DuBOIS — Seeded as the best of the rest behind favored Brookville in the District Class AA Dual Meet tournament, the Brockway Rovers backed it up and earned a trip to the state playoffs.
The Rovers in essence clinched their state berth since 2003 by making the finals with a 40-30 win over Ridgway in the semifinals because the Elkers’ 41-30 win over Port Allegany in the consolation final avoided the possible “true-second” match with the Rovers already beating Ridgway.
Brockway fell to Brookville, 51-18, in its first trip to the finals since beating the Raiders for its second straight D9 title back in 2003.
That means a preliminary round matchup Monday against District 4 runner-up Muncy at a D4 site that wasn’t known by press time. The winner then advances to Thursday’s first round in Hershey against WPIAL champion Burrell.
“We had 10 team goals and one of them was top two in District 9 and our other goal is to qualify to wrestle in Hershey,” Rovers head coach Eric Grecco said. “It’s a tough goal, but we’re super-proud of what these kids were able to accomplish. They stuck together as a team. We’re really happy. For 15 years to not reach the state tournament, we’re happy to end that drought.”
The Rovers started with their semifinal win over Ridgway, a team they beat 46-24 in December. They won nine of the first 10 bouts — three forfeits and six wins on the mat — to build an insurmountable 40-6 lead. From there, they forfeited the final four bouts to Bryce Barclay, Lukas and Logen McClain, and Jake Wickett to set the final score.
On the mat, the Rovers got wins from Eric Johnson (11-7 decision) at 170, Justin Smith (8-7 decision) at 220, Hayden Thompson (pin) at heavyweight, Dom Inzana (4-0 decision) at 113 and Ben Glasl (pin) at 120.
The feature bout of the match had two state-ranked 120-pounders meet at 126 where the Rovers’ No. 6 Anthony Glasl beat No. 10 Kyle Bush, 2-1.
After that, the Rovers ran into the Brookville buzz-saw and managed four wins — Cody McClintick’s pin of Elliot Park at 182, Dom Inzana’s 4-3 win over Parker Fleming at 113, Anthony Glasl’s 6-4 overtime win over Cabe Park at 120 and Andrew Hickman’s pin of Cole LaBenne at 160.
“With Brookville, we were hoping to compete a little bit better but Brookville came out firing and credit to them,” Grecco said. “We’ll try to work and improve and get them back at (individual) districts.”
In the quarterfinal matchups, No. 3 seed Ridgway beat No. 6 Redbank Valley for the second time this year, 37-36, while No. 4 Port Allegany knocked off No. 5 Johnsonburg, 34-29.