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Last updated: February 01. 2014 1:17AM - 1195 Views
By Dave Rosengrant drosengrant@civitasmedia.com



Pittston Area's Kevin Wesolowski, top, controls Wyoming Valley West's T.J. Pashinski en route to a pin in a 170-pound bout during a dual earlier this season. If the Patriots and Spartans are to square off again this season, it will be in today's District 2 Class 3A Duals championship match. But neither team is looking that far ahead because there's other matches to worry about first.
Pittston Area's Kevin Wesolowski, top, controls Wyoming Valley West's T.J. Pashinski en route to a pin in a 170-pound bout during a dual earlier this season. If the Patriots and Spartans are to square off again this season, it will be in today's District 2 Class 3A Duals championship match. But neither team is looking that far ahead because there's other matches to worry about first.
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What: District 2 Duals

Where: The 109th Field Artillery Armory (Kingston Armory)

When: Today with wrestling beginning at 10 a.m. with the finals and third-place matches tentatively scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Admission: Adults $6, students $4; one price for the whole day.

At stake: The winners advance to the PIAA Team Championships Thursday at Giant Center, Hershey.

For live updates throughout the day: follow beat writer Dave Rosengrant on Twitter @TLdrosengrant



Everyone involved seems to be excited about District 2 high school wrestling being held at the 109th Field Artillery Armory (Kingston Armory).


The anticipation ends today with what officials called a “test drive” as the District 2 Duals Tournament kicks off this morning at 10 at the armory and wrestling runs until the finals and third-place matches begin at approximately 4 p.m. The Class 2A and 3A events will be held simultaneously with eight mats being on the main floor of the historic venue.


There certainly won’t be any lack of excitement for fans, wrestlers or coaches in attendance with many storylines to follow like how there may be parity in Class 2A and upsets could be aplenty. Or over in Class 3A, where everyone is expecting a rematch between Delaware Valley and Wyoming Valley West. Not so fast. There are other teams who want to have a say in that.


Here are those storylines and many more involving the nine WVC teams participating and a Lackawanna League summary for today’s District 2 Duals Tournament.


CLASS 3A


WVC No. 1 Wyoming Valley West


Record: 6-0 Division I, 15-5 overall


Last appearance: 2013 (lost to Delaware Valley in the finals)


Last championship: 2001


Possible lineup: 106 — Wayne Smith, So.; 113 — James Wright, Jr.; 120 — Alex Tirko, Sr.; or Cory Yashinski, So.; 126 — Bobby Lipski, Fr.; 132 — Travis Roper, Sr.; 138 — Jon Lagoski, So.; 145 — Nathan Cheek, Sr.; 152 — James Donovan, Sr.; 160 — Cody Cordes, Jr.; 170 — Jamaar Taylor, Sr.; 182 — TJ Pashinski, So.; 195 — Payton Phillips, Sr.; 220 — Ian Moran, Sr.; 285 — Matt Dubaskas, Sr.


About the Spartans: It was two weeks ago that the Spartans started a three-match losing streak. But all those losses were close — and to superb teams. That streak ended in demanding fashion a week ago today with a win over Berwick by 53 points. So they’re more than ready for this. They also have a pair of 100-match winners in Nathan Cheek and Travis Roper.


WVC No. 2 Pittston Area


Record: 5-1 Division I, 9-8 overall


Last appearance: 2013 (lost to Wyoming Valley West in the semifinals)


Last championship: 2004


Possible lineup: 106 — Chris Starinsky, So.; 113 — Zack Meckes, So.; 120 — Tony Halat, Sr.; 126 — Braulio Garcia, Jr.; 132 — Tyler Lutecki, Sr.; 138 — Dave DeLeo, Jr.; 145 — Dan Gambini, Jr.; 152 — Ryan Joyce, Sr.; 160 — Matt Romanoski, Jr.; 170 — Kevin Wesolowski, Sr.; 182 — Chris Cummings, Sr.; 195 — Troy Platukus, Sr.; 220 — Jake Vaxmonsky, Jr. or Jon Armitage, Jr.; 285 — open


About the Patriots: After losing to Valley West to open the divisional slate in early December, the Patriots have been wrestling well and may be peaking at the right time now. Their opening match is with Wallenpaupack and won’t be easy, but having momentum on their side will go a long way. Senior Tyler Lutecki is closing in on 100 career wins.


WVC No. 3 Hazleton Area


Record: 4-2 Division I, 8-5 overall


Last appearance: 2010 (beat Delaware Valley in the finals)


Last championship: 2010


Possible lineup: 106 — Chris Lasecki, Fr.; 113 — Carlos Cruz, So.; 120 — Jacob Maurer, Fr.; 126 — Jimmy Hoffman, Fr.; 132 — Anthony Martoccio, Fr.; 138 — James Brielmeier, So.; 145 — Keith Lowery, So.; 152 — Derek Spachman, Jr.; 160 — open; 170 — Carson Kinney, Fr.; 182 — Steve Longazel, So.; 195 — Justice Agramonte, Sr.; 220 — Jesus Castillo, Sr. or Dewel Tejeda, Jr.; 285 — open


About the Cougars: Hazleton Area is a young team and appears to be starting what could be something very special. The Cougars are in the tournament after a three-year hiatus and although they face the hottest team entering the event in West Scranton, they have the talent to get a win and advance to the semifinals.


WVC Wild Card Dallas


Record: 2-4 Division I, 8-11 overall


Last appearance: 2013 (lost to Delaware Valley in the quarterfinals)


Last championship: none


Possible lineup: 106 — Jack Turner, Fr.; 113 — Anthony Deluca, So.; 120 — Justin Hutchins, Fr.; 126 — open; 132 — open; 138 — Xavier Barber, Fr.; 145 — open; 152 — Nick Luzetski, Sr.; 160 — Logan Brace, Sr.; 170 — Connor Martinez, Sr.; 182 — Cole Dixon, So.; 195 — Dominic Oliveri, Sr.; 220 — John Hutchins, Sr.; 285 — Ryan Monk, Jr.


About the Mountaineers: They face Delaware Valley in a rematch of last year’s opening round match that didn’t go well for Dallas. While the Warriors are still a very dominant team, but not as powerful as last year, the Mountaineers are in the same boat. It will be an uphill battle for Dallas in the first round, but the good thing is that there are wrestlebacks.


Around the Lackawanna League


Delaware Valley (9-5) is the three-time defending champion of the event and is looking to become just the second team in tournament history to win four in a row. The last time that was accomplished was Hazleton Area in 2010. The Warriors are also coming off their sixth straight Lackawanna League Division I title and have been in the duals finals four straight seasons.


West Scranton (18-1) enters as the hottest team in the entire district winning 17 in a row. The wins have been impressive as well with victories over District 4 power Towanda, WVC Division II co-champion Lake-Lehman and Lackawanna League Division II champion Western Wayne among them.


Scranton (6-7) can easily be underrated because it advanced to the event winning three straight LL Division I duals. But the Knights have four wrestlers with 20 wins or more and should not be looked over.


Wallenpaupack (16-6) has a full lineup, and that’s always dangerous for opposing teams. The Buckhorns, who are coached by 1990 Coughlin grad Steve Krushnowski, have four studs that can compete with any in the state.


CLASS 2A


WVC No. 1 Lake-Lehman


Record: 5-1 Division II, 9-6 overall


Last appearance: 2013 (lost to Western Wayne in the finals)


Last championship: 2004


Possible lineup: 106 — open; 113 — RJ Driscoll, Fr.; 120 — open; 126 — Jake Tomolonis, Fr.; 132 — Austin Harry, Sr.; 138 — open; 145 — Jesse Tomolonis, So.; 152 — Tyler Kolb, So.; 160 — Tommy Williams, So.; 170 — Bobby Wright, Sr.; 182 — Derek Dragon, Jr.; 195 — Phil Hettes, Jr.; 220 — Brady Butler, Sr.; 285 — Chris Traver, So.


About the Black Knights: They are in a different position this campaign as opposed to last when they dominated during the regular season. Lehman now has a few holes in the lineup and is co-champion of Division II. In the many weights the Black Knights fill, those wrestlers can compete with anyone making the team one of the favorites.


WVC No. 2 Meyers


Record: 5-1 Division II, 9-8 overall


Last appearance: 2013 (lost to Western Wayne in the semifinals)


Last championship: 2011


Possible lineup: 106 — Brennan Phillips, So.; 113 — Colin Pasone, Fr.; 120 — Michael Dempsey, So.; 126 — Dan Semanek, So.; 132 — Eric Hernandez, Sr.; 138 — Tyler Patronick, Jr.; 145 — Gino Setta, So.; 152 — open; 160 — Quince Hutchings, Jr.; 170 — Johntae Nelson, Sr.; 182 — TJ Cistrunk, Jr.; 195 — Miles Davis, Sr.; 220 — Alejandro Velazco, So.; 285 —Kyle Krepich, Sr.


About the Mohawks: Their lone loss in the division came to Lake-Lehman and it’s definitely one they would love to have back. For now, they will focus on Lackawanna Trail in the quarters and a possible match with Western Wayne in the semis in order to get that rematch with the Black Knights. Meyers has wrestled plenty of tough opponents this season and is ready for a shot at upsets now.


WVC No. 3 Wyoming Area


Record: 2-4 Division II, 4-14 overall


Last appearance: 2013 (lost to Western Wayne in the quarterfinals)


Last championship: none


Possible lineup: 106 — Shaun Vasquez, Jr.; 113 — William Shelley, Fr.; 120 — Pat Heck, So.; 126 — Charles Johnson, So.; 132 — Kenny Beyer, Fr.; 138 — Kevin Pish, So.; 145 — Adam Buczynski, Fr.; 152 — Zach Briggs, So.; 160 — Farrad Condry, Sr.; 170 — open; 182 — Matt Dimick, Sr.; 195 — Jude Polit-Moran, Jr.; 220 — Zach O’Brien, Fr.; 285 — open


About the Warriors: It’s three straight years now that the Warriors have qualified for the event. They have been streaking the wrong way beginning today having lost 13 out of 14 duals. They also dropped their last four in the division after starting 2-0. But Wyoming Area has wrestled top teams from out of the area and have a lineup that gives opponents fits. The team faces Blue Ridge in the first round and should be able to advance.


Wild Card 1 GAR


Record: 2-4 Division II, 9-6 overall


Last appearance: 2007 (lost to Lake-Lehman in the semifinals)


Last championship: none


Possible lineup: 106 — Moses Tlatenchi, Fr.; 113 — Anthony Tlatenchi, Jr.; 120 — AJ Luton, Sr.; 126 — Carlos Betances, So.; 132 — Devin Reese, Sr.; 138 — open; 145 — open; 152 — Dawin Reyes, Jr.; 160 — Pedro Cherry, So.; 170 — Rashaun Mathis, Sr.; 182 — Namir Murphy, Fr.; 195 — Mohamed Toure, So.; 220 — Zac Faust, Jr.; 285 — Saul Wilkins, Jr.


About the Grenadiers: It’s a tough draw for GAR, which has been arguably the hottest Class 2A team in the tourney. The Grenadiers have won seven in a row after a tough, late loss to Tunkhannock. Their reward is they get to face Western Wayne in the first round. While they match up well with the Wildcats, Western Wayne may have a little more depth to avoid the upset. If an upset is avoided, GAR should be able to get to the third-place match.


Wild Card 2 Nanticoke


Record: 1-5 Division II, 5-9 overall


Last appearance: 2000 (lost to Lackawanna Trail in the quarterfinals)


Last championship: none


Possible lineup: 106 — David Jones, So.; 113 — Josh Brady, Fr.; 120 — Nelvin Villafranca, Fr.; 126 — Krystal Danielle, Fr.; 132 — open; 138 — Kyle Sorber, Sr.; 145 — Kyle Gavrish, Sr.; 152 — Garrett Allabaugh, Fr.; 160 — Jake Harvey, Fr.; 170 — Derek Fisher, Jr.; 182 — open; 195 — Blake Balderramma, Jr.; 220 — Giacoma Bova, Sr.; 285 — Ryan Zakarauskas, Fr.


About the Trojans: Just getting to this event for the first time in 14 years is quite an accomplishment for the Trojans as they have come a long way over the last year. They face Lake-Lehman in the quarterfinals and may be outmanned, but could still pick up the program’s first win in the tournament since 1999 if it falls into the consolation bracket.


Around the Lackawanna League


Western Wayne (11-12) has won the last two duals championships and have been in the finals three of the last four years and have claimed the Lackawanna League Division II title five consecutive seasons. The team may not have a winning record, but its nonconference duals are against very tough opponents.


Lackawanna Trail (13-6) appears to be hitting stride and getting healthy at the right time having won three in a row with a roster loaded with underclassmen.


Blue Ridge (15-8) doesn’t have a large number on the roster, but it consists of plenty of quality wrestlers. Plus, a winning record goes a long way in building confidence. The team defeated Wyoming Area earlier this season.


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