Trinity grabs second

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observer-reporter.com/HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Thursday, January 29, 1998

Trinity grabs second

BY JOE TUSCANO
THE OBSERVER-REPORTER

WAYNESBURG -- It took nearly two months for the Section 5-AAA race to take shape.

During two hours Wednesday evening, a lot changed.

In a stomach-churning, nail-biting dual meet, Trinity High School stunned Waynesburg, 26-25, to take firm hold of second place.

The victory moves the fourth-ranked Hillers to 7-1 in the section and overall, while No. 5 Waynesburg fell to 6-2 in the section and 11-4 overall.

Trinity can clinch second place in the section with a victory over No. 9 Canon-McMillan, which nearly upset McGuffey last night. The second-ranked Highlanders (9-0, 13-0) were forced to win the last two bouts to escape with a 28-26 win. If the Big Macs can upend Trinity Wednesday, and Waynesburg wins its final two section bouts of the season -- against Chartiers Valley and Upper St. Clair -- a three-way tie for second place would exist and all three teams would qualify for the WPIAL Team Tournament.

"This was one of our better efforts, but we still didn't perform as well as I think we can,'' said Trinity coach John Abajace. "We knew it would take a complete team effort to beat Waynesburg. That's a quality program and our hats are off to them.''

The dual meet turned with the outcome of two weight classes: Eric Michael's 9-1 major decision over Waynesburg's Jamie White at 112 and Steve Healey's 6-4 decision over Mike O'Neil at 145.

Those six team points were enough to force Waynesburg to get either a technical fall or pin at heavyweight. But Charlie Kiger could manage only a 6-4 decision over the Hillers' Matt Smith.

"Knowing you have to pin decreases the likelihood of getting a pin,'' said Waynesburg coach John Yates. "The other guy knows all he has to do is stay off his back. I wouldn't want to be in the heavyweight's shoes and I certainly don't blame Charlie for winning his bout.''

Michael's decision took some of the sting out of Jeremy Snyder's pin at 103 that gave Waynesburg a 6-0 lead. Andy Migyanko's 13-0 major decision over Travis Rastoka at 119 was important because Mike Seybold pinned Nick Legerski in 3:17 at 125 and Justin Morgan took a 5-3 overtime decision from Trinity's Joe Reihner at 130 to give Waynesburg a 15-8 lead.

Trinity took a 20-15 edge after Todd Day's technical fall at 135, Ben Junko's major decision at 140 and Healey's decision at 145.

"We knew 130 and 145 were going to be close bouts,'' said Abajace. "We were able to win in other places, like 112. That was big for us.''

"Trinity has the team that matches up well with us,'' said Yates. "We didn't want to take them lightly. There wasn't a lot we could do with the matchups.

The two teams battled to the heavyweight bout with Waynesburg's Pat O'Donnell (152) and Justin Smith (160) picking up wins to offset Trinity decisions by John Burns at 171 and Josh Ritter at 189. That left the Hillers with a 26-22 edge, and seven bout victories, heading into heavyweight.

"We did the things we had to do to get the victory tonight,'' Abajace said. "We were able to get the job done up top and that secured the win for us.'




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