WPIAL Class AAA Team Tournament Preview

On Saturday at Penn Hills High School the WPIAL will crown a Class AAA Dual Team Champion and for the first time in two years it will not be Franklin Regional. The last two seasons the Panthers captured both WPIAL and PIAA Championships but this season fell to North Allegheny in the quarterfinal round.


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Leading the way in 2016 are the Belle Vernon Area Leopards who come in ranked #2 in the State. Close behind are the #4 Kiski Area Cavaliers who have gone relatively untested this season. Both teams will have difficult opponents standing in their way.

Below is a preview of what to expect in the WPIAL semifinals!


#4 Kiski Area vs. #11 Canon-McMillan

106 lbs:  Michael Binni (CM) vs. #12 Darren Miller (KA)

113 lbs.:  #13 Logan Macri (CM) vs. #21 Cameron Connor (KA)

120 lbs.:  Skylar Adams (CM) vs. #7 Noah Levett (KA)

126 lbs.:  Matt Oblock (CM) vs. Matt Siszka (KA)

132 lbs.:  #20 Tim Hritsko (CM) vs. Collin Murray (KA)

138 lbs.:  Dimitri Pihiou (CM) vs. #15 Joey Blumer (KA)

145 lbs.:  Declan Lewis (CM) vs. Logan Pollick (KA)

152 lbs.:  #10 Micah Kusturis (CM) vs. Danny Starr (KA)

160 lbs.:  #21 Blaze Kansco (CM) vs. Tom Starr (KA)

170 lbs.:  #20 Thomas James (CM) vs. Vinny Romano (KA)

182 lbs.:  #20 James Zeremenko (CM) vs. #9 Tyler Worthing (KA)

195 lbs.:  Nick Konyk (CM) vs. #16 Alex Delp (KA)

220 lbs.:  David Ainscough (CM) vs. #6 Chad Kuhn (KA)

285 lbs.:  #7 Brendan Furman (CM) vs. #13 Isaac Reid (KA)


A total of 15 wrestlers currently ranked in the Top 25 of the State will make up what should be an entertaining dual meet between Kiski and Canon-Mac. There are several high quality match-ups between these two programs as both are solid throughout all fourteen weights. This will be the second time this season that the two met in a dual meet with Kiski Area coming away with a (35-21) victory over the Big Macs back on December 22, 2015. Both teams have slightly diffeent looking line-ups from the first meeting but overall much is the same.

At 113 lbs. #13 Logan Macri will take on rookie #21 Cameron Connor which will be the third time these two have met. In the first meeting Macri won (8-7) and followed it up at POWERade with a (5-1) decision. Another meeting between two State Ranked opponents will be at heavyweight where #7 Brendan Furman takes on sophomore #13 Isaac Reid. The two have split decisions this season as Isaac Reid won the first meeting (4-3) and Furman owns the most recent meeting picking up a (3-2) decision at POWERade over Reid.

There are several toss-up matches that will likely decide the outcome of the match. 126 lbs. will likely be Matt Sizak (KA) meeting Matt Oblock (CM) in a battle between two wrestlers that have made appeareances in the State Rankings. Another will include 195 lbs. where Nick Konyk (CM) and #16 Alex Delp (KA) will meet for the second time this season. Konyk owns a (4-3) decision over Delp from late in December but this week suffered a loss to unranked Alex Belack (PT). A key bout will be 145 lbs. which I feel is a toss up between Declan Lewis (CM) and Logan Pollick (KA). In their last meeting Pollick won a narrow (1-0) decision over Lewis in a match that could have gone either way.

Bonus points will be a must if Kiski Area is going to down Canon-McMillan. At 220 lbs. senior Chad Kuhn is a big time pinner with 24 total pins for the season. He will face Daivd Ainscough (CM) who he defeated (7-4) in December. Both Micah Kusturis (152) and Blaze Kansco (160) will be expected to pick up at the minimum major decisions for Canon-McMillan. Kiski Area sophomore Noah Levett will be expected to get bonus points against Skylar Adams (CM) who he pinned twice this season in the first period.


#2 Belle Vernon Area vs. #24 North Allegheny

106 lbs:  #7 Jacob Dunlop (BV) vs. #23 Jacob Downing (NA)

113 lbs.:  Logan Seliga (BV) vs. Mohammaad Khatami (NA)

120 lbs.:  Jake Fine (BV) vs. Nick Pepe (NA)

126 lbs.:  Tyler Seliga vs. #11 Luke Landefeld (NA)

132 lbs.:  #10 Zach Hartman (BV) vs. Zach Stedeford (NA)

138 lbs.:  #14 Brock Godzin (BV) vs. #7 Jake Hinkson (NA)

145 lbs.:  #2 Jarod Verkleeren (BV) vs. AJ Boeh (NA)

152 lbs.:  #8 Derek Verkleeren (BV) vs. Jacob Smalley (NA)

160 lbs.:  #5 Mitch Hartman (BV) vs. #19 Sean Hoover (NA)

170 lbs.:  #1 Austin Bell (BV) vs. Jacob Fritch (NA)

182 lbs.:  #7 Milton Kobaly (BV) vs. #1 Jake Woodley (NA)

195 lbs.:  Hunter Ferrara (BV) vs. #4 Francis Duggan (NA)

220 lbs.:  #11 Mike Fine (BV) vs. Derick Devine (NA)

285 lbs.:  #20 Bill Korber (BV) vs. Chuck Sauders (NA)


North Alleghney finally has some of their injuried wrestlers back on the mat but it may not be enough to get past the #2 Leopards. Like the other WPIAL semifinals these two teams met back in December where Belle Vernon Area came out on top (35-20). #11 Luke Landefeld (NA) is back for the Tigers and earlier this week competed at 126 lbs. but is certified to go 120 lbs. Junior Zach Stedford (NA) made his season debut this week at 132 lbs. but like Landefeld can compete a weight-class lower if need be. Head coach Sonny Abe has some flexibility in those areas with normal starter Will Bairel (NA) avilable to go at 132 lbs.

Key matches in the dual will be 138 lbs. and 182 lbs. where State ranked wrestlers clash. In their first meeting Jake Hinkson (NA) nearly grabbed a tech-fall over Brock Godzin (BV) at 138 lbs. winning (15-3). In order to repeat that performance Hinkson will need to score early against the funky and flexible Godzin. At 182 lbs. the State’s top ranked wrestler, Jake Woodley (NA), owns two wins over dangerous senior Milton Kobaly (BV). The first meeting went to Woodley (10-5) and then at POWERade the Tiger grabbed a (4-2) win over Kobably.

Belle Vernon will need to get bonus points from their stud Austin Bell at 170 lbs. and senior Derek Verkleeren at 152 lbs. Junior Jarod Verkleeren scored a (15-3) major decision over AJ Boeh (NA) in their first meting and will need to duplicate that performance. Listen below as Jarod discusses the Leopards post-season Dual Team run.



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