When it comes time for the wrestling postseason, one team is always consistent and a contender: Lake-Lehman.
In the 22-year history of the District 2 Duals Tournament, Lake-Lehman has missed out on the tournament just once. That’s more appearances than any other Wyoming Valley Conference team.
The Black Knights have also been in the finals of the District 2 Class 2A Duals 14 times — more than any other team in the entire district. Lehman’s five duals championships in Class 2A are also the most in District 2.
So when the WVC Division 2 champion Black Knights (5-0) host the quarterfinals and semifinals of the tournament starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, history will be on their side.
But it’s not that easy.
The teams that are traveling to Lehman Township tonight are no pushovers, and all three pose a threat to the Black Knights. Lehman opens with Montrose, which is the No. 4 seed from the Lackawanna League, but returns five district medalists from the past, including 126-pounder Joe Hester, who is currently unbeaten this year with a record of 25-0.
The other quarterfinal matchup at Lake-Lehman pits defending 2A duals champ Honesdale – with half of the lineup participating on last year’s championship team – against WVC No. 3 seed Wyoming Area, which gave the Black Knights their closest WVC dual this season, a 20-point margin.
Lake-Lehman is one of four sites for tonight’s event. The other 2A site is at Western Wayne where the top-seeded Wildcats will face fourth-seeded Berwick in the quarterfinals, and WVC No. 2 seed Nanticoke takes on Scranton Prep.
In Class 3A, Coughlin is the WVC host and will meet Abington Heights in the quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. The other quarter at Coughlin is Hazleton Area vs. West Scranton. Delaware Valley is the site for the other Class 3A pod. The Lackawanna League No. 1 seed Warriors take on WVC No. 4 seed Dallas in the opening round with Scranton facing Tunhannock in the other dual in Matamoras.
Once the quarterfinal rounds are complete, the semis and first consolation round will also be held. The winners advance to Pittston Area High School on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. with the 3A wrestlebacks, and 10:30 a.m. to begin the 2A consolation round. The third-place matches are set for noon, and the finals are scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
A CRUSADE TO HISTORY
Coughlin grabbed the WVC No. 1 seed in Class 3A last week by defeating Tunkhannock and claiming the undisputed Division 1 title for the first time in school history.
The Crusaders are looking for a little more history in the duals tournament as they are a hosting site for the first time. With two wins today, Coughlin will reach the finals of the duals for just the second time in history. The only other time the team made the finals was in 2012 when it fell to Delaware Valley.
DEFENDING THE TITLE
Hazleton Area is the reigning District 2 Class 3A Duals champion after beating Delaware Valley in last season’s final.
The Cougars enter this year’s event as the No. 3 seed from the WVC and take on Lackawanna League No. 2 seed West Scranton in the quarterfinals at Coughlin. The Cougars are the most successful school in D2 history when it comes to duals titles having won the tournament six times.
Hazleton Area and Tunkhannock are the two teams that have given Coughlin its toughest duals this season, both losing to the Crusaders by 15 points.