The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

High School Sports

January 29, 2006

Wrestling: Upsets mark Thomas Tournament

BEDFORD — Being favored in the Thomas Chevrolet Wrestling Tournament was not necessarily a good thing on Saturday.

North Star dethroned defending champion Chestnut Ridge and three individual winners from last year were beaten at Bedford High School. Also, fewer than half of the 14 top-seeded wrestlers were able to win titles in their respective weight classes.

Even North Star, which was almost assured of the team title by the end of the semifinals, struggled after jumping out to the commanding lead. The Cougars had five wrestlers in the finals but came away with just one individual title.

“Really, after the semifinal round, we cooled off quite a bit,” North Star coach Lou Lepley said. “I’m really proud of the guys. To win this tournament, with the kind of competition here, is an outstanding feat, but I wish we would have finished on a little better note.”

The Cougars captured the team title with 195 points. Chestnut Ridge was second with 1841/2 points. Tyrone (1511/2), Richland (148) and Northern Bedford (144) rounded out the top five.

North Star senior Tony Lascari, who was the only Cougar to win an individual title, was especially impressed with his team’s depth.

“Any time you place 12 out of 14, you’re going to be happy, whether you’re first in the team standings or not,” Lascari said. “But with that comes the team title.”

Lascari picked up an impressive win at 125 pounds, as he beat Hyndman’s Josh Snyder, who is the state’s fourth-best Class AA wrestler at that weight class according to Off The Mat Rankings. Lascari scored late takedowns in each of the first two periods and managed to fight off Snyder’s attempts to turn him in the third period for a 4-2 victory.

“I thought it could have been a questionable call, if he got backpoints, but sometimes it goes like that,” Lascari said.

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