McMURRAY – The Peters Township High School wrestling team had the opportunity to win the Section 2-AAA championship at home Wednesday night.
Belle Vernon, however, got in the way.
Peters Township fell just a little short, dropping the finals of the section team tournament, 40-27, to the Leopards.
PT wrestled well and had the lead halfway through after getting pins from Tyler Buckiso (132) and Italo Merante (138), but the Indians hit a rough stretch in which they lost five of six bouts to fall behind 34-18.
The Indians (11-2) won two of the next three bouts, but ultimately dug themselves too big of a hole.
“I thought we wrestled well as a team tonight,” said Peters Twp. coach Jason Carpetta. “We didn’t take advantage of some opportunities, but we left it all out there. We had a couple of matches that we had a shot at and could have made a difference. We also were without our 113 pounder, which played a role, but I thought we wrestled pretty well.”
While Peters Township did wrestle well, the Indians had trouble getting the extra points, which cost them against Belle Vernon.
That wasn’t a problem for the Leopards, who got four pins – Tyler Seliga (113), Brenden Hasson (120), Austin Bell (170) and Patrick Mayernik (220) – and a major decision from Derek Verkleeren (152) in the final.
PT also received a pin from heavyweight Lukas Cervenek in the finals.
“We had a problem stopping them from getting the extra points,” said Carpetta. “We needed to minimize that, for sure. A couple things we do different here and there and maybe we have a different story. We had a solid performance though, and hopefully we get rewarded with a good seed.”
Peters Township will enter next week’s WPIAL Team Tournament as the second-place team from 2-AAA. Pairings will be released today.
The Indians had their hands full with Connellsville in the first round, pulling out a 32-29 victory.
PT trailed 29-23 with two bouts remaining, but got a 1-0 decision at heavyweight from Cervenek to pull to within 29-26. The Indians won the match when Danny Florentino (106) got his hand raised because of a forfeit.
The Leopards didn’t have nearly as much trouble with their first-round opponent as they disposed of Mt. Lebanon, 43-24.
“We came to wrestle tonight,” said Belle Vernon head coach Tyler Nauman. “The key to our win was all the bonus points.”