Above, Wyoming Area’s Nick Heck has Elk Lake’s Jon Maye in a headlock during his 3-2 win on Tuesday night. Below, WA’s John Ratajczak is on his way to pinning Dakota Green in the Warriors 44-18 victory over Elk Lake.photos by charlotte bartizek
Pittston Area entered the finals of the District 2 Class 3A Duals with one goal: defeat Delaware Valley to claim the district title and get to the PIAA Team Championships in Hershey.
Unfortunately, the Patriots will have to wait for another year to accomplish that goal.
The team dropped a heart-breaking, 25-22 decision to the Warriors, losing a one-point decision in the final bout of the night.
The Patriots have now advanced to the finals five out of the last six years but have come up empty each year since winning their last district duals title in 2004.
“This is going to be tough to get over,” Pittston Area coach James Woodall said. “It’s going to take some time. This is probably the hardest out of all the years we’ve come in second. It’s going to be a hard one to recover from.”
The last win of the evening was by Delaware Valley freshman Mike Stenger, who grabbed two points for a reversal with less than 20 seconds left in the 112-pound match against fellow freshman Tyler Lutecki to notch a 7-6 victory.
“That was a ton of pressure for both guys,” Woodall noted. “That certainly comes into play in the match. Tyler wrestled good, things just didn’t go his way.”
The teams matched each other win for win throughout the dual as the title match consisted of five ties and three lead changes.
DV grabbed the early lead at 3-0 after 119-pounder C.J. Palmer defeated Michael Domarasky, 10-3. Domarasky got a last-second escape to avoid the major decision.
After that match, the Warriors would win a bout and the Patriots would counter.
“That was one of the best high school matches I’ve seen with no extra bonus points,” Woodall added. “Both teams really battled.”
That trend continued until 189 when Delaware Valley’s Adam Manzoni gave his team a 19-13 lead by defeating Jason Laboranti, 4-2. Laboranti is one of the top 189-pounders in the Wyoming Valley Conference and beat Manzoni in their previous matchup, but this time the Pittston Area senior couldn’t come out on top.
Another important match came at 285. After the Patriots’ Jon Skrzysowski narrowed the margin to 19-17 with a major decision, Chris Wesolowski dropped a 5-3 decision to Jack Fagan. In their previous match this season, Wesolowski was victorious. This time, Fagan put the Warriors up 22-17.
Jamie Scarantino followed with a technical fall at 103 to knot the score at 22-22 heading into the final match.
The Warriors advanced to the PIAA Championships and defeated District 9 champ Clearfield on Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey in the first round of the tournament.
Wyoming Area won just two of the five bouts actually wrestled, but cashed in on six forfeits in a 44-18 win over Elk Lake in a non-league matchup on Tuesday night in Exeter.
John Ratajczak pinned Dakota Green of Elk Lake in the 145-pound bout for one of the two victories, and Nick Heck won a 3-2 decision over Jon Maye at 119 pounds for the other.
Eric Filipiak, Carmen Mauriello, Andy Schutz, Trevor Skene, Shawn Whiting and Carl Zielenski all picked up forfeit wins for the Warriors.
Sunday Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari also contributed to this report.
WA at Valley West
D2 Jr. High Finals