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Raiders lose wrestling championship

February 7, 2011

Brookville's Brett Smith tries to prevent Port Allegany's Logan Warnick from taking him down during their 135-pound bout Saturday at DuBois High School. Smith beat Warnick 14-2, and the Raiders beat the Gators 34-32 in the semifinals of the District IX team Championship. (Photo byJosh Rizzo/ The Punxsutawney Spirit)

DUBOIS— The District IX Class AA Team Championship wrestling tournament Saturday at DuBois High School didn't end how top seeded Brookville pictured it would before the season started.

The Raiders had to stand and watch, as another team celebrated being champions.

Brookville lost to second seeded Ridgway 32-29 in the championship match, a team the Raiders beat 42-24 Jan. 29.

Brookville coach Dave Klepfer was disappointed that his team hadn't accomplished one of their biggest goals.

"I'm not going to lie, it stings," Klepfer said. "It was our number one goal. We had two goals: No. 1 was to win the team tournament, No. 2 was to win individual districts. It just wasn't our day today; credit Ridgway they wrestled hard."

Brookville beat Port Allegeny 34-32 in the semifinals to set up a rematch with Ridgway.

The Raiders were missing freshman Brock Zacherl at 119-pounds who was in the hospital with an illness.

Zacherl is ranked second in the state for Class AA in the 119-pound weight class according to Off The Mat.

When the match started at 119-pounds, the Elkers were able to take advantage of Zacherl being out in the first two bouts.

The Elkers chose to wrestle Corey Bush, who normally wrestles at 119-pounds, up to 125-pounds and had Tad Pierce wrestle Devin Gill at 119-pounds.

Pierce pinned Gill in 3:06 and Bush scored a 12-4 major decision over Dustin Dombrowski, giving Ridgway a 10-0 lead.

When the two teams first wrestled, Zacherl beat Bush 7-5 and Dombrowski pinned Ridgway's Trevor Delhunty in 52 seconds.

"We flipped-flopped two of the close matches we lost last time," Klepfer said. "But they stole wins at 119 and 125-pounds, where we got both wins last time."

The Raiders continued to battle and came back behind decisions from Brodie Zacherl (130 pounds), Zach Vroman (140) and Ron Clark, a tehnical fall from Dylan Zimmerman (145) and a pin from Jake Shields (189), which tied the match at 20 with four bouts remaining.

Brookville's Logan Stout (215) then beat Chad Quail 5-1, to give the Raiders a 23-20 lead.

The lead was short lived as the Elkers' Jesse Sheasely (HWT) pinned Luke Geer in 1:09 to set up a big match at 103. With Brookville trailing 26-23, a Ridgway pin would give the Elkers the District IX title. Brookville's Brady Mineweaser (103), who pinned Ridgways' Cody Stahl a week earlier, needed to win or lose in a decision.

Mineweaser nearly pinned Stahl in the first period, but Stahl managed to avoid the fall. In the third period, with Mineweaser ahead, Stahl caught Mineweaser in a move and pinned him at 4:22.

"They're two kids that love to get out there and scrap," Klepfer said. "It was fun to watch, but we were a little inexperienced with some of the positions he was in and he got caught in one of those positions."

Ridgway forfeited the last match to Brookville.

"I talked to them after the forfeit and told them I was proud of the way they wrestled," Klepfer said. "Every kid gave it everything they had, it just wasn't our day."

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