Central Mountain performs well at KOM

MILL HALL – It was a long, but productive day, for the Central Mountain and Jersey Shore wrestlers at the first day of the King of the Mountain tournament on Friday night.

The Wildcats had a solid first round as they advanced eight wrestlers into the Round of 16.

Taking one more step toward a possible individual title were Geo Barzona (106), Chase Andrus (126), Caleb Turner (145), Demetri Probst (152), Chad Reese (160), Gavin Caprio (170), Cameron Porter (220) and Bryce Hanley (285).

Winning to advance to the quarterfinals were Reese with a 6-2 win over Keshan Truitt of Redbank Valley, Caprio, Porter and Hanley with a second-period fall over Redbank Valley’s Pat Crawford.

In the quarters, Reese and Caprio both advanced to the semifinals, while Porter and Hanley came up short and fell in the wrestlebacks.

Reese posted a 3-1 overtime victory over Drew Doak of Blairsville, while Caprio beat Jake Jakobsen of Stroudsburg, 3-1.

“I was very happy with the performance of Chad against a guy he has seen a lot of time in freestyle and Greco,” Central Mountain head coach Doug Buckwalter said. “He stayed in good position and he didn’t make mistakes and when the opportunity was there, he took advantage of it.”

“I was also very happy with the effort by Caprio,” Buckwalter added. “He got the early lead, fought through some tough shots at the end in order to secure that win. Last year we only had one guy place in the tournament and we already have two with the potential of two more so I see a lot of improvement that way. All we have to do now is keep working hard.”

Reese will face Jeric Kasunic of Benton in the semifinals, while Caprio is pitted against Nick Contpassi of Bethlehem Catholic.

Hanley is paired against Ian Mallory of General McLane in his bout to get the medal round, while Porter squares off against Jackson Stanford of Cumberland Valley in his bid to wrestle for a medal.

“This is a tough tournament so if you come through this you have some up and some downs,” Buckwalter said. “We were able to see a lot of things that we need to work on.”

After a slow start, the Bulldogs turned things up with six winners.

Hunter Zondory started things rolling with a win at 106 before Top Hat winner Haydn Swartwood made it two Bulldogs in the Round of 16 with a fall at 145.

On the heels of those two wins, Shore won four straight bouts as Max Mason (170), Dominic Loffredo (182), Nate Lose (195) and Jacob Huling (220) each picked up a falls.

Only one of the six Bulldogs reached the quarterfinals – Lose. He defeated Robert Scherer of Burrell, 3-2.

In the quarters, Lose fell to Nazar Haddad of Parkland to fall out of championship contention. Joining Lose in the wrestlebacks to reach the medal round were Loffredo and Zondory.

Central Mountain is in 10th place with 64.5 points and Jersey Shore is tied for the 20th with 48 points.

Wrestling is scheduled to continue this morning with a round of consolations followed by the championship semifinals and another round of consolations at 10:15.

The championship finals and place matches are set to begin at 12:30 pm.