Bombers set season win record to finish third in league tourney
NANCY SCHOLZ/Special to THE TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Zack Christman (front) looks to escape the grasp of Pen Argyl's Stephen Burriesci in their 132-pound bout. Christman used a takedown and two reversals en route to a 6-2 decision.
CENTER VALLEY - One of the goals of the Palmerton varsity wrestling team this season was to make the first annual Colonial League wrestling tournament. Another goal was to shoot for the record of most match wins in a season.
The Blue Bombers qualified for the tournament that was held at Southern Lehigh High School on Saturday and it was a 40-30 win in the consolation match against Palisades that gave them the record of 17 wins this year .
Earlier in the day, Pen Argyl defeated Palmerton in the semifinals and Saucon Valley downed Palisades setting up the consolation match between the Bombers and the Pirates.
The Bombers suffered a loss to the Pirates 45-27 in the opening night of league matches back in December.
"That was kind of an unexpected loss earlier in the season and they looked great," said Palmerton head coach Dave Lavin. "I knew a lot of our guys had something individually to prove and as a team with the school record for most wins on the line and attaining that and placing third in the league is nice."
Palisades had to face Palmerton without head coach Omar Porrata, who was ejected during the match against Saucon Valley. Porrata is done for the season and will not be able to coach at all in districts, regionals or states, since an ejection means sitting out the team's next match and all of the postseason tournaments count as one under PIAA rules.
The Bombers jumped out to a 18-6 lead over the Pirates by getting pins from Zack Christman (in 1:40 over Christian Gretzinger) and Cody Grohotolski (in 1:51 over Pat Campbell) and a forfeit win by Zach Graver.
Palisades put together a string of three straight wins from 160 through 182 and pulled ahead 21-18, but had to give the lead up by giving forfeit wins to the Bombers' Andrew Strauss and Kane Kralik.
MIke Roszkowski and Tighe Cashman followed with a pin and a major decision for Palisades to tie the team score at 30-30 with two matches remaining, but since the Pirates were going to give Sam Oberlander a win by forfeit in the finale, Josh Evans erased any doubts of the team score finishing in a tie and going to criteria when he major decisioned Nick Sanders, 10-0, to give Palmerton the win.
In the semifinal against the Green Knights, it was the third time the two teams have met this season and Pen Argyl came away with a 46-19 win.
"Having wrestled them two times before this, I knew what they had," said Lavin. "I thought that we looked better than we did in those previous matches. Even some of the ones where the final scores didn't reflect it, I thought the effort and the attitude in the match looked better also.
"There were a couple of different matchups that we didn't see in the other ones and I thought we looked pretty good."
Oberlander, Zack Christman and Kralik all won by decisions, Grohotolski won by major decision and Daniel Russo won by forfeit.
Oberlander had a 2-0 lead over Tyler Knapik in the opening match with the semifinals starting at 120 pounds. He added a couple of escapes sandwiched around a Knapik takedown in the third period for a 4-2 win.
Christman led throughout his 132-pound match with Stephen Burriesci with a takedown in the first period, a reversal in the middle two minutes and a reversal with 1:24 remaining for a 6-2 decision.
Grohotolski jumped out to a 4-1 lead with a pair of takedowns in the first period against Ryan Lobb and then added an escape and takedown in the second period and two takedowns and a three-point nearfall in the final two minutes to wrap up a 14-4 major decision.
It was the third time that Kralik and Brady Mutton met this season and it was the third time Kralik beat him by a one-point decision. After a scoreless first period, Kralik given a point at the start of the second period when Mutton was hit with a technical violation. Kralik escaped to take a 2-0 lead into the final period and after Mutton escaped for his point with 1:21 on the clock, neither wrestler could take each other down the rest of the way.
"It's going to be tough to beat him four times so he's got to keep working because you can't expect to beat him a fourth time by one point because that's how every one has been," Lavin said.
Pen Argyl wound up with a thrilling 34-29 win over Saucon Valley in the championship to win the title.
Palmerton 40, Palisades 30
126 - Peter Wasser (Pali) dec. Dillon Masington, 7-5 (OT).
132 - Zack Christman (Palm) pinned Christian Gretzinger in 1:40
138 - Steven Mettin (Pali) dec. Joey Bubble, 14-8
145 - Zach Graver (Palm) won by forfeit
152 - Cody Grohotolski (Palm) pinned Pat Campbell in 1:51
160 - Jimmy Kelleher (Pali) major dec. James Wooten, 8-0
170 - Justin Marsh (Pali) tech. fall Jake Christman 17-2, 5:07
182 - Louie Hill (Pali) pinned Matt Wolfe in :24.
195 - Andrew Strauss (Palm) won by forfeit
220 - Kane Kralik (Palm) won by forfeit
285 - Mike Roszkowski (Pali) dec. Skyler Rosenberry, 3-2
106 - Tighe Cashman (Pali) pinned Daniel Russo in 5:23
113 - Josh Evans (Palm) major dec. Nick Sanders, 10-0
120 - Sam Oberlander (Palm) won by forfeit
Pen Argyl 46, Palmerton 19
120 - Sam Oberlander (P) dec. Tyler Knapik, 4-2
126 - Andrew Sutton (PA) major dec. Dillon Masington, 14-6.
132 - Zack Christman (P) dec. Stephen Burriesci, 6-2
138 - Jarrett Stoelzl (PA) major dec. Joey Bubble, 14-1
145 - Mike Racciato (PA) tech. fall Zachary Graver, 18-2 (2:57)
145 - Cody Grohotoski (P) major dec. Ryan Lobb, 14-4
160 - J.D. Rabenold (PA) won by forfeit
170 - Kyler Kutzler (PA) pinned Jake Christman in 1:08
182 - Jeff Holden (PA) pinned Matt Wolff in :31
195 - Dylan Evans (PA) pinned Andrew Strauss in 1:04
220 - Kane Kralik (P) dec. Brady Mutton, 2-1
285 - Kirby Mutton (PA) pinned Skyler Rosenbery in 1:02
106 - Daniel Russo (P) won by forfeit
113 - Matt Williams (PA) dec. Josh Evans, 3-0