Gaige Garcia couldn’t have scripted it much better.

The Southern Columbia junior picked up his 100th career victory on Friday night with a fall that clinched a spot in the final of the PIAA Class 2A Team Wrestling Championships.

Well, maybe it could have been sweeter if it had come in the final against top-ranked Reynolds.

The championship match, which starts at 1 p.m. at the Giant Center, is a rematch of last year’s title match, which the Raiders won 30-25.

“Last year, getting to the state finals was like, ‘Jeez, that’s great,’ ” Garcia told PA Power Wrestling. “That was our goal, basically. This year, we want to be state champs. We’re constantly saying that, constantly thinking that. Hopefully, tomorrow, we can do that.”

Reynolds will provide a formidable challenge for the second-ranked Tigers, who got a scare from No. 6 Chestnut Ridge on Friday night. The Lions led 16-6 after six bouts in a dual that started at 106, but Gavin Garcia, Shane Miller and Cade Linn needed just 131 seconds of mat time to turn that deficit into a 24-16 lead, as they strung three first-period pins together in a critical run from 145 through 160.

Chestnut Ridge battled back to take a 25-24 lead, but Preston Zachman’s major decision over Brodie Harbaugh at 195 put Southern Columbia ahead, and Garcia – who is ranked second at 195 – bumped up to 220 and pinned No. 12 Duane Knisely, then gestured toward the strong Southern Columbia contingent in the stands.

“I don’t really celebrate a lot after a victory, but that was pretty sweet,” Garcia said. “Made it to the state finals. We clinched the match with that win. Just being able to do this with my team – the match was a little rocky – but going out there and clinching the match was just a great feeling.”

Saturday could bring an even better feeling – if the Tigers can find a way past Reynolds. That’s a big if. While Southern Columbia was struggling with Chestnut Ridge, the Raiders were pounding third-ranked Saucon Valley, 46-20.

Reynolds needed a little more than four minutes of mat time to seize a 24-0 lead over a shellshocked Saucon Valley that was 20-0 entering the night but wrestled without several starters. Gary Steen, Cole Bayless, Beau Bayless and Andrew Ischo put their team in the driver’s seat and the Raiders never looked back.

Joshua Jones got the Panthers on the board with a tech fall at 132, and Thomas Spirk and Nicholas Rosengrant followed with decisions that cut the deficit to 13, but that’s as close as the District 11 champions could get.

Reynolds, which has won 66 of its past 67 dual meets – including back-to-back PIAA titles – strung together four more victories by Rocco Bartolo, Hunter Thompson, Cole Toy and Bryce McCloskey to end any thoughts of a comeback.

 

Championship Semifinals

 

#2 Southern Columbia 34, #6 Chestnut Ridge 31

 

132 Patrick Edmondson (Southern Columbia Area Hs) DEC Trevor Weyandt (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 3-2

138 Luke Moore (Chestnut Ridge Hs) DEC Michael Miner (Southern Columbia Area Hs), 9-5

145 Gavin Garcia (Southern Columbia Area Hs) F Baltzer Bollman (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 1:00

152 Shane Miller (Southern Columbia Area Hs) F Daniel Moore (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 0:46

160 Cade Linn (Southern Columbia Area Hs) F Seth Holderbaum (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 0:25

170 Jared Mcgill (Chestnut Ridge Hs) F Brandon Gedman (Southern Columbia Area Hs), 0:21

182 Austin Crouse (Chestnut Ridge Hs) DEC Tyler Waltman (Southern Columbia Area Hs), 2-1

195 Preston Zachman (Southern Columbia Area Hs) MD Brodie Harbaugh (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 15-7

220 Gaige Garcia (Southern Columbia Area Hs) F Duane Knisely (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 1:24

106 Kai Burkett (Chestnut Ridge Hs) F Brady Feese (Southern Columbia Area Hs), 1:31

113 Kole Biscoe (Southern Columbia Area Hs) DEC Nathan Holderbaum (Chestnut Ridge Hs), 10-4

120 Ross Dull (Chestnut Ridge Hs) MD Garrett Krebs (Southern Columbia Area Hs), 12-1

126 Gryphon Callihan (Chestnut Ridge Hs) DEC Ian Yoder (Southern Columbia Area Hs), 2-1 TB2

 

#1 Reynolds 48, #3 Saucon Valley 20

 

132 #1 Joshua Jones (Saucon Valley Hs) TF Liam Foore (Reynolds Hs), 15-0 2:12

138 #5 Thomas Spirk (Saucon Valley Hs) DEC #10 Kaeden Berger (Reynolds Hs), 4-3

145 #9 Nicholas Rosengrant (Saucon Valley Hs) DEC Alex Ischo (Reynolds Hs), 4-1

152 #3 Rocco Bartolo (Reynolds Hs) DEC Dante Mahaffey (Saucon Valley Hs), 4-1

160 #19 Hunter Thompson (Reynolds Hs) MD Ty Csencsits (Saucon Valley Hs), 10-0

170 #17 Cole Toy (Reynolds Hs) DEF Jarrett Hirschbeck (Saucon Valley Hs), 10-0 3:19

182 Bryce McCloskey (Reynolds Hs) F Kyle Coronado (Saucon Valley Hs), 0:54

195 #8 Dane Csencsits (Saucon Valley Hs) F Braydon Herbster (Reynolds Hs), 3:24

220 Evan Miller (Reynolds Hs) DEC Jared Harka (Saucon Valley Hs), 6-4

285 #9 Nickolas Warnke (Saucon Valley Hs) DEC Guy Rocco John-Daniello (Reynolds Hs), 2-1 TB2

106 #1 Gary Steen (Reynolds Hs) F Connor Nicholas (Saucon Valley Hs), 2:16

113 Cole Bayless (Reynolds Hs) F Cael Markle (Saucon Valley Hs), 1:10

120 #2 Beau Bayless (Reynolds Hs) F Kevin Dyer (Saucon Valley Hs), 0:13

126 #12 Andrew Ischo (Reynolds Hs) F Ryan Gilbert (Saucon Valley Hs), 0:40