Tigers Edge Knights For 33-32 Win On Criteria

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The North Allegheny boys’ wrestling team hosted Norwin in a battle of top ten teams in Class AAA and claimed a nail-biting 33-32 win on criteria.

Trailing 32-26 going into the final bout of the night, senior Travis Stipetich pinned Norwin freshman Santino Brasco at 160 pounds to tie the score, 32-32. The Tigers earned the win on criteria based on most matches won, 7-6, in 13 bouts. For his clutch performance, Stipetich was named the Wright Automotive Wrestler of the Match.

Prior to Stipetich’s heroics, the night began at 172 pounds where junior Kellen Buggey picked up a 6-3 decision over Nicholas Puskar for a quick 3-0 lead. Junior Mason Hartung followed with a 13-8 decision at 189 pounds over Albert Hewitt to increase the NA lead to 6-0.

On a night that featured five lead changes, Norwin answered back with a 5-3 decision by Nathan Campbell at 215 and a win by fall courtesy of Aidan Pham at 285 to gain a 9-6 advantage. North Allegheny responded with back-to-back pin falls from freshman Evan Schomburg and junior Charlie LaQuatra at 107 and 114 pounds, respectively, to leapfrog the Tigers in front, 18-9.

Norwin freshman Landon Sidun, ranked No. 19 in the nation, earned an impressive 18-1 tech fall at 121 pounds to cut the NA lead to 18-14. Sidun’s opponent, sophomore Gus Stedeford, was able to stave off a pin fall, which saved an important team point for the Tigers which proved to be critical to NA’s victory.

Also important to NA’s efforts were bonus point victories courtesy of senior Casey Walker and senior Will Bentrim. Walker picked up a 9-1 major decision at 127 pounds over Aaron Wong, and Bentrim posted an 11-2 major decision against Gannon Conboy, expanding the Tigers lead to 26-14.

Just when it appeared NA might roll to the victory, Norwin rattled off three consecutive wins, including two pin falls and one forfeit, to take a 32-26 lead. Gage Mamie posted a win by fall at 139, Jack White earned a win by forfeit at 145 and Tanner Shaffer claimed a pin at 152 to spearhead the comeback.

Undaunted, North Allegheny answered back in the final bout with Stipetich’s dramatic pin fall at 160 to even the score at 32-32 and propel the Tigers to the win on criteria.

With the victory, North Allegheny improves to 8-2 on the season, while Norwin falls to 8-4. The Tigers return to the mat on Dec. 28-29 at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic.

Boys Wrestling Match Summary: NA vs. Norwin

172Kellen Buggey (NA) dec. Nicholas Puskar (NOR)6-3
189Mason Hartung (NA) dec. Albert Hewitt (NOR)13-8
215Nathan Campbell (NOR) dec. Aidan Buggey (NA)5-3
285Aidan Pham (NOR) pinned Bradyn McConneha (NA)
107Evan Schomburg (NA) pinned Luca Butera (NOR)
114Charlie LaQuatra (NA) pinned Jake Hall (NOR)
121Landon Sidun (NOR) tech fall Gus Stedeford (NA)18-1
127Casey Walker (NA) maj. dec. Aaron Wong (NOR)9-1
133Will Bentrim (NA) maj. dec. Gannon Conboy (NOR)11-2
139Gage Mamie (NOR) pinned Griffen Reid (NA)
145Jack White (NOR) wbf
152Tanner Shaffer (NOR) pinned Gabe Hernandez (NA)
160Travis Stipetich (NA) pinned Santino Brasco (NOR)