Belcastro leads Prexies to win over S.S. Beaver

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observer-reporter.com/HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Wednesday, February 11, 1998

Belcastro leads Prexies to win over S.S. Beaver

BY PETE RIDDELL
THE OBSERVER-REPORTER

Scott Belcastro's overtime loss last week to Waynesburg's Pat O'Donnell was bad news.

For Belcastro's future opponents, that is.

The loss to O'Donnell has stoked a fire that already burned inside Belcastro, the Observer-Reporter's top-ranked Class AA wrestler at 160 pounds.

"I was slacking off a little bit in the wrestling room (before losing)," Belcastro admitted. "Now, I'm running harder, wrestling harder."

That was in evidence last night, as Belcastro scored a 17-0 technical fall over Carl Fowler - one of many bright spots in Washington High School's 51-16 win over South Side Beaver in the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class AA Team Tournament.

Belcastro improved his record to 26-2, while the Little Prexies (12-3) advanced into the semifinals to face Burgettstown, a 36-25 winner over Burrell last night.

Having wrestled in the shadow of former Washington standouts Kevin Bednarski and Aaron Gatten for much of his career, Belcastro is approaching this, his senior year, as his time to shine.

Gone is the negativity which crept into his psyche last year when he narrowly missed qualifying for the state tournament.

"I'm better on top and on my feet (than a year ago)," Belcastro said. "I don't think anybody can take me down when I'm on my feet."

He said that confidence is shared by his teammates.

"We're wrestling a lot better than we were last year at this time. We think we're going to win it."

Last night marked the Prexies' second blowout over the Rams (10-4), the Section 2-AA runners-up, in as many weeks. Washington beat SS Beaver, 56-12, last Wednesday.

Washington received pins from Dan Mousetis (103), Dan Kosek (112), Dave Cox (125), Mike Mousetis, Matt LoPresti (135) and Sean Thomas (152).

But it was another solid effort from one of the Prexies' unsung heroes that put a smile across the face of coach Matt Midea.

At 145 pounds, Jeff Florian trailed 5-1 to the Rams' Korey Springs entering the third period. But Florian's tenacity began to prevail as the stronger Springs tired. Florian quickly notched an escape and a takedown, and trailed 6-4 after allowing Springs an escape point. Florian scored a takedown with 30 seconds left to tie the match, and then rolled Springs on his back for a near fall as time expired to secure a thrilling 9-6 win.

"Jeff is a great role player," said Midea, who lumped 119-pounder Kurt Rush and Joe Kubas, who wrestled up at 135, into the same category. "Without them, I don't know what we could do."

With them, he hopes to win a WPIAL crown.

"This team reminds me of our '96 team," which won the Class AA title, Midea said. "We had great role players then, too.




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