Downingtown West upends Garnet Valley, books first trip to states. Church Farm comes up short.

LOWER POTTSGROVE — Friday night was the low point of Downingtown West’s season, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise.

Not only did a close loss to Methacton the night before refocus the No. 6 Whippets, but in turn, set them up with a more favorable path to the PIAA Duals.

West lost small and won big against No. 5 Garnet Valley and the result was a 33-25 victory in the District 1 Class 3A Duals consolation semifinals at Pottsgrove High, booking the Whippets their first-ever trip to states. West finished fourth after a 39-24 loss to No. 4 Owen J. Roberts in the consolation final and will travel to Central Dauphin, Monday, to to face the District 3 third-place finisher.

“It’s big,” West coach Brad Breese said. “Besides winning the Ches-Mont, we wanted to get a trip to states. It’s big for this team and big for these seniors. For four years it’s been an aspiration to do something that hasn’t been done before.”

The stage was set early, when in the third bout of the dual, West’s Nick Lilley (132 pounds) pushed Garnet Valley star, Matt Marino to ultimate tiebreaker before falling, 2-1. West’s Alex Murta (138) then pulled off somewhat of an upset, edging Salvatore Pizzuto, 3-1.

Between Marino, Pizzuto and two-time state qualifier Nick Puliti, Garnet was only plus-three in that stretch, which was a major win for the Whippets.

Downingtown West’s Doug Zapf celebrates after clinching the dual with a pin at 106 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

“That was a huge match,” Breese said of Lilley’s loss. “Making Marino go to ultimate tiebreaker was as good as a win. It showed the rest of the team how we were ready to win the match. Alex fed off that we just built from there. Garnet Valley is a bunch of brawlers and we were able to brawl with them and not give up big points and that set the tone.”

Garnet built a 19-9 lead at the midway point and looked like it was about to be more when Jeremy Lauer had Chase Meilnick on his back in the first. Meilnick reversed the scene and was able to finish off the fall eight ticks before the first ended.

“I think early on we were OK,” Garnet coach Rocco Fantazzi said. “We were still in control and still in the driver’s seat. There was the 12-point swing at 170 and 220 and heavyweight were swing matches that were winnable for us, but we didn’t execute.”

Ryan Mortimer won the next bout at 182, but the Jaguars could not find any momentum like the night prior when they rolled OJR, 39-23. Garnet had a District 1-high 138 pins coming into the West dual, but could only muster one, while giving up four.

Still, Fantazzi thought his team proved something.

Garnet Valley’s Dave Wood scores back points against Downingtown West’s Max Hale during a major decision at 152 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

“I don’t know if people overlooked us because of where we are geographically, or if they look at our league, but this team made a statement that we’re able to wrestle with anybody,” Fantazzi said. “We try to set the standard of what wrestling should look like down there and we wanted to come up here and compete and make people realize we’re a legit team, and I think we did that.”

West won four in a row, starting at 195, bookended by pins from Cole Zapf (195) and Doug Zapf (106), to clinch it with a match to go.

Against OJR, West seemed to have nothing left and won just five bouts.

“It feels really good to get that win and finally make it to states,” Murta said. “We worked really hard for it and deserve it.”

Church Farm’s Sebastian Corrales. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

Church Farm School competed in the District 1 2A Duals, Saturday as well, but lost to Faith Christian Academy, 57-21.

“We had been wrestling well but didn’t (Saturday),” Church Farm coach Art Smith said. “We had some bright spots, though.”

Sebastian Corrales (126), Noel Gilgeous (195) and Emmanuel Lawal (285) registered pins for the Griffins, and Shane Carter (160) came back to win a 14-12 decision in the final seconds.

Corrales was a state qualifier as a freshman and is 18-1 on the season.

Church Farm’s Shane Carter scores the winning points at 160 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

“(Corrales) is doing really well,” Smith said. “He only has one loss and he’s having a great year. He’s doing some new things and is always ready to go. Noel Gilgeous is having a great year for us as well.”

Council Rock South defeated Boyertown 38-24 in the finals to end the Bears’ three-year run as champs.


Downingtown West 33, Garnet Valley 25

120- Conlon (GV) pinned Cardi, 1:50 (0-6)

126- C. Hanak (DW) pinned Cooper, 4:30 (6-6)

132- Marino (GV) dec. Lilley, 2-1 UTB (6-9)

138- Murta (GV) dec. Pizzuto, 3-1 (9-9)

145- N. Puliti (GV) dec. G. Hale, 7-3 (9-12)

152- Wood (GV) maj. dec. M. Hale, 10-2 (9-16)

160- Peters (GV) dec. Angelini, 4-1 (9-19)

170- Meilnick (DW) pinned Lauer, 1:52 (15-19)

182- Mortimer (GV) dec. Shafer, 10-4 (15-22)

195- C. Zapf (DW) pinned West, 1:20 (21-22)

220- Madanat (DW) dec. Rushton, 4-3 (24-22)

285- Cook (DW) dec Mahoney, 2-1 (27-22)

106- D. Zapf (DW) pinned K. Puliti, :45 (33-22)

113- Flicker (GV) dec. G. Hanak, 5-2 (33-25)

Faith Christian Academy 57, Church Farm School 21

120- Peterson (FC) dec. Medina, 5-2 (3-0)

126- Corrales (CF) pinned Beamer, 1:20 (3-6)

132- Waltenbaugh (FC) pinned Gyamfi, 3:38 (9-6)

138- Courtney (FC) pinned Martinez, :18 (15-6)

145- Schultz (FC) pinned Tanco, 4:27 (21-6)

152- Bartholomew (FC) pinned Velazco, 2:46 (27-6)

160- Carter (CF) dec. Stine, 14-12 (27-9)

170- Moore (FC) won by forfeit (33-9)

182- DeWitt (FC) pinned J. Gilgeous, 3:41 (39-9)

195- N. Gilgeous (CF) pinned Bodder, :33 (39-15)

220- Reed (FC) pinned Polanco, 1:28 (45-15)

285- Lawal (CF) pinned Price, 1:25 (45-21)

106- Mikula (FC) won by forfeit (51-21)

113- Park (FC) pinned Edwards, 2:34 (57-21)

Owen J. Roberts 39, Downingtown West 24

126- T. McCutchen (OJR) dec. C. Hanak, 6-1 (3-0)

132- Petrucelli (OJR) dec. Lilley, 6-4 (6-0)

138- Meredith (OJR) dec. Murta, 8-5 (9-0)

145- Mancini (OJR) maj. dec. G. Hale, 14-2 (13-0)

152- M. Hale (DW) dec. R. McCutchen, 2-1  (13-3)

160- R. Resnick (OJR) tech. fall Angelini, 5:20 (18-3)

170- Zollers (OJR) maj. dec. Meilnick, 10-2 (22-3)

182- Shafer (DW) pinned McLeod, 1:07 (22-9)

195- C. Zapf (DW) pinned Gerber, 1:36 (22-15)

220- Duliakas (OJR) pinned Madanat, :49 (28-15)

285- Acosta (OJR) pinned Cook, 5:51 (34-15)

106- D. Zapf (DW) pinned Dunleavy, 3:02 (34-21)

113- Cardi (DW) dec. Forrest, 4-1 (34-24)

120- L. Resnick (OJR) tech. fall Byers, 6:00 (39-24)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply