Pairings leave Hillers with a tough road

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Friday, February 6, 1998

Pairings leave Hillers with a tough road


Trinity High School's wrestling team found out just how much Wednesday's loss to Canon-McMillan cost the team.

When the WPIAL released the pairings for the Class AAA team tournament, the Hillers were penciled in one spot below top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Mt. Pleasant.

Trinity, one of four Section 5 teams to qualify for the tournament, will entertain Seneca Valley tonight (7 start) and, if successful, will meet Mt. Pleasant in the quarterfinals.

Trinity, Canon-McMillan and Waynesburg tied for second behind McGuffey in Section 5. The latter three have Saturday matches. The Highlanders drew the No. 2 seed and host Keystone Oaks 7 p.m.; Canon-McMillan, which sits in the bracket above McGuffey, will host Woodland Hills 2 p.m.; and Waynesburg travels to North Allegheny for a 2 p.m. dual meet.

Shaler, which won the Section 3 title by forfeit over North Allegheny, is the No. 3 seed; and Connellsville, the Section 2 winner, took the No. 4 seed.

The Class AA bracket was delayed until this afternoon because the inclement weather forced postponements of matches that would affect Section 3 qualifiers. However, the Observer-Reporter has learned that Washington will receive the No. 1 seed, Southmoreland the No. 2 seed, West Greene No. 3 and Burgettstown No. 4.

"I'm not really surprised,'' said coach John Abajace of Trinity's placement. "When there's a situation where you have a three-way tie (for second place), you want to try to keep the teams away from each other and everything is up in the air.''

It will not be an easy path through the upper bracket as five of the top eight teams in the O-R rankings were placed there. Canon-McMillan was placed in the bottom bracket with McGuffey, No. 5 Shaler and No. 7 Kiski.

"When you look at it, yeah, it seems a little top-heavy,'' Abajace said. "We're a quality team and so are North Allegheny, Connellsville and Waynesburg. And Mt. Pleasant is the team to beat. (The seeding process) is something you can't control. The only thing we can control is how we wrestle against Seneca Valley.''

Waynesburg was the only Section 5 team to not receive a home match but head coach John Yates was not concerned.

"I didn't know that, with our record, we'd get consideration for a home match,'' he said. "If Canon-McMillan and Trinity got a home match, then I don't know why we didn't get one.''

Yates said he got a chance to scout North Allegheny in two tournaments this season but doesn't feel that's a good measuring stick.

"It's hard to compare team scoring with dual meets,'' he said. "We scrimmaged them in November but that was a while back.''

McGuffey could get a rematch with Canon-McMillan if the two win first-round matches. The Highlanders, who took a two-point victory from C-M earlier this season, may be without 130-pounder Zac Shaner (thumb) for the tournament.

Quarterfinal rounds will be held Tuesday, semifinals Thursday and finals Saturday




Copyright ©1998 Observer Publishing Co. Last updated 2-6-98