HAZLETON — Two Berwick wrestlers – Kevin Laubach and Will Masteller – reached the 100-win milestone this season as seniors.
That could only be a good thing for freshman Trent Kowalski, who has been working out with the duo, as all three are around the same weight.
Kowalski, a 160-pounder, pulled off the biggest upset of the day on Friday at the District 2 Class 3A Championships by defeating No. 2 seed Michael Carr from Abington Heights 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
I just stayed in position and tried to wear him out, stay heavy on top, said Kowalski, who improved to 20-7 this season with two victories as the No. 7 seed in his bracket on Friday. It feels good (to pull the upset) but mainly I had nothing to lose.
Kowalski, who also defeated Crestwood's Aaron Baratta on Friday and will face West Scranton senior Declan Haggerty in this morning's semifinals which start at 11 a.m. He is joined in the semis by his two partners in the wrestling room. Laubach, who is one of just three undefeated wrestlers remaining in the district, improved to 35-0 this season with a pair of pins in less than a minute at the 145-pound bracket.
Masteller, a 170-pounder, also won twice on Friday to move on. He defeated Abington Heights' Austin Bennett in the preliminaries before knocking off Delaware Valley's Dan Favaro in the quarters.
They push me and make me better and they're always good for me, Kowalski said.
Berwick almost had another upset when seventh-seeded Pete Talanca (138) was defeating Abington's Nick Senuk late in the third period in the quarters. But Senuk came back with a reversal and back points late in the match to win 13-12.
Delaware Valley leads the race for the team championship after the first day with 98 points. The Warriors are edging Wyoming Valley West by 15 points. The Warriors and Spartans, who met for the duals championship last month, each have eight semifinalists and will be matched up twice in the semis and the possibility for three matchups in the finals.
We just got to stick with the gameplan we've had all year now we just have to get to the finals and get district medals, Spartans coach Drew Feldman said. The whole year I've been telling them get a district title, get your name on the wall make yourself a name in our school.
One of the premier matches of the quarters for the Spartans came at 220 when Ian Moran was losing to Berwick's Tyler Ohl in the second period. Moran turned that around by catching and pinning Ohl to move on. He will face Pittston Area's Jake Vaxmonsky in the semis.
We knew we had to go and wrestle our best, Feldman said. He had to go out there and wrestle great and he did.
Coughlin's five semifinalists are second in the Wyoming Valley West, while Pittston Area and Dallas each have four in this morning's semis. All eight WVC teams are represented in the final four of respective brackets. Crestwood, Hazleton Area and Tunkhannock will each have two participants with the chance for a gold medal.