South Fayette second
In Saturday afternoon’s WPIAL Class AA Team Tournament finals, the Lions looked like a team making its first appearance in those finals, and the inexperience cost them. They made critical errors, lost devastating decisions at 126, 152 and 106 pounds that were winnable and were defeated by Burrell, 35-30, at Chartiers Valley High School.
Both teams qualified for the PIAA Team Tournament, which begins next week. Chartiers-Houston downed Jefferson-Morgan, 42-30, in the battle for the third, and final, qualifying spot.
The loss came against a Burrell team that now has won this team title a record-seven consecutive times and been in these finals for 11 consecutive years. The Bucs (15-5) were the more experienced team and wrestled that way.
No where was that experience more evident than in the very first bout, 126 pounds. Mike Carr led Damon Greenwald, 12-4, early in the second period but saw the Burrell freshman outscored Carr, 12-3, the rest of the way for a 16-15 decision that ignited an already loud Burrell crowd.
But there were others.
At 152, J.J. Walker of South Fayette (10-1) appeared ready to take Burrell’s Phil Marra to overtime tied at 3-3. But Marra got a takedown that appeared to surprise Walker with two seconds to go for a 5-3 victory that gave the Buccaneers a 15-6 lead.
At 106, Jason Roberts got a third-period escape to assure a 3-2 decision over Jason Wolfe that gave Burrell a 17-point lead and put the match out of reach for South Fayette.