Live at the PIAA wrestling championships: Day 3
HERSHEY -- A new round of state champions will be crowned here at the Giant Center today. Will one of those gold-medal winners be from the YAIAA? Stay tuned for live updates from the third and final day of the PIAA State Wrestling Championships.
8:27 -- One final note as we wrap up here. Dallastown's Phil Sprenkle lost his third-place bout at 189 pounds, dropping a 8-3 decision to Warwick's Antonio Georgio.
The Class AAA finals are set to begin now but, as we've stated, there will be no York-Adams representatives competing. For that reason, we're going to wrap up our live blog now. We hope you enjoyed our blogging efforts this week, and be sure to check out all the coverage from today's action at GameTimePA.com. You can read Tom Hunt's story on Tyler Small's state championship victory here.
7:07 -- A few quick-hit results:
-- New Oxford's Jordan Conaway won his 103-pound third-place bout with Cedar Cliff's Chris Vasser by a 3-1 decision.
-- At 119 pounds, Red Lion's Dylan Nguyen lost a 7-0 decision to Boyertown's Matt Malforo in an eighth-place match.
-- At 125, South Western's Cameron Throckmorton earned fifth-place via an 11-3 decision over Quakertown's Scott Wolfinger.
-- At 145, West York's Billy Randt was pinned by North Allegheny's Andy Candiello at 1:33 of their fifth-place bout.
5:39 -- They're resetting the mats now. The consolations should get underway in about 20 minutes.
4:48 -- A reminder, five YAIAA wrestlers will take place in the Class AAA final consolation rounds to take place tonight, starting at about 6:00. New Oxford's Jordan Conaway (103) and Phil Sprenkle (189) will go for third place.
4:46 -- In perhaps the day's marquee bout, Benton's Eric Hess, a defending state champion, earns a 1-0 decision of Penn State-bound senior Dirk Cowburn at 160 pounds.
3:42 -- As you would expect, Small was almost speechless when asked about his state championship.
"It's an amazing feeling, I can't even describe this feeling," the 125-pound senior said. "It's years, my whole high school career, years before that, all that glory just builds up right there.
"I don't think it's sunk in yet."
The gold medal represents redemption for Small, who qualified for states three times prior to this year, but all three times lost his first match. His best finish was fifth, which he earned last season.
"I really never thought I'd be on top of the podium," Small said.
The key to Small victory might have been his cradle early in the second period. That gave him three back points and a 6-2 lead. Small pushed that lead to 8-2 before the end of the second period.
"I've always had the cradle, but it hasn't been as dominant," Small said. "It's just progressed over the years."
Our wrestling guru Tom Hunt will have a more complete recap of the title matches a bit later on GameTimePA.com.
3:28 -- Also, Small friend, Joey Spisak of Boiling Springs, scores a last second escape to win his 130-pound title bout.
3:26 -- We're off to talk to Small about his victory. In the meantime, here's what Farley had to say...
Despite losing his state final bout, the sophomore was all smiles.
"Obviously it would have felt better if I'd won," he said, "but it still feels good because silver is better than nothing."
The big decision of the match might have been Farley's decision to choose bottom to start the second period. McCollum motioned to Farley to start neutral, but the sophomore felt more comfortable sticking with bottom.
"A lot of times if you don't with what the kid wants it can backfire," McCollum said.
If he had to do, Farley said he "would have chosen neutral instead of top."
Regardless, McCollum was equally happy about his wrestler's showing.
"6-2 in the state finals," the coach said. "I'll take it."
3:16 -- Small takes a 10-4 decision, and he is the state champion at 125 pounds. Fought scored two back points right off the bat with a tilt, but with 46 seconds left Small hits a reversal to effectively seal the win.
Small lies on the mat for a second after the buzzer, then gets up and runs over the hug his coaches.
3:13 -- Small starts on top, and locks in a cradle about a minute in. He looks like he might hit the pin and the state title, but Fought breaks free at the last second. Small still gets three back points to take a 6-2 lead, and cradles him again for two more back points as time expires. Small up 8-2 heading into the third.
3:10 -- Fought shoots around for a takedown about a minute in to take the lead, but is hit with a penalty for locking hands.Out of a restart with nine seconds left, Small hits a reversal to take a 3-2 lead. Big swing there.
3:07 -- We'll have quotes from Farley and McCollum in a bit, but first Small just hit the mat for his final.
2:50 -- The 103-pound medal winners are starting to gather for the medal presentation. Nice moment between Farley and his coach, Dave McCollum. The coach picks him up and hugs him, and Farley offers a big smile.
2:43 -- Farley falls short. The Berm sophomore started the third period on top, and Retherford scores a quick reversal to make it 6-2. It was pretty much over from there. Much like the first two periods, Retherford was dominant on top, and he takes the gold with a 6-2 decision. Still, quite a tournament for Farley, who has two more years ahead of him.
Small is now the YAIAA's last hope for a gold medal. He'll be up in a little bit.
2:40 -- Farley chooses bottom to start the second period and it backfires. Retherford gets two quick back points, and rides out Farley the rest of the period. Farley trails 4-2 heading into the final period.
2:37 -- Farley scores a takedown 36 seconds in, Retherford counters with a reversal. That's the extent of the scoring so far. Tied 2-2 after one period.
2:34 -- We're set to go here, Farley and Retherford are on the mat.
2:24 -- We're a little behind schedule here, but the finals should begin a little after 2:30. The lights are off here, and they've just begun the "Parade of Champions." It's not quite the Chicago Bulls pre-game intro circa 1996, but still pretty darn cool.
Bermudian's Brad Farley was just announced, and he'll be up first when the finals begin against Line Mountain's Zain Retherford at 103 pounds. Delone Catholic's Tyler Small will wrestle Benton's Colin Fought at 125 pounds a little after that..
1:49 -- Another update: Biglerville's Laike Gardner won his Class AA, 125-pound seventh-place bout by a 6-4 decision over Cochranton's Matt Bryer -- the same wrestler Gardner earned a dramatic, overtime decision against in the first round of states. Certainly it's a notable achievement for Gardner, who is still just a sophomore.
12:43 -- Our live blog will be up-and-running later, but first we'll update the results from this morning, when the Class AAA semfinals, third- and fourth-round consolations took place.
The two YAIAA wrestlers left in the triple-A semifinals both lost. At 125 pounds, South Western junior Cameron Throckmorton was decisioned, 9-7, by Nazareth's Zachary Horan. At 145 pounds, West York senior Billy Randt dropped a tight, 2-1 decision to West Allegheny's Aaron McKinney.
Both Throckmorton and Randt also dropped their fourth-round consolation bouts. They will each compete in fifth-place consolation matches held later tonight.
Two other York-Adams wrestlers will go for third-place tonight. New Oxford's Jordan Conaway won both his third- and fourth-round wrestlebacks today, and will wrestle Cedar Cliff's Chris Vasser later tonight. Conaway won his fouth-round consolation on a 5-4 decision over Liberty's Anthony Cabrera, on the strength of a takedown with three seconds left. Meanwhile, Dallastown's Phil Sprenkle will also go for third place against Warwick's Antonio Georgio, who beat Sprenkle in the District 3 final.
At 119 pounds, Red Lion's Dylan Nguyen will face Boyertown's Matt Malforo in the seventh-place consolation bout later tonight.
For complete results from the Class AAA matches this morning, click here.