WAYNESBURG – Prior to Wednesday night’s wrestling match, Waynesburg held a ceremony to celebrate the unveiling of a new scoreboard and to thank the sponsors who helped make it possible.
What had wrestling fans inside Waynesburg’s gymnasium even more impressed was what was on that scoreboard when the Raiders’ dual meet with rival Trinity was finished.
The final score of the match.
A dominating effort saw Waynesburg win nine of 14 bouts, including four close ones, on the way to a 38-28 victory over the Hillers in a Section 4A match.
Waynesburg moved into a tie for second place with the Hillers at 3-1. McGuffey is at 2-2 after routing Moon last night. No. 1 Canon-McMillan leads the section with a 4-0 record and wrestles Trinity in the regular-season finale Wednesday.
A Waynesburg win over McGuffey next week would clinch second place in the section. A loss to McGuffey could create a three-way tie for second place unless Trinity upsets Canon-McMillan.
“We’ve been in every match, except Hempfield (a 46-15 loss),” said Waynesburg head coach Joe Throckmorton. “We matched up well with everyone, and we’re improving.”
Waynesburg beat Trinity by winning the tossup matches. The Raiders (7-5) won four of them by a combined seven bout points. Shawn Wilson began the run with a 9-7 decision over Ryan Yocum at 126. That gave Waynesburg a 9-0 lead after Trinity (8-10) forfeited to start the dual meet at 120 pounds.
Michael Heasley made a takedown with 1:28 to go stand in a 10-9 victory over the Hillers’ Justin Ritter at 138. Heasley’s win stretched Waynesburg’s lead to 16-0.
“They wrestled smarter and wanted to win more than us,” said Trinity head coach Mark Powell. “They won all the toss-up matches.”
Bo Hampson sent his match against Trinity’s Evan Sherrieb at 160 into overtime tied at 6-6, thanks to a takedown with three seconds to go in regulation. Hampson got the winning takedown 1:25 into the first overtime to extend the Raiders’ lead to 23-6.
Maybe the biggest win for Waynesburg came at 170, where Marcus Pizzi pinned Louis Mocniak in 4:12 to make it 29-6. Pizzi was giving up nearly 10 pounds.
“It’s always a good idea to get extra points, whether it’s a pin or technical fall or major decision,” said Pizzi. “I did the best I could, and that happened to be a pin.”
Trinity made a late run, getting a forfeit at 182 and a 15-6 major decision by Don McWreath over Jake Cumberledge at 195. When Connor Fritz followed with a pin of Shaun Rush in 2:29 and Evan Seaman stuck Thad McGilton in 4:41 at heavyweight, the Hillers trailed by just one, 29-28.
Cole Rush stopped Trinity’s run when he decisioned Tristan Buxton, 8-6, in an entertaining, back-and-forth match that saw Buxton cut a 5-1 deficit in the first period to 7-6 with 1:36 to go. Rush escaped with 43 seconds left for the winning margin.
Trinity had to surrender a second forfeit, this time at 113 to A.C. Headlee that ended the match. The Hillers had three lightweights who could fill either 113 or 120, but they are academically ineligible.
“We just can’t fill it,” said Powell.
“We lost the flip but still got the matchups we wanted. Their kids just wanted to win more than we did.”
Throckmorton is pleased with the progression of the team, and believes his wrestlers are beginning to peak at the right time.
“We wrestled four or five of the top 10 teams in the WPIAL,” he said. “That shows up when you win close matches like this. We’ve been to the Beast of the East, Powerade. … All our guys with .500 records are better than that.”