HERSHEY — West Chester Henderson’s Killian Delaney doesn’t lack for confidence, but even he’ll tell you he felt the nerves in his first trip to Hershey as a freshman.
Thursday, in his second venture to the Giant Center for the Class 3A PIAA tournament, Delaney shook off any lingering butterflies and set himself up for a shot at a medal with a big first round win over Moon’s Frankie Bonura.
Delaney (113 pounds) was one of five locals to reach the quarterfinals, which will begin at 2:15 pm, Friday.
“It was nice to get it out of the way,” Delaney said. “Last year I was nervous, and I was a little nervous out there, but it was good to get it out of the way. I’m just wrestling another big tournament and calmed my nerves and I got one match in the tournament just like any other guy.”
Delaney and the other quarterfinalists have to win one of their next two to place in the top eight.
Pitted against the returning fifth-place state medalist, Bonura, Delaney gave up a reversal in the second period, but scored his own to head to the third tied at two. Bonura gave him the escape to start the period and Delaney held him off the rest of the way for a 3-2 win to set up a date with Mifflin County’s Christian Fisher.
“I knew he had to come after me,” Delaney said of his lead in the third. “I’m going to try to score as well to extend my lead, and I didn’t really do that, but we were definitely both tired and I knew he had to go after me.”
Downingtown East’s Lukas Richie (126) cleansed some demons after going 0-2 as a sophomore by taking out Parkland’s Nick Dolak, 4-2. Richie survived a throw attempt from Dolak in the first and scored the only takedown of the bout and will face Greater Latrobe’s Gabe Willochell next.
“I knew the other kid wanted it just as badly as I did, but it came down to conditioning,” Richie said. “My ambition carried over from last year, going 0-2.”
Coatesville’s Brennan McBride (106) made the most of his first appearance in Hershey, using a cradle to score four points in the final seconds to steal a 6-4 decision against General McLane’s Andrew Brest. Top-seeded and undefeated Kurtis Phipps of Norwin will be waiting in quarters.
“It’s pretty big,” McBride said. “I watched my brother (Sean) wrestle here last year and he lost his first two, so it’s cool to win the first one.”
Downingtown West has a pair in the quarters as Doug Zapf (120) and Max Hale (170) won their one and only bouts of the day. Zapf was methodical in a 9-1 major decision against Twin Valley’s CJ Morton. He will face Waynesburg freshman, Wyatt Henson, in quarters.
Hale had to grind it out a little more, but in a 1-1 match in the third, Hale scored the only takedown of the contest and walked away a 3-2 winner over Solanco’s Ben Root. Hale’s next test is Southwest champ, Scott Joll of Belle Vernon.
“It’s my first time in this tournament and I want to make a boom,” Hale said. “I knew I had a tough guy since I wrestled him over the summer. I knew his basic style so I just tried to get in positions to win it.”
Eighteen locals qualified for states and at the end of Thursday’s action, only eight remain. In consolations, Downingtown West’s Nick Lilley (138) won a 5-4 decision over Council Rock South’s Eric Woloshyn, and West Chester East’s Andrew DiBernardo (170) was a 6-1 winner over Owen J. Roberts’ Jason Zollers.
Lilley will square off against Delaware Valley’s Mike McKinney and DiBernardo has Dallas’ Steven Newell Friday afternoon.
Unionville’s Tyler Mousaw (170) won his pigtail bout but dropped a 7-0 decision to Nazareth’s Cade Wilson in the first round. Mousaw will face Council Rock South’s Nik Korbich in the second round of consolations.
After 0-2 days, Henderson’s Sammy McMonagle (106), Luke Phayre (138) and Ray Martin (160), Octorara’s Seth Hoopes (120), West Chester East’s Corey Celenza (120), Unionville’s Caden Mareno (132), Avon Grove’s Nick Barnhart (145), Downingtown East’s Josh Wileczek (195) and Downingtown West’s Joe Shafer (195) were eliminated.
Church Farm’s Emmanuel Lawal (285) lost a pair of decisions and was eliminated from the 2A tournament.
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