HERSHEY — Curwensville senior Blake Passarelli and Redbank Valley junior Ethan Wiant made the trip to the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships with vastly different experience at the state level but suffered the same fate — 0-2 showings Thursday that ended their time in Hershey.
Passarelli is the first-ever four-time state qualifier in Curwensville’s history and was coming off an eighth-place finish last year, while Wiant was making his first venture to states for the Bulldogs. But, neither could find a much-needed win to extend their stay at the Giant Center another day.
Passarelli (27-10) started his day with a 7-3 loss to Forest Hill’s Byron Daubert (33-13) in a 126-pound pigtail bout. He trailed by a slim 4-3 margin entering the third period before Daubert put the match away with an escape then a takedown with 28 seconds remaining.
Passarelli then faced a familiar face in Brockway junior Anthony Glasl in the first consolation round to stay alive. After a scoreless first period, Glasl jumped out front with an escape nine seconds into the second. The Rover then took down Passarelli before he worked free for an escape near the midway point to trail 3-1 after two periods.
Passarelli chose bottom in the third and escaped with 1:15 to go, but Glasl was able to hold off Passarelli on his feet to score his third victory this season against the Golden Tide senior.
The loss ended a stellar career for Passarelli, one that saw him amass a 115-36 record in a Golden Tide singlet.
As for Wiant (33-10), he ran into a buzz saw in Everett senior Garret Cornell (33-4) in his 132-pound pigtail bout. Cornell, a four-time qualifier who placed third last year, landed in the pigtail bout after placing fifth at the Southwest Regional two weeks ago.
Cornell needed just 33 seconds to pin the Bulldog. The Warrior then won his next bout 7-5 against Northeast champ Nathan Higley (35-3) of Sullivan County to reach the quarterfinals. Higley placed sixth a year ago at states. Higley came in ranked fourth in the state, while Cornell was 11th.
Meanwhile, Wiant dropped into the consolation bracket where he suffered a 4-1 loss to Montose senior Joseph Hester (41-4). Hester used a first-period takedown and two backpoints in the second to score the victory.