State Team Duals Underway in Hershey

DSC_0001The State Team Duals are in full swing at the GIANT Center and as expected there were surprises. Despite finishing as the WPIAL third place team the North Allegheny Tigers arrived as the #6 ranked team in the State and showed just how deep the WPIAL is. Facing #3 Cumberland Valley in the first round fans witnessed a match-up of two talented teams while others watched one-sided poundings.

In Class AA District 3’s Hamburg Area continued to silence critics of the “Power Rankings” pulling out yet another narrow victory in the State Tournament. Two days after #17 Hamburg Area slipped by #15 West Branch 34-33 the Hawks again squeezed out a 35-33 win over #7 Burrell. Now a team most felt didn’t deserve a spot in Hershey over Bermudian Springs is sitting atop the Championship Quarterfinals where they will face District 9 power #3 Brookville Area.

The two PA Giants rolled to convincing victories in their first round matches as Class AA #1 Bethlehem Catholic blew away District 1 Champion Lower Moreland 73-0. Equally as impressive was Class AAA #1 ranked team Franklin Regional who defeated #21 Wilson West Lawn 67-9 in the first round.

Returning the to mat from his hiatus on the race track Nazareth Area’s Sage Karam is hoping to provide the extra push the Blue Eagles need at the State Team Tournament. In the first round #4 Nazareth pounded District 9 Champion Saint Mary’s Area 70-0. The win sets the District 11 Champions up against District 1 runner-up Spring-Ford in the Quarterfinals.

Returning State runner-up Central Dauphin may have witnessed their dominance of the Class AAA field over the last six seasons dissipate from the GIANT Center on Thursday. The Ram’s gave up an early lead over District 10 Champion McDowell 34-32 to knock them into the consolation round.

Friday’s Quarterfinals are a can’t miss for wrestling fans as #1 Bethlehem Catholic will face #8 Fort LeBoeuf in Class AA and #2 Boyertown Area takes on #7 Greater Latrobe in Class AAA. #6 North Allegheny’s win over #2 Cumberland Valley sets up an intriguing match-up against District 11 runner-up #5 Parkland.

Brackets for the Tournament can be found at the PIAA website along with live text results from Hershey here.

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