Abington Heights won twice Friday to make it to Saturday, the final day of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Dual Meet Wrestling Championships, as one of the top eight Class 3A teams in the state.
The Comets, who had posted a 40-30 victory over Gettysburg in the morning in the first round of consolations, advanced with a 39-26 victory over Central Dauphin in their second-round, night match at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Tomas Delos Rios clinched the win with a pin of Carson Cassell at 4:57 of their 215-pound bout. He gave the Comets a 24-point lead and assured them of no worse than a tie when they already had the tiebreaker advantage.
Unbeaten junior 106-pounder Luke Sirianni, who provided the clinching win in the morning, then made sure there would be no tiebreaker necessary when he won by major decision, 14-6, over Liam Gallagher for a 39-17 lead with two bouts left.
Abington Heights, the Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 Class 3A champion, will wrestle Saturday at 9 a.m. against Connellsville, a 37-21 winner over Quakertown.
The Comets will wrestle up to three times Saturday. A loss to Connellsville would mean a seventh-place tie. A win, then a loss, would leave Abington Heights in a fifth-place tie. Two wins would give the Comets the chance to wrestle in the match to determine third and fourth place in the state.
Abington Heights won four of the first five and seven of the first nine bouts against Central Dauphin.
Cole Kroptavich opened with a pin of Nathan Fletcher in 2:35 of their 126-pound bout.
Central Dauphin came back to tie it for the only time with a pin at 132, but Brian Heard, Austin Smith and Sal Schiavone won in succession from 138 through 152 to give the Comets a 21-5 lead.
Heard won, 8-6, over Michael Beers. Smith pinned Arthur Ruud in 1:24. Schiavone pinned Jerimiah Craig in 43 seconds.
Central Dauphin broke up the momentum at 160, but then Abington Heights again showed the ability to win both with dominant efforts and in close bouts.
Hutch Lynott downed Drew Weldon, 1-0, at 172.
Caleb Marzolino followed with a technical fall of Eli Poyer, 16-1, in 4:57 at 189.
Marzolino and Delos Rios both finished bounds with three seconds left to accumulate enough points to clinch the win.
The only Abington Heights loss in the tournament came in the Round of 16 Thursday against Nazareth, which added two more wins Friday to reach the state final against District 11 rival Bethlehem Catholic.
Details of the earlier win over Gettysburg: https://nepasportsnation.com/abington-heights-wrestlers-advance-with-piaa-class-3a-consolation-win/.