From Third at Regionals Henderson’s Killian Delaney advances into the 113 pound State Finals

When the PIAA State Tournament brackets were released West Chester Henderson sophomore Killian Delaney had a good feeling – all this despite coming in as the third place finisher out of the Southeast Regional at 113 pounds. He showed the Giant Center why on Saturday morning – winning in the semifinals 5-1 over Kyle Burkholder of Hempfield Area.

Entering his second straight PIAA State tournament, the sophomore held a #6 ranking in the State by PA Power Wrestling. Last weekend he fell to Council Rock North’s #5 Luke Lucerne in the a tight 6-5 semifinal match.

“Lucerne stops my style – he’s a bad matchup” said Delaney. 

Good thing Lucerne was on the opposite side of the bracket – bad news for Delaney’s opponents.

“I don’t want to sound cocky but I expected to be in the finals” stated a confident Delaney. “I knew I could beat anyone here at 113 lbs.”

And that he did.

In the first round he took down returning State Medalist #2 Frankie Bonura of Moon by a score of 3-2. He followed that up with another win over a 2017 State Medalist – downing #14 Christian Fisher of Mifflin County 4-2.

That win not only guaranteed him a spot on the podium but also a chance to compete for a State Championship on Saturday night. The pressure was on but a jittery Delaney found his groove in an impressive 5-1 win over #8 Kyle Burkholder.

“Of course I was nervous. So many people were hear to watch me, former wrestlers, my family, wanting me to win that match. It’s winning for everyone.”

He connected on a takedown late in the first period to go up 2-0 on Burkholder, which would end up being critical points in his win. He then rode out Burkholder for the entire second period but gave up a point for a technical violation after using a figure four on the waste. 

Burkholder had no question where he would go in the third period.

“I knew I would be fine (taking bottom). If he didn’t want to cut me I knew I could get out and I knew he couldn’t take me down.”

In fact Delaney scored a final takedown to close out the match 5-1.

“It didn’t hit me yet that I am in the State finals – yesterday it didn’t hit me that I am a medalist.”

He will have to slay yet another giant in the finals when he meets #1 Ryan Sullivan of Shaler who is making his second straight appearance in the State Finals.

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