Bears fall to Parkland in district semifinals
Pleasant Valley's James Felipa pushes Parkland's Billy Hoh to the mat as he maintains control in their 126-pound match Felipa won 4-3. BOB FORD /TIMES NEWS
BETHLEHEM - Mark Getz knew his team would need a miracle to knock off Parkland in Saturday afternoon's semifinal round of the District 11 3A dual tournament.
Unfortunately, that miracle never came.
The Bears jumped out to an 11-0 advantage after winning the first three bouts, but would lose eight out of the next eleven to fall to Parkland, 38-24.
Giving up forfeits at 120 and 160 had the Bears behind the eight ball from the outset of the match and Getz knew it was going to be difficult playing catch up against one of the elite programs in the area.
"We needed a couple miracles to pull off the upset," Getz said with a laugh in regards to what PV needed to do to execute one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. "Forfeiting two weights really made the prospects of an upset difficult. Plus, we would need some of our guys to catch some of their guys and that didn't happen."
James Felipa (126) got things started for PV with a 4-3 decision over Billy Hoh in the opening match, which was followed by major decision victories by Mike Dahlstrom (132) and Alex Yanovich (138) to give the Bears a positive start.
But Parkland would reel off five straight wins, three of which came with bonus points, to storm out in front and grab a 22-10 lead.
The Bears were docked a point during that stretch when Getz argued an injury call to the dislike of the official.
Pleasant Valley got themselves back in the bout with victories at 195 and 220.
Hunter Deihl escaped with a 2-1 decision over Omar Haddad at 195 and Dominick Ammarito's fall over Joe Stephens in 5:31 pulled them within 22-19.
The thoughts of a miracle vanished quickly at heavyweight, when Parkland's Shaun Heist pinned Mike Benner in 2:58 to build a 28-19 advantage and kill PV's momentum.
Sean Bianco's impressive 21-5 tech fall over Tom Yankanich at 113 was the final highlight for the Bears on the night.
Despite the loss, Getz walked away with no regrets on how his team wrestled. It was the second semifinal appearance Pleasant Valley has made in his seven years with Getz and it was the first time two Mountain Valley Conference squads reached the semifinals.
Stroudsburg knocked off Northampton on Friday night to earn a trip to Saturday's events before eventually losing to district champion Easton by a 42-17 margin.
"I think it's great for our conference to have two teams in the semifinals," Getz said. "It's the first time that's ever happened and I think the scores showed that we belong to be here.
"We lost to them (Parkland) 58-18 last time, so I think the kids did a great job. I'm really satisfied. I'm not upset with that loss."
Easton defeated Parkland 38-20 in Saturday's 3A final to win their third straight district championship.
Bethlehem Catholic won their second straight 2A title with a 37-30 victory over Pen Argyl.
Parkland 38, Pleasant Valley 24
106 - Ethan Lizak (P) major dec. Kenny Yanovich, 9-1.
113 - Sean Bianco (PV) tech fall Tom Yankanich, 21-5.
120 - Ian Evans (P) won by forfeit.
*126 - James Felipa (PV) dec. Billy Hoh, 4-3.
132 - Michael Dahlstrom (PV) major dec. Grady Millick, 13-0.
138 - Alex Yanovich (PV) major dec. Vincent Kassis, 15-6.
145 - Josh Ortman (P) dec. David Gehr, 2-0.
152 - Michael Marano (P) major dec. Joell Toledo, 10-0.
160 - Bryson Berard (P) won by forfeit.
171 - Nezar Haddad (P) pinned Darquise Harper in 1:58.
182 - Ryan Irwin (P) dec. Aaron Brewer, 4-0.
195 - Hunter Deihl (PV) dec. Omar Haddad, 2-1.
220 - Dominick Ammirato (PV) pinned Joe Stephens in 5:31.
285 - Shaun Heist (P) pinned Mike Benner in 2:58.
*-match started at 126