in 3:48 to begin his tournament, then shut out Bryce Kershaw of Avon Grove 7-0 and fefeated Kevin Pataky of Clearfield by a 15-0 technical fall in 4:00. In the semifinals, Dane dropped a 6-1 decision to Brent Huffman of Northern York. Once in the consi rounds, McClosket axed Jacob Spuck of Oil City 5-0 and outpointed Andy Hall of Mifflinburg, 13-7, on the strength of five back points, a takedown and an escape in the third period of the consifinal at 130. Lasy year, McCloskey was 2-2 and did not place.
Robert Waite won three of five matches over the weekend, but did not place at 112. Waite (9-5) pinned Curtis Scott of Canton, in the opening round, then was majored by Matt McClellan of Oil City, 11-0. In the consis, Robert pinned Caitlin Kiripatrick of Jim Thorpe, in 1:17, majored Matt Reber of Dowingtown East and then exited the tournament with an 8-2 loss to Seth Reigel from Brandywine Heights. Waite was 1-2 last year.
Josh Hunter and David Miller each went 2-2 in the tournament.
Hunter (3-4) pinned Tim Baker of Jim Thorpe, at 119, before losing by tech fall to Christian Harr of Hollidaysburg, 15-0, pinned C. J. May of Downingtown East but then was eliminated by Jeff Bossart of Greater Latrobe via a fall. Miller (10-3) opened at 140, with falls over Roger Kshir of Bucktail and Jasom Maddox of Hazleton before losing an 8-3 decision to Mike Debellis of Emmuas and getting pinned by Dan Brandt of Northern York.
At 125, Sam McCloskey (3-5) lost by tech fall to Kellon Balum of Line Mountain, pinned Josh Gerber of Berlin-Brothersvalley and was edged 9-7 by Caleb Herman of Mifflinburg.
Matt Lauder (145), Heath Walk (171) and Robert Emigh (215) went 0-2.
“I think our kids did real well here,” said coach Packer. “You always want to do a little bit better. It would have been nice to have a champion or two. These kids we met here are state-quailty people and it was just a great, great experience. We couldn’t ask for better competition.”