Pittston Area’s Donnie Perhan, top, is in control against Crestwood.photo by charlotte bartizek
Pittston Area’s Angelo Lussi, right, has his Crestwood opponent in a headlock.photo by charlotte bartizek
Wyoming Area’s Steve Barush, left, defeated Hanover Area’s Matt Kocher in the 119-pound bout Wednesday night.photo by BILL TARUTIS
Pittston Area’s Jason Laboranti (top) pins Mike Mirra to begin the Patriots match with Crestwood.Photos by Charlotte Bartizek
When the Pittston Area wrestling team opened conference play against Crestwood last Wednesday night in the Thomas R. Kelly Gymnasium they had to do so without some of their usual wrestlers.
Veterans Dominick Lussi and Frank Ardo were unavailable to the Patriots due to illness. But the PA grapplers that were available got the Patriots off to a fast start, including 189-pounder Jason Laboranti.
In his first match this season, Laboranti defeated state-ranked opponent Mike Mirra to set the tone for the rest of the match as Pittston Area went on to a hard-earned 43-25 victory.
“It was a nice way to start the match and it was a nice way for Jason to start his season,” said Patriots first-year head coach James Woodall. “It was a great night for Jason Laboranti. Not to take anything away from Mike Mirra, he is a great wrestler and a great all-around kid.”
The most intriguing match of the night was also the first match of the night. The 189-pound bout featured the WVC Division I rivals Laboranti and Mirra. The first round was very quiet as both Laboranti and Mirra were able to stay on their feet. There was much more grappling in the second round as both wrestlers tried to gain position and take the lead. However, the third round provided an abundance of excitement.
Mirra struck first in the match with an escape point. Laboranti struck back with a hard two-point takedown and then held Mirra on the mat for three back points to take a 5-1 lead in the match with seconds remaining. He maintained the lead as the buzzer sounded and gave the Patriots an early 3-0 lead in the match. Laboranti’s win kept Mirra from winning his 100th career bout.
“It’s always a close battle with him. It was a nice win. He (Mirra) is a great wrestler,” Laboranti said. “I love the competitiveness of the weight class. It’s so much fun wrestling some of the top wrestlers around.”
The 215-pound match featured Pittston Area’s Jon Skryzowski against Nico Disabatino. Skryzowski dominated the match, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead with two mat shattering takedowns. Later in the first round Skryzowski had another huge takedown and pinned Disabatino at the 1:02 mark of the first round. The Skryzowski pin extended the Patriots lead to 9-0.
Patriots 285-pounder Chris Weslowski dominated the heavyweight division bout.
He picked up Will Woemer and slammed him on the mat and pushed him over on his back to achieve the pin with 11 seconds remaining in the first round to give the Patriots a huge 14-0 lead.
Jamie Scarantino then quickly pinned John Diel in the 103-pound division for Pittston Area before the Patriots lost their first match of the night when Tyler Lutecki lost to Robert Gray at 112 points to get Crestwood on the board, 27-4.
In the 119-pound division Michael Domorasky won by forfeit for career-win number 101. Domorasky was honored before the match for becoming the newest member of the Pittston Area Wrestling 100 win club.
At 125-pounds, Pittston Area’s Donnie Perhan faced off against John Jasonowicz. Perhan got a two-point takedown quick in the match and then pinned Jasonowicz with 6.4 seconds left in the first round.
Angelo Lussi kept the points coming for Pittston Area. Although he did not pin Mike Legg in the 130-pound match, he did dominate. Lussi won by technical fall with a match score of 17-2. The match becomes a technical fall when one of the wrestlers accumulates a lead of 15 points in a match.
Crestwood began to dig into the Patriots huge lead with victories in the 135, 140 and 145-pound matches. However the three victories only brought the Comets to within 38-13 with just three matches remaining.
The 152-pound bout was one of the most aggressive matches of the night. Both PA’s Brandon Dolan and Matt Hammerstone of Crestwood were doing their best to strike first in the match.
Hammerstone took the lead with a takedown, but Dolan struck back with two escape points tying the match at 2-2. Dolan then had a big takedown and was able to keep Hammerstone in the circle and pin him with 26.7 seconds remaining in the match. The Patriots overall lead was extended to 43-13 with the win.
Crestwood was victorious by pin in both the 160 and 171-pound matches and the match ended with a score of 43-25 in favor of the Patriots.
The Patriots victory started them off on the right foot in the conference, putting them in good position as they travel to Coughlin on Wednesday for a huge match with the undefeated Crusaders.
“It’s going to be another great match,” Woodall said. “Coughlin is a great team.”
Wyoming Area managed just four wins – two by forfeit – against Hanover in a matchup of last year’s two top WVC Division II teams which the Hawkeyes won, 55-21, on Wednesday night in Hanover Township.
Andy Schutz recorded the only pin for the Warriors when he dropped Hanover’s Chris Jones in 49 seconds in the 125-pound bout.
Steve Barush won at 119-pounds for Wyoming Area in its Division II opener with a 5-3 decision over Matt Kocher.
Nick Heck (130) and Mike Harding (140) picked up forfeit victories for the Warriors.
Wyoming Area 152-pounder AJ Lemardy lost a tough 5-3 decision to Hanover’s Kurt Perricci.
Wyoming Area’s Andy Schutz finished second at the 33rd annual Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament last week after losing a tough decision to Zach Green of Northeast Bradford in the championship bout.
Schutz, the Warriors 125-pound sophomore, dropped a 3-0 decision to Green on Thursday after making his way through the preliminary rounds on Wednesday.
Nick Heck of Wyoming Area finished sixth in the event after losing two matches in the consolation round. Heck, the Warriors 130-pound sophomore, lost by technical fall in the consolation semis to Wyalusing’s Tyler Thompson, and to Nanticoke’s James McMoore in the fifth-place match.
Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari contributed to this report.
PA at Coughlin
PA at Wyoming Area
PA at Valley West
WA at GAR
Pittston Area…1-0, 6-2
Valley West…0-1, 4-4
Wyoming Area…0-1, 4-8