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Connellsville looks for upset in AAA semifinals

By Paul Schofield

Connellsville High School coach Tom Dolde wasn't surprised Trinity gave No. 1 Mt. Pleasant a good match in the WPIAL Class AAA wrestling team tournament. He was surprised Trinity won seven matches. That's what Connellsville must do against Mt. Pleasant tonight at 7 in the semifinals at Southmoreland High School if it hopes to pull an upset. "Trinity matched up well against them," Dolde said. "For us to have a chance, we have to upset some of their better wrestlers."

Mt. Pleasant (13-0) opened the season with an impressive 41-9 victory against Connellsville.

The Vikings needed pins by John Lloyd (152) and Robbie Waller (171) to defeat Trinity, 29-25, Tuesday. Connellsville advanced by rallying from a 21-10 deficit to defeat Waynesburg, 26-21.

In the other Class AAA match, No. 2 McGuffey (17-0) tangles with Shaler (19-0) at Keystone Oaks. In the Class AA matches at Trinity High School, No. 2 Southmoreland (13-2) will battle No. 3 West Greene (11-4) at 6 p.m. and No. 1 Washington (12-3) meets Burgettstown (12-2) at 8 p.m. The finals for both classifications are Saturday at sites to be determined.

"We had some guys that didn't have good nights," said Mt. Pleasant coach Rob Waller, who has 302 coaching victories. "Trinity did a nice job and I expect Connellsville to be a lot tougher this time around. We handed them one of their worst career losses."

Waller's team welcomed a rematch with their neighboring rival. "That's the team we wanted to meet," said one of the Vikings, huddling following the match.

Connellsville will be without starter Nathan Shearer, who missed the past three matches because of academic problems. "It's going to be difficult to defeat them," Dolde said. "We'll show up and give it our best shot."

Shaler, which defeated Kiski Area 31-27, will face its toughest test of the season when it meets McGuffey. The Highlanders, which placed second last year in the tournament, advanced to the semifinals by defeating Canon-McMillan, 35-18.

Tom Bursick's victory over Brian Egnatz and pins by Tom Ford (103), Troy Letters (130), Leon Nowaczynski (145) and Brandon Yeckel (160) sparked the Titans.

Nick Richmond's pin at 171 helped McGuffey put away Canon-McMillan.

Southmoreland, which rolled over Fort Cherry, will attempt to defeat West Greene for the second consecutive time this season. Washington, used six pins to put away South Side Beaver, tries to end Burgettstown's dream season.

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