Ten TIMES NEWS Area wrestlers advanced to the semifinal round of the District 11 Class AA Tournament at Freedom High School on Friday night.
Palmerton, fifth in the team standings with 11 wrestlers still alive, managed to move four wrestlers into this morning's semis. Northwestern has three, Northern Lehigh has two and Tamaqua and Lehighton one each.
The Blue Bombers had Josh Evans, Sam Oberlander, Cody Grohotolski and Kane Kralik make it through the opening night without a loss.
Evans, the No. 3 seed at 113, decisioned Nick Sanders of Palisades in the quarterfinal round. Evans got all three points in the second period and will face No. 2 seed Jonathan Manning of Pius X, a winner by a 1:01 fall over Williams Valley's Matt Miller in the quarterfinals. No. 1 seed Matt Williams and No. 5 seed Anthony Lombardo will meet in the other semi.
Oberlander, the No. 4 seed at 120 pounds, pinned Northern Lehigh's Derek Ferrer in 11 seconds in the preliminary round and decisioned Pine Grove's Allen Wolfe 8-1 in the quarterfinals. Oberlander now draws No. 1 seed Zeke Moisey in the semifinal round. Moisey scored a 21-8 major decision over Pen Argyl's Tyler Knapik. No. 3 seed Anthony Dee and No. 2 seed Brian Israel will face off in the other semi.
Grohotolski, the No. 5 seed at 152, won by technical fall 16-1 (3:02) in the prelims over Saucon Valley's Sean Miller and scored a 6-2 decision in the quarterfinals over Eric Matz of Catasauqua. Grohotolski will face No. 9 seed J.D. Rabenold, who pinned No. 1 seed Ty Schoffstall in 5:19 in the semis.
Kralik avenged his only loss of the season to Mike Roszkowski of Palisades by a 2-1 decision in the quarters after pinning Wilson's Michael Figueroa in 1:09 of the prelims. Kralik will now face No. 1 seed Josh Alpha of Becahi, a 15-7 winner over Pine Grove's Ryan Martin in the quarters. No. 3 seed Brady Mutton of Pen Argyl and No. 2 seed Luke Garner of Catasauqua meet in the other semi.
"It didn't start out the way we thought it would," said Palmerton's Dave Lavin. "We lost of couple of matches that we weren't expecting to lose, but the guys rebounded in a great way in that second round in both the quarterfinal bracket and the consolation bracket.
"Grohotolski has a great opportunity with Schoffstall getting upset, but he's got to come out and wrestle and we're excited about it. Josh (Evans) is in good position and all of them if they wrestle to their potential can do some good things tomorrow."
Northern Lehigh's Ty Herzog pinned Rhaine Szly of Catasauqua in 2:24 in the quarterfinals at 145 after pinning Kenny Krasenics of Wilson in 1:31 of the prelims. Herzog, the No. 2 seed, will meet Ryan Lobb, the No. 19 seed in the semis. No. 5 seed Eli Brill will take on No. 1 seed Ryan Todora of Becahi in the other semi.
Dylan Hofmann, the No. 3 seed at 152, decisioned Ty Lehman of Pine Grove to make it to the semis. Hofmann also scored a 1:28 fall over Mahanoy Area's Robert Wozniak in the prelims. He will now take on No. 2 seed Michael Ortiz of Northwestern.
"We have a real green bunch, but they're scrappy," said Northern Lehigh coach Todd Herzog. "We only brought 10 kids and nine are coming back tomorrow so that's certainly a plus to build on. I'm pleased with their effort.
"We have two in the semis. I like the way Ty (Herzog) looks now. He looks very sharp. Dylan has a tough match with Ortiz, but we've been there before and I like where we are at.
"Nate Farber had a tough one going against a former state champ and Kyle Greenawald had a real tough one."
Ortiz, who dropped a 3-2 decision to Hofmann earlier this season, earned a rematch with the Bulldog wrestler by posting a technical fall of Panther Valley's Jared Eickhoff in the preliminary round and pinning Tamaqua's Evan Mashack in the quarterfinals.
No. 2 seed Levi Veppert of Northwestern made it into the 182-pound semis without stepping on the mat. Veppert won by medical default over Saucon Valley's Tyler Evans and will now meet No. 3 seed, Lyle Troutman of Tri-Valley in the semis. No. 1 seed Dylan Evans of Pen Argyl faces No. 4 seed Jose Ortiz of Becahi in the other semi.
David Tirpak, the No. 2 seed at 195, is the other Northwestern wrestler to reach the semis after a 29-second pin over Trevor Cook of Wilson. He will meet Jonathan Rummel, the No. 3 seed, of Williams Valley. No. 1 seed Ray O'Donnell of Saucon Valley and No. 4 seed Matt Maurer of North Schuylkill are in the other semi.
Tamaqua's Colin Mashack, the No. 3 seed, pinned Panther Valley's Lenny Ogozalek in 1:11 of the quarters at 106 pounds after pinning Salisbury's Nicolas Scarcia in 25 seconds of the prelims. He will face No. 2 seed Jaryd Flank of Wilson, unbeaten at 33-0, in one semi. No. 1 seed Darian Cruz of Becahi and No. 4 seed Caleb Bordner of Tri-Valley meet in the other.
Lehighton's Michael Balliet, the No. 4 seed at 170, used a 5-3 decision over Saucon Valley's Sam Dickey in the quarters to move into the semis. He also pinned Mikie Munoz of Jim Thorpe in 27 seconds in the prelims. Balliet will wrestle No. 1 seed Elliot Riddick of Becahi in one semifinal and No. 3 seed Brett Paul of North Schuylkill takes on No. 2 seed Evan Heffron of Tri-Valley in the other.