Bears advance pair
DON HERB/Special to THE TIMES NEWS Jordan Toledo (top) of Pleasant Valley tries to get away from Easton's Mitchell Minotti in their 3A district final.
BETHLEHEM - Putting together a complete weekend of wrestling may have side stepped Pleasant Valley thus far in the 2010 postseason, but the Bears have one more week to go to put together a full package as they jaunt to Hershey this week. For the fourth consecutive year under head coach Mark Getz, Pleasant Valley will be sending participants to the PIAA 3A wrestling tournament in Hershey this Thursday through Saturday.
Jordan Toledo (130) and Jacob Chamberlain (135) battled their way through the gauntlet of the Northeast Regional 3A tournament at Freedom over the weekend, as Toledo came up short in the finals to nemesis Mitchell Minotti of Easton for a second straight week, losing 3-1 in an overtime tiebreaker.
On the other end, Chamberlain survived an overtime tiebreaker in the third place consolation bout, squeaking out a 4-2 win over Selinsgrove's Cody Zechman to land his first trip to Hershey.
Mike Pokrinchak (125) also had a shot of landing a spot in Hershey, as he battled in the third place round against Williamsport's Leroy Harman. Unfortunately, Harman out dueled him for an 8-6 victory.
Despite PV missing out on the opportunity of sending three wrestlers to states, as well as Toledo coming up short for his bid at regional gold, Getz took pride in being able to send wrestlers to one of the country's premier tournaments.
"Our goal is to get these the year and we take a lot of pride in being able to send these kids to states," said Getz. "We've sent nine wrestlers to states over the past four years and we want to continue that. Everything didn't go the way we hoped this weekend, but we got kids through and that's the biggest thing."
After reaching Hershey last year on his own, Toledo will now have a teammate thanks to Chamberlain's late heroics against Zechman. It was the second time at regionals that Chamberlain met his counterpart from Selinsgrove, as he knocked him off in the quarters by a 3-0 margin the day before.
However, the second go-round was a bit more climactic. The two were tied at 2-2 heading into the first ride out session, but Chamberlain gained a vital reversal in the 30-second period to go up 4-2 and hold on for the eventual victory.
"I knew that was big," said Chamberlain about scoring the reversal. "My coaches just told me to wrestle him the same way I did the first time. I'm glad it worked out and I'm just so happy to make states.
"Everyone has always told me about how great an experience Hershey is. I'm glad I get to see it from the mats this time."
Minotti won his bout in the same manner over Toledo, scoring a reversal in the first ride out to go ahead 3-1. Toledo, who qualified for Hershey all four years at Pleasant Valley, now wants to come home with a medal, after crashing out last year without any hardware. Getz knows that for him and Chamberlain, it all comes down to preparation and putting everything together at the right time.
"It really comes down to having a great weekend to have success out there," said Getz. "They're going out to the toughest tournament in the country and you can't make mistakes if you expect to do well.
"Jordan knows he has to start off well this week and so does Jake. It's an opportunity for them to shine and hopefully they take advantage of it."