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WAHS is 4th after Day 1 of King of the Mountain

MILL HALL — After a long day of wrestling with a number of bumps on the road in the opening day of the 2019 King of the Mountain wrestling tournament, the team race is still very much up in the air with Mifflin County leading the way with 81 points, followed by Canon-Macmillan with 72.

Leading the way for the local teams is Williamsport as the Millionaires are currently in the fourth spot with 58 points, while host Central Mountain is sixth with 53 points.

On the heels of a runner-up finish in the Top Hat last weekend, Central Mountain coach Biff Walizer likes what he is seeing from his young band of grapplers.

“We had some ups and downs today, but in this tournament, there are no easy ones,” said Walizer. “You have to be prepared to go hard every time you step on the mat and the kids who weren’t necessarily seeded had some really tough opponents to deal with right off the bat.”

Still in the hunt for a gold medal for the Wildcats are Gino Serafini at 106 pounds, Derek Keen at 113, Taylor Weaver at 126, Lane Porter at 152 and Nik Miller at 195.

Serafini advanced with a pair of bonus-point wins while Keen followed suit with a pair of wins totaling 1 minute, 40 seconds.

Weaver kept things rolling for the Wildcats with an 11-3 major decision and a fall in 3:43. Lane Porter was impressive with his pair of falls in a total time of 1:44 and Nik Miller won his first bout with a fall before getting pushed to the limit for a 9-7 decision in the Round of 16.

“Those guys who are in the quarterfinals wrestled well to stay alive (for a possible championship) so we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how we do overall,” said Walizer. “Hopefully we can get some guys on the podium.”

With the way the team totals are at the end of the day, Walizer is hoping that his wrestlers can have something to say about who wins the team title.

“We hope that in the end we can be in the mix of things,” Walizer said. “The quarterfinals will be critical and then in the semifinals that is where it will be a case of meeting some of the top guys in the state. All we can do is keep plugging away and see how things turn out tomorrow.”

The Millionaires lead the way for regional teams with six wrestlers heading into the championship quarterfinals, a group that includes Cael Nasdeeo at 106, Luke Segraves at 113, Riley Bower at 138, Roman Morrone at 145, Owen Mahon at 152 and the biggest Millionaire, Ethan Williamson at 285.

Nasdeo picked up a pair of falls in times of 46 and 29 seconds before Segraves dominated his two opponents for a 16-0 technical fall and a pin in 3:21.

Riley Bower opened with a fall in 5:08 before being extended in his second bout for a 4-2 win over Jordan Reigle of Saegertown. Roman Morrone looked strong in registering a pair of falls in a cumulative time of 1:35 before Owen Mahon put together two impressive wins with a 16-0 tech fall in 2:22 and a pin in 2:28 before the biggest Millionaire continued the pinning ways for the Billtowners with a pair of falls to advance to the quarters.

Bellefonte still has five wrestlers alive in the championship bracket in Lane Aikey at 120, Jude Swisher at 126, Alex Coppolo at 132, and the two Ethans, Richner at 160 and Rossman at 182.

Aikey was impressive with a technical fall and a pin to open his tournament and Jude Swisher made it two Raider winners in a row with a fall in 5:27 and a 13-6 decision before Alex Coppolo used the decision route to advance with wins by 6-1 and 5-4 scores.

That left it up to and Ethans to wrap up the advancers for the Raiders as Richner picked up a fall in 1:14 and a 10-0 major, while Rossman was equally impressive with a 15-0 technical fall in 4:00 followed by a fall in 2:24.

Bald Eagle Area found the going rough on the heels of a big dual meet win over Clearfield earlier in the week. The Eagles still having a trio of wrestlers alive for a possible championship in Coen Bainey (106), Gage McClenahan (145) and David Close at 285.

Bainey was pushed in his initial encounter with Warrior Run’s Kaden Milheim for a 4-2 decision before pinning backyard rival Aiden O’Shea of Bellefonte in 2:26.

McClenahan received a first-round bye before making short work of Council Rock South’s Brian Adams with a fall in 1:41 before David Close completed the trio of Eagles in the quarters with a bye and a 36-second fall over Manheim Central’s Ryland Fittery.

The tournament continues this morning at 10 a.m. with the championship quarterfinals and another round of wrestlebacks.

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