District Team Championships Elite 8 Set: SOL Advances Three

Photo courtesy of Tracy Valko. Visit the gallery for photos of the Quakertown/Pennsbury match: https://solsports.zenfolio.com/f843008868

SOL Advances Three:  CR South, Pennridge, & Quakertown
By Glenn Kaiser

As expected, the SOL’s top three wrestling teams advanced Thursday night to the quarterfinals of the 2023 District One Wrestling Team Championship bracket.  #1-seed Council Rock South advanced with a dominant 45-19 win over Upper Perkiomen. The Golden Hawks posted four falls while winning 9 of 12 contested bouts (7 with bonus points), Upper Perk forfeited to CR South at 285-pounds.  Bekhruz Sadriddinov opened the scoring for South with a second-period fall over Perk’s Drew Bennent at 172-pounds.  Bek moved up from his normal 160-pound weight class with the match starting at 172.

Pat Woloshyn pinned Zane Saeger at 121-pounds to extend the Golden Hawks lead to 25-10 as South ran off three-straight victories after the Upper Perk forfeit.  With Luke Reitter, who earned a major decision, returning for CRS at 114-pounds, the Golden Hawks lineup not only tightens up, but it frees up Coach Brad Silimperi to make some moves in duals that he did not necessarily have without his returning state place-winner.  Ben Brillhart continued his winning ways at 133-pounds, improving to 21-8 with a major decision (9-1) over the Indians Brandon Godshall, extending South’s lead to 29-13.

Andrew Lindros added bonus points at 145-pounds, which was the Golden Hawks third major decision of the evening, winning 9-1 before Gavin Cole (152) and Dom Pinciotti (160) closed out Upper Perk with back-to-back falls.  Cole upped his record to 21-9 with the win.  CR South will take on #8-seed Owen J Roberts in the top-half of the bracket on Saturday, Feb. 4, in the dual finals at Upper Dublin HS.  OJR downed West Chester Henderson 41-25 in the #8 versus #9 teams in the first-round.

#3 Pennridge rocked Strath Haven 48-16 in their first-round matchup, winning 9 of 13 bouts with an impressive five falls.  Cole Meenan (107), Colby Martinelli (114), Brady McMahon (145), Gio Iadonisi (152) and Talan Hogan (172) all recorded pins in a mismatch over Strath Haven in which the Rams posted bonus-points in all but one of their wins, including a forfeit to Cole Coffin at 121-pounds.  The Rams win sets up an all-SOL quarterfinal in the lower half of the bracket against #6 Quakertown, who downed a gritty Pennsbury team 37-28 in first-round action.  Pennsbury managed to win five bouts, but a forfeit to Q-town standout Colin Gaj (145) and three pinfalls for the Panthers was enough as Calvin Lachman up at 285-pounds closed out the Falcons with a first-period pin.  The move worked out for Quakertown, as they gave up three pins in row at the hands of Pennsbury’s Shane McGurrin (160), Ben Primich (172) and Mason Keller (189) along with a forfeit at 215 to Walker Murray.  Mason Ziegler (121) and Zach Borzio (152) notched the other falls for the Panthers.

Coach Handel won the chess match and will play again as his Panthers will battle Pennridge for the second time this season where it really matters.  The ‘Ridge handed the Panthers a loss early on in the season 37-32.  This quarterfinal will have big implications for both teams as they look to advance to the PIAA (AAA) state bracket of the 2023 Team Championship.  The match will also have an impact on other teams who fall down into the consolation bracket, as they will have to deal with the loser of this one. 

Friday night, #15 Central Bucks South was eliminated by the #2-seeded Sun Valley Vanguards 45-18.  Jake Neill continued his winning ways with a solid 9-3 win over the Vanguards’ David Voghel at 139-pounds.  Neill is now 22-2 on the season.  Collin Goetter also posted a solid win over Sun Valley’s Chase Thompson by pin at 285-pounds  Goetter is 12-3 on the season with his three losses coming at the hands of top-ranked grapplers.  The Pioneer Athletic Conference advanced four teams to the quarterfinals, and two of them will battle each other in quarterfinal action with #4 Spring-Ford squaring up with #5 Boyertown.  #10 Perk Valley will take on Sun Valley in the other quarterfinal.  Seven of the top eight seeded teams advanced from round-one, and the quarterfinals will be explosive, as winners will have a big advantage not having to wrestle-back thru the consolation bracket.