Five Bears reach semis
Pleasant Valley has made some major strides during the 2011-12 campaign, but having a district champion would certainly be a proper caveat for the Bears success this season.
The Bears sent five wrestlers to this morning's District 11 Class AAA semifinals at Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium and redemption was a major theme with some of PV's elite.
Kenny Yanovich (106), Sean Bianco (113), Michael Dahlstrom (126), Alex Yanovich (138) and Mike Benner (Hwt) are each one victory away from finding themselves in tonight's finals.
The Yanovich brothers and Bianco eased their way into the semifinals with dominating victories, as the younger Yanovich worked a 12-1 major decision over Liberty's John Ritter, while his brother posted a 23-8 technical fall over Bangor's Christopher Louszko.
Bianco trumped Nazareth's Tyler Tarsi with a 21-6 technical fall to set up a bout against Northampton's Zach Valley in today's semifinals.
Valley knocked off Bianco 8-3 during a dual meet two weeks ago to leave Bianco thirsty for redemption.
"I learned from wrestling him (Valley) last time that I can't flop around and try junk moves," said Bianco. "He's a good wrestler, but I put myself in bad situations against him and he got five back points on me and a takedown, so I just have to wrestle better."
Kenny Yanovich will also get a chance to redeem himself after losing to Nazareth's Tyrone Klump 3-0 during the season.
The two will meet in today's semifinals.
"It's definitely a shot at redemption that's for sure," said Yanovich. "My goal has been to make the district finals and I'm going to have to beat him to get there."
Dahlstrom settled for a tougher affair than most of his teammates during an 8-3 decision over Freedom's Cole DiGuiseppi. Entering the tourney with a 35-3 mark and the top seed, Dahlstrom faces one of the tournament's biggest question marks in Easton's Jose Roche.
Roche (7-0) couldn't crack Easton's lineup most of the year because of competition, but a bump in the lineup gave him an opportunity at the end of the year and he hasn't lost since.
"I did what I needed to get done to advance to the semis, but I know I have to wrestle a lot better," Dahlstrom said. "He's a real tough kid and it's going to be a challenge anytime you wrestle an Easton kid. I just have to focus on not getting into his style of wrestling, since we've never wrestled against each other."
Benner fought through a 2-2 draw late in the third period to score a takedown on Pocono Mountain East's Jeremy Candelerio for a 4-3 win.
Benner will now have the chance to make a surprise trip to the finals when he faces Nazareth's Brandon Lance in the semis.
Lance had the biggest upset of the day, knocking off favorite Tyler Peerson from Freedom 3-2 in an ultimate tie-breaker.
Benner caught Lance in a headlock earlier this season to win by fall, but head coach Mark Getz knows it won't be that easy.
"It's a huge win for Mike because now he qualifies for regionals," said Getz. "We were actually hoping to have six guys in the semifinals, but we're happy with what we have."
Still alive for the Bears today are: James Felipa (120), Ernest Klingel (132), David Gehr (145), Joell Toledo (152), Nick Martucci (160) and Hunter Deihl (182).