HOUSTON – The focus all season – at least from the team perspective – was to win the Section 1A title.
With that now in hand, the South Fayette High School wrestling team can now make history.
The Lions took a huge step toward that end here Wednesday night, dismantling the Chartiers-Houston Bucs, 44-19, to capture first place in the sub-section.
That alone doesn’t secure the school’s first section championship. But it gives South Fayette the Lions’ share of momentum and confidence to reach its goal next week.
“We never talked about winning the section (championship),” Coach Rick Chaussard said. “Now we will. We just wanted to win our sub-section, and that was the goal.
“To win a section would be a step in the right direction. It would mean a lot to the kids.”
With the win, South Fayette will host the Section 1-AA dual meet championship. The Lions will face Ellwood City, the second-place team from Section 1B.
Chartiers-Houston will meet Burgettstown, which won sub-section B.
After the Bucs took a 6-0 lead on the strength of a Tanner Sutton fall at 145 pounds, South Fayette won four straight bouts and seven of eight to blow the dual meet open.
The Lions recorded five falls, a major decision and decision to take total command.
“When a team gets on a roll like that, it is tough to catch your breath,” Chaussard said. “I’ve been on both sides of that.”
None of those victories were as dramatic or pivotal as was Jack Previte’s fall at 5:08 at 170 pounds.
Previte trailed David Kincaid, 2-0, after two periods. But he recorded a takedown with 1:23 left in the bout as he hit a headlock. He held on to it before finally turning Kincaid – who nearly escaped – and pinning him with 52 seconds left in the bout.
It truly was a turning point as Kincaid nearly pulled off a takedown and near fall points with a cradle late in the first period. Instead the period ended scoreless when referee waved off the two point takedown he awarded at the buzzer.
“David is such a strong kid,” Bucs’ Coach Bill Sutton. “He comes out of that (the headlock) all the time. I wasn’t even worried about it.
“That took the win out of my sails.”
Sutton and Chaussard agreed that the end of the first period shaped the bout and the match overall.
“I think if David gets the takedown and (near fall points) it wins him that bout,” Sutton said. “He was nervous downstairs. It was his first big match. That would have changed things. If he gets those points, he wouldn’t even be in a tie up with him in the third period.”
Chaussard called it a turning point and a surprise.
“The end of the first period was a definite change in the bout,” he added. “Down 4-0 is a different mentality. That was definitely a huge situation. We weren’t expecting that (pin) at all. We were just hoping for a win.”
South Fayette (5-0) also got pins from Grant Fetchet (152), Zach Walker (220), Michal Shields (285) and Jasper Wolf (106).
Gaining major decisions were Mike Fetchet (182) and Seth Carr (120). J.J. Walker (160) and Mike Carr (126) recorded decisions.
The Bucs (4-1) received a major decision from senior Garrett Vulcano at 195, a 9-1 win over Brad Haney; a 4-1 decision from Benjamin Hritsko at 113 over Kevin Chaussard; a 10-6 victory from Dylan Briggs at 132 and 5-1 decision from Pete Provenzano at 138.
“We lost the flip and couldn’t put Garrett on (Zach) Walker,” Sutton said. “Sometimes it’s not your day.”