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Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Semifinal 1-13-2013

It's taken awhile, but The Semifinal is back.

First Period
Stars and studs: Cambria Heights' Tyler Crawford two first-period pins in duals against Bedford and Forest Hills. The win against Forest Hills was especially impressive, as it came against Zack Pinkas, who is 16-4 this season. Crawford improved to 7-0 with the victory. ... Westmont Hilltop 220-pounder Don Shovestull also went 2-0 in duals and improved to 10-2 on the season, with both of his losses coming at the POWERade tournament. His 2-0 decision over Penn Cambria's Seth McLendon was one of the better individual matchups of the week. ... Westmont Hilltop won both of its duals during the week to improve to 4-1. Matt Beaujon's Hilltoppers are short on experience, but they beat Central Cambria 48-22 and Penn Cambria 51-21.

Upset-minded: Northern Bedford's Mason Replogle beat Chestnut Ridge's Trent Crouse 4-2 at 132 pounds. You can see the match here, thanks to Ryan Spring of the Bedford Gazette. Replogle is long that he's a matchup problem even after moving up three weight classes from last season.

Second Period
On deck: I've been anxiously awaiting the Chestnut Ridge-Berlin Brothersvalley match. Now, I might get it twice in three days. The teams meet at Berlin on Thursday night in what looks like the best dual of the week. Then, the teams could very well meet again in the finals of the inaugural Mountaineer Duals (also at Berlin). Also on Saturday, the scaled-down version of the Richland Coaches Duals return. It's a chance to see some quality Southwest Regional talent in Blairsville and Kittanning, but I think our local teams will struggle.
Note: It sounds like we will not get a second helping of Lions-Mountaineers. They plan to try to avoid repeat matches. If both teams go undefeated on Saturday's pool action, only the winner of Thursday's match will advance to the championship. The loser will go to the third-place match.

Central Cambria at Richland, 7 p.m.

Forest Hills at Bedford, 7 p.m.
Central Cambria at Cambria Heights, 7 p.m.
Richland at Ligonier Valley, 7 p.m.
Northern Cambria at Marion Center, 7 p.m.
Meyersdale at Northern Garrett, Md., 7 p.m.
Conemaugh Township at Portage, 7 p.m.
Berlin Brothersvalley at Shade, 7 p.m.
Penn Cambria at Somerset, 7 p.m.
Greater Johnstown at Westmont Hilltop, 7 p.m.
Chestnut Ridge at Everett, 7:30 p.m.


Thursday North Star at Bedford, 7 p.m.
Chestnut Ridge at Berlin Brothersvalley, 7 p.m.
Forest Hills at Conemaugh Township, 7 p.m.
Central Cambria at Greater Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Meyersdale at Shade, 7 p.m.
Westmont Hilltop at United, 7 p.m.

Conemaugh Township at Burgettstown Tournament

Mountaineer Duals at Berlin, 9 a.m.: Pool A-Archbishop Wood, Bellwood-Antis, Berlin Brothersvalley, Centreville (Va.) and Frankfort (W.Va.) Pool B-Chestnut Ridge, HOPE for Hyndman, Osbourn Park (Va.), Southern Huntingdon, West Shamokin
Richland Coaches Duals at Richland, 10 a.m.: Blairsville, Cambria Heights, Central Cambria, Greater Johnstown, Kittanning, Moshannon Valley, Richland, Somerset, Tyrone, United (Pools have not yet been announced)

Third Period
I didn't get a chance to weigh in on the cancellation of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference tournament last weekend. If you hadn't heard about it, it was canceled just days before it was to take place. Ryan Spring of the Bedford Gazette covered it in his blog, then Todd Irwin of the Altoona Mirror tackled it in his column.
It's a shame that District 6 hasn't been able to sort out the problem and allow the LHAC to hold its own tournament. It would be great for both fans and wrestlers. Because the conference includes two District 5 teams (Bedford and Somerset) that would have finalists and/or champions, it would be quite different than what we see in the district tournaments.
The District 6 coaches and ruling committee need to make this happen next year.
The only good thing to come out of the mess this year is that teams didn't end up being over their allotment of points for the season. Imagine the uproar if the tournament had been contested and afterward it was determined that the tournament had not been approved, causing teams to be cancel competitions at the end of the season or - worse yet - be ineligible for the potseason.

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