HERSHEY — District 9’s trio of top-ranked wresters held serve on the first two days of the PIAA Class AA Championships and will go for a state title on day three Saturday afternoon at the Giant Center.
Brookville’s Brock Zacherl at 138 pounds, Coudersport’s Kyle Bova at 160 and Kane’s Evan Delong at 170 each won their two Friday bouts to earn a finals berth. The championships bouts start at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The finals along with the three medal place bouts — 3rd, 5th and 7th — will go on simultaneously weight-by-weight on four mats.
Zacherl (40-2) won his third bonus-point bout of the tournament with a 12-0 major over Palmerton’s Josh Evans in the semifinals. He’ll meet Southern Columbia’s Kent Lane (28-1) in the finals.
Bova (35-0) eked out an overtime win in the quarterfinals, but was dominating in the semifinals with a 16-5 major decision against Bermudian Springs’ Briton Shelton. Bova meets South Fayette’s Jared Walker (43-1) in the finals.
At 170, Kane’s Delong decisioned Penns Valley’s Corey Hazel, 9-3, in the semifinals. Next up for Delong (35-0) is Richland’s Nico Pecora (34-3).
Brookville sophomore Taylor Ortz was D9’s fourth semifinalist, but his shot at a finals berth at 113 was stopped by Bethlehem Catholic’s Luke Karam in a 6-0 decision. Ortz, however, rebounded in his fourth-round consolation bout with a 4-2 overtime win over Huntingdo’s Collin Glorioso. Ortz (37-4) wrestles Reynolds’ Seth Hogue for third place. Ortz decisioned Hogue during the regular season at the Ultimate Duals, 6-2.
Ortz and Zacherl were two of a District 9 Class AA-record five state medalists for Brookville. The Raiders also have Zach Vroman wrestling for third place at 145, Brock’s twin brother Brodie wrestling for sixth place at 152 and Jimmy Miller wrestling for seventh at 160.
Miller is taking on District 9 rival Sam Colebert of Oswayo Valley. Miller beat Colebert in the semifinals at the District 9 Tournament, 5-4.
Also wrestling for third is Kane’s Cody Blankenship at 126 pounds.
Brockway’s Ryan Carlson at 106 and Redbank Valley’s Willie Gruver at 120 will wrestle for seventh place. Gruver needs to win to tie the team’s all-time wins record of 132 held by 2008 state champion Johnathan Brothers.
Of the 14 Class AA state qualifiers — Cranberry’s Zach Bruce qualified but scratched due to injury — 11 earned top-eight state medals. That’s the most since 11 won medals in 2007.
District 9 Semifinals Results
113: Luke Karam, Bethlehem Catholic, dec. Taylor Ortz, Brookville, 6-0.
138: Brock Zacherl, Brookville, maj. dec. Josh Evans, Palmerton, 12-0.
160: Kyle Bova, Coudersport, maj. dec. Briton Shelton, Bermudian Springs, 16-5.
170: Evan Delong, Kane, dec. Corey Hazel, Penns Valley, 9-3.
District 9 Third-Round Consolations
106: Courtney, Athens, dec. Ryan Carlson, Brockway, 2-0.
120: Phillippi, Derry Area, dec. Willie Gruver, Redbank Valley, 7-2.
126: Cody Blankenship, Kane, maj. dec. Albanese, Pius X, 8-0.
145: Zach Vroman, Brookville, dec. Shafer, Hanover, 5-2.
152: Brodie Zacherl, Brookville, maj. dec. Doak, Blairsville, 9-0.
160: Niebauer, Cambria Heights, dec. Jimmy Miller, Brookville, 3-1.
160: Kasunic, Benton, dec. Sam Colebert, Oswayo Valley, 3-1.
District 9 Fourth-Round Consolations
113: Taylor Ortz, Brookville, dec. Glorioso, Huntingdon, 4-2, OT.
126: Cody Blankenship, Kane, dec. Demaske, Jefferson-Morgan, 5-4.
145: Zach Vroman, Brookville, dec. Falleroni, Burrell, 8-4.
152: Walter, Mifflinburg, dec. Brodie Zacherl, Brookville, 2-1.