Stephens seals deal, heads to semis

OXFORD — A year ago at regionals, Coatesville’s Chase Stephens had Council Rock South’s Danny Martoccio on his back with their state hopes at stake.

Martoccio fought off the 5-0 deficit and eventually pinned Stephens before going on to win a state medal.

Friday, on day one of the Class AAA Southeast Regional at Oxford, Stephens had another Martoccio on his back, this time Danny’s brother, Lucas. And Stephens made sure to finish the deal, pinning him in the first period to advance to the 145-pound semifinals.

Stephens is one of nine locals in the semis that are scheduled tentatively for 11:30 a.m. today. The first round of consolations begins at 9:30 a.m., with the finals on tap at 6 p.m. The top five finishers qualify for the PIAA tournament next week in Hershey, and those in the semis today need just one win in their next three bouts to move on.

“It felt better,’ Stephen said about pinning a Martoccio. “(Today) will be a lot tougher but I just have to get one more win to get to states and that’s all I’m looking for.’

The sophomore’s first foe will be Central Bucks West’s undefeated senior, Riley Barth, and neither has yet to earn a trip to Hershey in their careers. Fellow Red Raider, Zach Dellicompagni (152 pounds), set up a semi against Council Rock South’s top-seed Dylan Schwartz after knocking off Spring-Ford’s Jon Cooper, 6-3. Coatesville’s Wesley McGuire (195) was upset via the headlock by Quakertown’s Gavin Caroff.

The only local team with more semifinalists than Coatesville is Downingtown East, who has three. Wade Cummings (126) had a workmanlike 9-3 decision over Council Rock North’s Jake Potter and Billy McGinley (220) used a takedown in sudden victory to knock off Quakertown’s Micah Jones. James Meyer (152) had an easier time, majoring Haverford’s David Tustin, 15-4.

Meyer will face Neshaminy’s Dominic Stabilito, who headlocked his way past Conestoga’s formerly undefeated Dan Iredale, 18-9.

West Chester Rustin and West Chester Henderson had a pair make it to semis. Rustin’s Brett Kaliner was dominating Pennsbury’s Antonio Martoccio before decking him late in the third. Fellow Golden Knight Costas Hatzipavlides came from behind to beat Penncrest’s Joe Pyfer, 8-4.

“I was thinking I was in better shape than him going into the third,’ Hatzipavlides said. “I just kept working my shots and it was one of my best shots so I knew I could take it.’

Henderson’s Joey Wilson (132) used a stalling point to edge Pottstown’s Logan Pennypacker, 2-1. James McDonald (285) won by the same score, though he kept Pennridge’s Joe Kracz down in the tiebreaker period to set up a bout against top-seeded Tommy Killoran of Boyertown, who knocked off Avon Grove’s Vince Walls, 5-0.

“I’ll get a good night’s rest,’ said McDonald, who was 1-3 as a freshman. “Coming so far since my freshman year, I never would have dreamed states would be in my grasp.’

West Chester East’s Noah Hankin (120) fell, 14-3, to Garnet Valley’s Matt Marino, while Henderson’s Kyle Medrow (126) lost a wild one to Council Rock South’s top-seeded Zack Trampe, 21-14.

The Ches-Mont went 19-35 as a league, with the competition level taking a significant leap from the previous two weeks.

Team Standings

1. Boyertown, 42; 2. Spring-Ford, 40; 3. Pennridge, 34; 4. Owen J. Roberts, 30; 5. Council Rock South, 29.5; 6. Quakertown, 24; 7. Garnet Valley, 19; 8. Downingtown East, 18; 9. West Chester Rustin, 17; 10. Council Rock North, 16

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