CLARION Williamsport and Jersey Shore were each hoping to come away with a champion at the newly established District 4-9 Wrestling Tournament Saturday night at Clarion University's Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium.
And while neither team was able to achieve that goal, both the Millionaires and Bulldogs had solid showings at the nine-team regional qualifier.
Williamsport 106-pounder was likely thought to be District 4's best chance at a title, but the top seeded sophomore saw his undefeated record end in the title bout against DuBois' Shae Bloom.
Williamsport’s Rashaun Cooley drops the 106-pound final to DuBois’ Shae Bloom Saturday at Clarion.
The Beaver freshman scored two first-period takedowns and each wrestler rode the other out in the second and third as Bloom scored a 4-1 victory.
Cooley fell to 21-1.
"That's the first time those two have met," Williamsport head coach Joe Eaton said. "Bloom has a little bit different style than what we're used to. He kind of caught us off-guard a little bit. We're going to obviously make some adjustments, because there is a good chance we're going to see him again next week, hopefully in the finals.
Jersey Shore's lone finalist was Zach Herman, who found the sledding tough against Clearfield's Nolan Barger.
The once-beaten Bison scored nearfall points in both the second and third periods to down the Bulldog 145-pounder by 8-0 major decision.
While Jersey Shore didn't make a lot of noise in the finals, the Bulldogs were sure busy having their hands raised in the consolation finals, winning four of the five bouts they wrestled in to grab four individual third-place finishes.
Noah Ullmer (106), Allen Saar (113), Colton Killion (126) and Hayden Swartwood (132) all went 3-1 in the tournament, finishing off with third-pace medals to advance to next weekend's Northwest Class AAA?regional in Altoona.
"Our guys were ready to wrestle this last round," Jersey Shore head coach Shawn Weaver said. "I thought they wrestled well. It's good to end on a good note going into the next weekend.
"As a whole, we came in a couple guys short and had a couple guys banged up. I thought we could have gotten a few more through. But I think the guys wrestled tough and battled. That's the biggest thing."
Ulmer got the momentum going for Jersey Shore in the third-place round with a 10-3 win over Clearifield's Logan Gilbert, who knocked the Bulldog sophomore into the consi bracket Friday night with a 2-1 decision.
Saar scored a 14-6 major decision over Punxsutawney's Andrew Bullers, scoring three takedowns in the second and adding a takedown and two reversals in the third to blow open a close bout.
Killion won by injury default over fellow D-4 wrestler Marcus Winn of Selinsgrove. Killion was leading 8-2 when Winn defaulted.
Swartwood made a first-period takedown carry him to a 3-1 win over Punxsy's Josh Schuckers.
The Bulldogs other consolation finalist Nate Lose lost by major decision to Bradford's Kyle Langdon. Jersey Shore will send six to regionals.
Williamsport was 2-for-2 in the consolation finals as 138-pounder Steffen Yaskoweak and 220-pounder Billy Kennedy each earned third-place medals.
Yaskoweak topped St. Marys' Alex Coudriet, 3-1, in overtime, while Kennedy pinned Zach Zawatski in 1:33.
"In my head, I thought we had two that were pretty much a lock to be able to wrestle next week, and then there were a handful of other ones that had the opportunity or a chance to move on," Eaton said.
"Steffen stepped up his game and probably wrestled his best tournament since he's been with me at Williamsport. He put together a bunch of good matches, had a tight semifinal match with a kid that took fourth in the regional last year."
The Millionaires' Matt Sherman (126), Dustin Heiser (145), Zarin Hornberger (160), Shawn Watkins (170), Malik Short (182) and Darren Holloway (285) were all eliminated from the tournament during Saturday's action. Short and Holloway were upended in the consolation semis, just one win away from a trip to regionals.
Jersey Shore had seven of its 13 wrestlers bounced from the tourney on Saturday.
Cory Killion (120), Austin White (138), Curtis Welch (152), Utoa Agai-Naipo (170), Domonic Loffredo (182) and Jake Huling (220) each fell one bout short of qualifying for regionals.
Bulldog Spencer Lane (160) was eliminated one round earlier.
DuBois won the team title, crowing six individual champions. Jersey Shore placed sixth, while Williamsport was eighth.
District 9 won 11 of the 14 individual titles and had 20 of the 28 finalists.
Shikellamy's Jesse Shambach (182), Dwayne Pepper (220) and Dan Karpinski (285) won District 4's title.
"I know that I have a young team," Eaton said. "This wasn't District 4's best showing as a whole. There was a lot more talent, I believe in District 4 last year. But that's the way the ball bounces. We lost kids to injury this year or they graduated. I graduated 10 teams off my team last year.
"Half the (Williamsport) kids in this tournament, this was their first one. It's hard to rebuild with the state of wrestling and not having a lot of extra kids. But I know I had a good group of junior high kids and all the other District 4 teams did too. Not that I didn't think we were competitive, but I see us putting a little more on the table next year."