HERSHEY – There are many ways to win a wrestling match: decision, pin, technical fall, default, disqualification, forfeit just to name a few of the more common ones.
Ty Buckiso has added another way.
Loose wrestling shoe.
Buckiso, a 132-pound senior from Peters Township, won his quarterfinal bout in the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships Friday when his shoe came off.
It happened at the end of the second period when Buckiso was trying to get away from Zach Elvin of Central Dauphin. Elvin had Buckiso’s leg, moved down to his foot and, pop, Buckiso’sfoot came out and he had an escape that would produce the only point of the match. Elvin was left with a shoe in one hand and a ticket to the consolation round in the other after a 1-0 loss.
“I don’t know how it happened,” Buckiso said. “There were only two seconds left in the period. I had to get it taped back on.”
Buckiso led an impressive showing for the area as all four wrestlers earned a spot in today’s semifinals at 9 a.m.
Joining Buckiso there are A.C. Headlee of Waynesburg, who also allowed an escape but scored nine points of his own in a 9-1 win over John Ritter of Liberty at 126; Dalton Macri, a state runner-up last year for Canon-McMillan who rolled to a 26-11 technical fall over D.J. Fehlman of Warren at 126; and Solomon Chishko, a defending state champion and teammate of Macri at Canon-Mac who dominated Demetrie Probst of Central Mountain 17-6 at 145 pounds.
Finals will be held at 7 p.m.
The top eight wrestlers in the 16-man bracket receive medals. Buckiso has assured himself of no worse than sixth and becomes the first wrestler since Bob Kail took third at heavyweight in 2002 to win a state medal for the Indians.
Buckiso, now 31-4, takes on Cameron Coy of Penn Trafford, a freshman District 7 champion with a 37-5 record, in the semifinals. Coy has two previous wins over Buckiso, 4-2 in an overtime consolation match in the Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament in December, and 8-2 in last week’s District 7 tournament at Canon-McMillan.
The escape was a pleasant surprise for Buckiso and maybe a stroke of good fortune, but he earned the win by riding Elvin throughout the third period.
“I was in control the whole time,” said Buckiso. “He tried to sit out, but I went right with him. I know I’m tough on top. I can ride anyone. It’s the strength of my wrestling. I have great workout partners in Phil Mary, Italo Merante and Sam Florentino. I also go to Quest and Pitt and work out with Dalton and A.C.”
Interestingly, Macri and Headlee will meet for the third time this season and the stakes could not be higher right now.
Macri owns a 4-3 decision over Headlee in a regular season dual meet and a 9-3 win in the Section 4 Tournament. Macri has 51 points in winning two technical falls in this tournament with the win over Fehlman and a 25-10 tech over Connor Moyer of Wilson in the first round.
“I like to score points,” Macri said. “It’s a fun style to wrestle. I wrestle to break people. They might be better than me, but I just keep going and going until they break.”
Headlee was never threatened by Ritter after opening with an 8-3 decision over Ben Ross of Pennridge.
“We both have our game plans,” said Headlee (37-5). “It will be a grind match for sure. Whoever’s head stays in it will win it. I’ve just got to keep chopping away. He is a goer, and he can grind you down, so your head has to be in it no matter what the score.”
Chishko gets Max Good of Cedar Cliff in the semis. Good, a senior Southcentral champion, has a 31-7 record.
“I don’t like to look ahead,” Chishko said. “But you are always thinking about the finals if you have been picked to be there.”
Most believe Chishko, a District 7 champ, will get Joe Galasso of Father Judge, who is 25-0 after stopping Josh Maruca of Franklin Regional, 5-3, in the quarterfinals. Chishko expects a rugged match.
“We’ll go after each other,” Chishko said. “You have to find a balance between being physical and not doing anything stupid.”