BRIDGEVILLE – Head coach Bill Sutton made the one move Burrell didn’t expect, but it still was not enough for Chartiers-Houston to pull of the upset Friday in the semifinals of the WPIAL Class AA Team Wrestling Tournament at Chartiers Valley High School.
Sutton moved Garrett Vulcano to heavyweight from his normal 195-pound weight class, and the C-H senior responded with a pin over Brian Beattie in 55 seconds.
“When I saw him get stuck, I choked,” said Burrell coach Buddy Sines.
Vulcano’s pin, coming in the second bout of the dual meet, helped Chartiers-Houston build an 18-4 lead.
But top-seeded Burrell battled back, winning seven of the last nine bouts to take a 37-30 victory from Chartiers-Houston.
The loss drops Chartiers-Houston into today’s third-place match against Jefferson-Morgan, which takes place at noon at Chartiers Valley. Burrell advanced to the finals against South Fayette in a 2 p.m. match.
The top three teams in Class AA advance to the PIAA Team Tournament.
Sutton had Vulcano drink some water to reach 197.5 pounds and qualify to move up to heavyweight. His pin, along with a decision by Josh Kraushaar at 220 and a pin by Ben Hritsko at 106, gave Chartiers-Houston a 15-0 lead. But Chartiers-Houston lost the flip to decide who sends its wrestlers to the mat first, and Burrell got the matchups it wanted.
“It seems like we lose the flip all the time,” said Sutton. “Give Burrell credit because they came back. We took that lead, and it was like it never even bothered them. It was like they didn’t even care.”
C-H pushed it to 18-4 after Richie McGinnis took an 11-6 decision from Noah Harris at 120. But Chartiers-Houston would win only two more bouts after that: pins by Tanner Sutton at 145 and Jimmy Saieva at 182 to end the dual meet.
In between, Burrell got pins from Phil Marra (152), Corey Falleroni (160) and Dakota Deslauriers (182) to take a 37-24 lead with one bout left.
“I’m proud of our kids. We fought hard,” Sutton said. “When they came off the mat, I could see the look in their eyes and they were dead tired. Now we need a short memory.”