McGuffey stuns Mt. Pleasant
McGuffey's Rich Kelley (left) and Mt. Pleasant's Steve Stolitca tangle in their 152-pound match Saturday. Kelley went on to win the bout. (Joe Wojcik/Tribune-Review photo)By Paul Schofield
McGuffey High School wrestling coach Mark Caffrey was at a loss for words after Saturday's WPIAL Class AAA team tournament final at Charleroi. Mt. Pleasant coach Robbie Waller was just plain bitter. McGuffey took advantage of two disqualification victories to defeat Mt. Pleasant, 28-26, and capture its second team title before more than 1,000 fans. It was the sixth consecutive time McGuffey was in the final.
Trailing 26-22 with one match remaining, McGuffey heavyweight Joe Ginther needed a technical fall or pin against Mt. Pleasant's Joe Walton to pull out the victory. Anything less would have given Mt. Pleasant the victory.
Ginther didn't get either, but was awarded a disqualification victory with 19 seconds left in the match because Walton received his fifth stalling warning from referee Jim Horner. A wrestler is permitted only four stalling warnings during a match before being disqualified.
Ginther was leading at the time of the call, 14-2. "It's about time we won a match like this," Caffrey said. "We've lost some matches in the heavyweight match. Jim made the right call."
Waller didn't want to comment on the calls made by Horner and Sean Kearney. "I prefer not to comment of the officiating because we'll have them in the individual tournaments, and I don't want them to penalize my wrestlers," Waller said. "We had a great effort and came up a little short. I'm disappointed and so is the team."
Mt. Pleasant's Jonathan Huesdash (rear) ties up McGuffey's Jared Gashel in their 119-pound match Saturday. Huesdash went on to win, 4-2. (Joe Wojcik/Tribune-Review photo)Mt. Pleasant came out quickly, winning four of the first five matches to take a 16-6 lead. The only victory McGuffey received was a disqualification when Mt. Pleasant's Ryan Swartz was called for an illegal slam. Swartz elevated McGuffey's Rick Bauer and when he brought him back to the mat, Bauer's head hit first.
When it was decided Bauer couldn't continue, McGuffey received six team points. "I'm not going to send a wrestler back out on the mat when he's dazed," Caffrey said. "The trainer recommended that he didn't continue."
Until the slam at 125 pounds, Mt. Pleasant was on the verge of blowing McGuffey away. Harley Anderson was able to make weight after being sick Thursday and pin Adam Watson at 103 pounds. Brandon Newill followed with a 3-1 victory over Luke Main at 112, and Jonathan Huesdash's 4-2 victory over Jared Gashel put the lead at 12-0. "We won the battle and lost the war," Waller said. "We won seven matches. Ryan was in control of his match when he got called. It's an unfortunate situation."
Erick Eyth gave Mt. Pleasant a 16-6 lead with a 9-1 victory over Matt Helicke. But McGuffey charged back to tie the match at 22-22 after getting Nick Richmond's pin over Tom Novak in the 171-pound bout.
When Robbie Waller, the coach's son, could only manage a 13-2 major decision victory over Mike Abriatis, the door was left opened for McGuffey to take the title. "This was a good victory," Caffrey said. "This team never gave up when it was down."
Washington captured its sixth team title, second under coach Matt Midea, with a thrilling 28-25 victory over West Greene. Tim Carl's first-period pin of John Kasecky in the heavyweight match gave Washington the victory.
West Greene jumped out to an early lead, forcing Midea to make moves at the end. He forfeited to West Greene's Mike Miller at 171 pounds and banked on Matt Bryson and Carl to pull out the victory. "We didn't count on losing the match at 112," Midea said. "That forced us to make moves up top."
Bryson defeated Jason Pierce, 6-4, and Carl got a pin to ensure the victory.