The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


January 30, 2014

Westmont wrestlers advance out of District 6 duals

JOHNSTOWN — Some wrestling observers felt that Westmont Hilltop was lucky to get the No. 4 seed in the District 6 Dual-Meet Tournament.

The Hilltoppers are now “lucky” enough to be in the semifinals.

Westmont got the matchups it needed in a 44-33 victory over Cambria Heights on Wednesday night and will face top-seeded Huntingdon in the semifinals at Tyrone on Saturday evening.

“We have the type of team where we need 14 efforts every night,” Westmont coach Matt Beaujon said. “(Wednesday night), was one of those nights where we went out and put 14 good efforts out there. I thought everyone went out there and scratched and clawed and just kept the pressure on.”

It helped that the Hilltoppers (4-1) won the coin toss, which kept Cambria Heights coach Mike Eckenrode from getting the two matchups that he really wanted

“When your teams are this even, the coin toss is huge,” Eckenrode said.

Drake Dorian, who is one of the wrestlers Eckenrode hoped to send someone else out against, pinned Eric Kukoski to open the dual and Dan Yost followed with a 4-2 victory over Ray Niebauer.

Austin Gill got Cambria Heights on the board with a fall over Nick Mical at 145, but Kyle Geibig pushed Westmont's lead back to nine points.

The Highlanders (7-3), who beat Central 39-29 earlier in the night for the right to face Westmont, won three consecutive matches to take the lead over the Hilltoppers. Levi Niebauer decisioned Mark Barbera 9-2 at 160. Dalton Waksmunski pinned James Griffin at 170 while Dennis Link scored a fall over Jon Roseman at 182.

Eckenrode had hoped to match Link up against Westmont's Colin Barron. Instead, Barron pinned Will Hoover at 195 to knot the dual at 21.

Beaujon agreed that the coin flip played a big role.

“There's a lot of parity, not only between us, but in the Laurel Highlands conference as well,” he said. “Anytime you can get the coin toss and start deciding matchups, that points you in the right direction.”

Barron also pointed the Hilltoppers in the right direction, reversing Hoover and pinning him in the second period.

“He kept the pressure on him and stayed on his toes there and ended up in a good position,” Beaujon said of Barron.

Hussein Sbeitan – one of six first-year wrestlers in the Westmont lineup on Wednesday night – scored a technical fall over Tony Mezzello at 220 to make it 26-21.

Cambria Heights retook the lead when Aaron Gill pinned Connor Imler at 285, but Westmont's Braden Rosemas picked up a forfeit at 106 to put the Hilltoppers ahead for good.

Logan Blackburn pinned Michael Dautlick at 113 and Trent Blackburn shouldered Mark Zabinski to cement the victory.

With the dual meet no longer in doubt, Westmont forfeited to Joe Davis at 126.

Westmont, which got the No. 4 seed despite being just 3-0 when the seeding points were tallied, will face a much more difficult test on Saturday.

“We're going to go and enjoy this one and we're definitely going to go and try to put our best foot forward and maybe steal a match or two,” Beaujon said. “We've shown signs of improvement, from the beginning of the year, but especially in the past few year weeks.”

In an odd twist, Westmont will host Cambria Heights again tonight to make up for the regular-season meet that was postponed.

“Maybe we'll win the flip (tonight),” Eckenrode said.

Eric Knopsnyder is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @eknopsnyder.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0417 Pirates power past Brewers

    Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
    Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0417 Jackets preparing for Game 2

    The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
    “It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Briefs

    April 17, 2014