Chucks' D-IX champion duo lead team in Northwest Regional first night

ALTOONA — As was the case last weekend, the Chucks' district champion duo led the team in the first night of the AAA Northwest Regional Tournament on Friday.

Top-seed Joel Bowers (120) and Kaleb Young (126) paced the Punxsy effort with a combined three wins to move into the regional semifinals held at Altoona High School.

“We had a couple big wins. We had Bowers and Young get through to the semis. It is big matches now of all or nothing,” noted Punxsy head coach Eric Eddy.

With the benefit of having the top seed, Bowers received a preliminary round bye. The junior (23-1) faced Isaac Underhill of Mifflin County, who pinned Central Tech’s Jose Lopez to start the night in the quarterfinals.

In a low-scoring affair, Bowers did enough to earn the victory over Underhill with a 4-2 decision.

“Bowers should have been 4-0 or 5-0, but Joel got a little sloppy at the end of his match but held off a late shoot in for the win,” said Eddy.

The Punxsy 120-pounder advances to a semifinal bout against Paul Dietz (31-9) of Erie McDowell. Deitz posted a major decision, 16-3, over Chase Andrus of Central Mountain in his quarterfinal.

The other District IX Punxsy champion, Young, went through his first regional night unscathed. The freshman (25-1), in fact, was not even scored upon in two Friday bouts.

In the prelims, Young recorded a 2-0 decision over another freshman, Anthony Myers of State College.

The 126-pound Chuck tripled his margin in the quarterfinals. Kaleb took care of Erie Cathedral Prep’s Alex Root by a 6-0 decision to advance again to the semifinals.

“Kaleb’s first match was a tough one, as Myers of State College is a good wrestler. He came out a little tight in his first regionals,” explained the Chucks leader. “He was able to get it (the tightness) out of his system in the second match.”

For the full story, see Saturday's edition of The Spirit.