By Glenn Kaier
GOLDEN HAWKS WILL WRESTLE FOR BRONZE
CR South Defeats Cedar Cliff 31-23 In A Thriller
Council Rock South advanced to the consolation final of the 2019 PIAA AAA Team Championships with a thrilling 31-23 victory over District Three champion Cedar Cliff. No surprise that the first four up (in weight class order), Kyle Waterman (106), Max Mednez (113), Shane Hanson-Ashworth (120) and Branden Ricchini (126) were keys to the win. However, freshmen standout Matt Colajezzi started the match off at 160-pounds with a huge cradle to pin down Cedar Cliff’s Christopher Prograis.
Nik Korbich followed Colajezzi at 170lbs, with bonus points of his own, with a 13-4 major decision over the Colts’ Bobby Whalen to put the Golden Hawks out to an early 10-0 lead. But that lead would evaporate, as Cedar Cliff was able to put three wins together, along with a forfeit at 220-pounds, to push them ahead 15-10, making the turnaround to the light-weights.
Waterman and Mendez won decisions for CR South at 113 and 120 respectively, setting up Shane Hanson-Ashworth to extend the lead. And that he did, as he decked Mark Paradine with a double-trouble pinning combination at the 2:25 mark of the second period. The light-weight group for South has won all weekend at the Giant Center, and Branden Ricchini down at 126 for this match, continued the winning ways for this bunch with a 5-1 decision over the Colts Creed Bogardus. Ricchini gave the Golden Hawks some breathing room heading into the middle weights as their lead was 25-15 heading to 132-pounds.
Cedar Cliff tightened the match up with two consecutive victories to edge within the lead at 25-23. This is where it got very exciting. Eric Woloshyn (CRS) toed the line at 145 to grapple John Cunningham (CC). Woloshyn exploded with a fireman’s carry, dumping Cunningham in a 2-0 hole to start the match. Later in the match, Woloshyn continued to be the aggressor with an explosive blast double downing Cunningham 5-1. The win put CRS in control at 28-23 with one bout remaining, and with Cedar Cliff needing a fall to win the dual.
At 152-pounds, it was Cole Flanagan for the Golden Hawks and Danny Zigue for the Colts to decide the outcome. Both guys let it fly for the full six minutes, but it was Flanagan winning the throw-down. Flanagan used a headlock and a modified chin-whip to amass 8-points in the match, but it almost did not stand, as Zigue was nearly counted out after a slam near the end of the third period. With Flanagan in complete control and both wrestlers neutral, Zigue attempted a headlock of his own on the edge. Flanagan countered with a huge bear-hug toss straight to Zigue’s back, but the official called the illegal slam and awarded the penalty point to Zigue. The medical staff on the Giant Center mats were ready to declare Zigue unable to continue, when suddenly Zigue popped up and went to the line at the middle of the circle.
It was great sportsmanship by Zigue and Cedar Cliff, not wanting the match to end on a penalty, to finish the match. And as a true wrestler would he went out trying to win attempting one more throw. Flanagan posted the 8-3 decision, and CR South was on their way to the third-place showdown with Kiski Area, to end this thriller at 31-23 over Cedar Cliff.