LEHMAN TWP. – Lackawanna Trail was just fourth in Division 2 of the Lackawanna League during the regular season.
On Friday and Saturday, during the District 2 Class 2A Wrestling Tournament at Lake-Lehman, the Lions placed third in the 16-team field, finishing directly in front of two teams that beat Lackawanna Trail during the league season.
“I think we were able to peak at the right time,” Lackawanna Trail coach Mike Bluhm said. “Considering how the season went, we might have surprised a few people with this tournament.”
The Lions finished third with 138 ½ points, ranking behind only team champion Elk Lake and Lake-Lehman. Scranton Prep and Blue Ridge followed in fourth and fifth place.
Junior Lance Moore led the Lions by winning his third district title, improving his career record to 102-14 in the process.
“Lance is simply amazing,” Bluhm said. “He’s a worker.
“He’s on a roll right now. We just have to keep it going.”
Moore finished third in the Northeast Regional and fifth in the state last year at 215 pounds. This year, he’s at 285 pounds where he pinned Hanover Area’s Anthony Gipson in 3:03 of the final.
The Lions placed four wrestlers in the finals. Chris Dixon (130), Jon Lynn (135) and Eric Laytos (215) each finished second.
Dixon, a sophomore, had his second straight runner-up finish. The third-seed beat second-seeded Matt Mullery of Hanover Area, 5-3, in the semifinals and had the lead for nearly the first half of the final before falling behind and being pinned by Josh Manzer of Mountain View in 5:06.
Lynn also finished second for the second time, losing to repeat champion Mike Pipitone of Blue Ridge, 7-4, in the final. Lynn improved to 25-7 on the season and 94-54 for his career.
Laytos, a freshman, is 25-9. As a third seed, he beat second-seeded Jacob Eastman of Elk Lake, 7-2, before losing to Lake-Lehman senior Roger Jayne, 5-2, in the final.
Matt Generotti from Scranton Prep is another third seed who reached the final. He was pinned by Elk Lake’s Brent Salsman in 2:37 at 160 pounds.
Scranton Prep’s Patrick Creedon and Valley View’s Pete Santarelli each pulled out close decisions in the first two bouts of the consolation finals to earn berths at the Northeast Regional in Williamsport Friday and Saturday.
Creedon defeated Evan Decker of Western Wayne, 3-2, at 103 with the help of a second-period takedown that gave him a 3-1 lead.
Santarelli, a top seed who was upset in the first match of the night Friday, came back to win four straight decisions at 112. The last of those was a 2-0 win over Hanover Area’s John Elick.
Santarelli is making a return trip to regionals after finishing second in the district last year.
Valley View finished tied for 14th out of 16 teams.
In the Class 3A tournament at Hazleton Area, Abington Heights turned in a performance similar to Lackawanna Trail’s effort at Lake-Lehman. After going from last out of six teams in Lackawanna Division 1 during the regular season, the Comets finishedfifth out of 13 teams in the tournament.
Abington Heights, which was hurt by forfeits in key spots during dual-meet competition, finished ahead of four division rivals.
Unbeaten heavyweight Evan Craig won a title while James Fruehan, Gino Gagliardi and Morgan Craig were second and Dan Pascale was fourth.
West Scranton finished sixth and Scranton was ninth.
The District 2 basketball tournament switches to neutral courts tonight in boys play and Tuesday for girls.
Nine teams went on the road in the opening weekend to post wins. Six of those teams were from Lackawanna County, one was a Lackawanna League member from outside the county and two were Wyoming Valley Conference teams.
Holy Cross, Riverside, Mid Valley and Carbondale won Class 2A girls games.
North Pocono won in Class 3A girls and Riverside won in Class 2A boys.
Wallenpaupack in Class 4A girls and Dallas and Pittston Area in Class 3A boys were the other teams to win on the road.
Julie Kosin had 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead Holy Cross to a 48-36 victory at Elk Lake. Kosin is averaging 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds for the season.
Kayla Sileo added 13 points for the Lady Crusaders.
Karley Caines led Elk Lake with 11 points.
Riverside downed Hanover Area, 53-45, behind 22 points by Angela Dente.
Mid Valley defeated Lake-Lehman, 52-45, as Danielle Teranella scored 17 points and Allison Walsh added 15.
Carbondale topped Mountain View, 65-58, in a game matching the teams that led Lackawanna Division 3 in wins each of the past two seasons. Carbondale won the title before going up to Division 2 this season. Mountain View had the best record in the division, but lost two playoff games and was unable to win the title.
The North Pocono girls beat Lackawanna Division 1 rival Honesdale, 49-42 in Class 3A.
Tommy Armillay scored 11 points and Riverside held Montrose to 18 points over the final three quarters of a 46-31 Class 2A boys win.