BERWICK — Dominating.
That’s the only way to describe Wyoming Valley West’s run to a third straight Wyoming Valley Conference Division I championship.
The Spartans capped their commanding divisional performance Saturday afternoon with a powerful 65-12 win over Berwick, becoming the first team to win three straight Division I titles since Pittston Area accomplished the feat in 2006. Even the Hazleton Area team from 2007-10, which won four straight District 2 Class 3A Duals and team championships, didn’t achieve that mark. Now, the Spartans will get ready for the District 2 Class 3A Duals Tournament next weekend.
“They realize how special it is but it’s also something we’re drilling into their heads that this should be consistent — this should be every year,” Spartans coach Drew Feldman said.
Equally impressive is that the Spartans (6-0 division) have held opponents to a combined score of just 109 points, while scoring 314. Their run could last a little longer too as just six of their 13 starters in Saturday’s dual were seniors.
“We should always be winning the division, winning the conference and being in the finals at district duals against No. 1 from Lackawanna,” Feldman added. “That’s where we wanna take the program and the kids are buying into it. They’re getting it done.”
Valley West, which entered with three straight non-conference losses, wasn’t going to let that factor get in the way. In fact, the team used those three close setbacks to Greensburg-Salem, Cedar Cliff and Delaware Valley as motivation. It must have worked as the Spartans won 11 of the 12 contested bouts, picking up bonus points in all but two of them.
One of the wins that earned bonus points was a fall at 113 when Valley West’s James Wright and Dakota Conner went at it in a battle WVC Tournament finalists. The Berwick junior, who took second earlier this month at 106 and bumped up to face Wright, was in the top position and attempting a move but ended up pinning himself working a move with his legs. Wright, who won the 113-pound class three weeks ago, was awarded the fall in 2:22.
“I’m glad to see coaches bumping up and getting the better matchups,” Feldman said. “It’s very rare to see (a wrestler pin himself), but James works on that so much that I’m used to seeing him do that on guys.”
TJ Pashinski (182), Ian Moran (220), Matt Dubaskas (285), Bobby Lipski (126), Travis Roper (132), Cody Cordes (160) and Jamaar Taylor (170) also picked up falls for WVW, while Alex Tirko (120) picked up a second-period technical fall.
Nathan Cheek, who committed to Division I Lock Haven University earlier in the week, and James Donovan earned close decisions at 145 and 152, respectively.
Berwick, which had won two in a row for the first two divisional wins in the Paul Ervin coaching era, got a win via forfeit at 195 and a pin by Brandon Hughes at 138.
The Bulldogs (2-4 Division I) are in the race for the WVC wild card berth for district duals, currently tied with Dallas, but the Mountaineers have the tiebreaker, having won the head-to-head matchup. However, Tunkhannock, which could lock up a share of the Division II championship Monday, is also in the mix and could get the spot due to a better winning percentage.
Coughlin 51, Crestwood 16
The Crusaders picked up their first — and last — win of the Division I season with the victory as Bobby Hawkins (126), James Dankovich (160), Brandon Butry (170) and Tim Pilch (195) all recorded pins.
In a battle of two of the conference’s top 220-pounders, Coughlin’s Paul Cole defeated Tyler Robinson, 7-4 in what was Cole’s second match of the season after suffering an injury during football season.
Lake-Lehman 50, Hanover Area 18
The Black Knights secured a tie for the Division II championship with the win as RJ Driscoll (113), Tyler Kolb (152) and Derek Dragon (170) all won via fall.
Lake-Lehman (5-1) and Meyers (5-1) are currently tied for the division title and are finished with their divisional slates. If Tunkhannock (4-1) defeats Wyoming Area on Monday, there will be three teams to share the championship.
John Sheridan picked up a pin for the Hawkeyes at 285.
Wyoming Valley West 65, Berwick 12
106 — Wayne Smith (WVW) won by forfeit; 113 — James Wright (WVW) pinned Dakota Conner 2:22; 120 — Alex Tirko (WVW) tech fall Lenexx Miedaner 2:37, 16-0; 126 — Bobby Lipski (WVW) pinned Zachary Fish 1:00; 132 — Travis Roper (WVW) pinned Dylan Lee 1:49; 138 — Brandon Hughes (Ber) pinned Jon Lagoski 2:32; 145 — Nathan Cheek (WVW) dec Peter Talanca 7-4; 152 — James Donovan (WVW) dec Zach Kyttle 4-3; 160 — Cody Cordes (WVW) pinned Luke Fisher 2:58; 170 — Jamaar Taylor (WVW) pinned Dallas Arner 4:59; 182 — TJ Pashinski pinned Cody Whitebread :45; 195 — Chris Erickson (Ber) won by forfeit; 220 — Ian Morean (WVW) pinned Stone Force :47; 285 — Matt Dubaskas (WVW) pinned Ryan Dooley 1:53.
Note: Match started at 182 pounds
Coughlin 51, Crestwood 16
106 — no contest; 113 — Dylan Miele (Cre) won by forfeit; 120 — Seth Korch (Cre) won by forfeit; 126 — Bobby Hawkins (Cou) pinned Josh Prezkop 1:54; 132 — Mike Brown (Cou) dec Justin Lukashewski 6-0; 138 — Billy Poray (Cou) dec Dan Ritz 2-0; 145 — Dan McCarroll (Cou) won by forfeit; 152 — Mike Legg (Cre) maj dec Derrick Nunez 15-4; 160 — James Dankovich (Cou) pinned Brett Reidinger :55; 170 — Brandon Butry (Cou) pinned Bryan Vargas :55; 182 — Adam Giovanelli (Cou) won by forfeit; 195 — Tim Pilch (Cou) pinned Luke Modrovsky 1:11; 220 — Paul Cole (Cou) dec Tyler Robinson 7-4; 285 — Pat Pilch (Cou) won by forfeit.
Note: Match started at 285pounds
Lake-Lehman 50, Hanover Area 18
106 — Jeffrey Bennett (Han) won by forfeit; 113 — RJ Driscoll (LL) pinned Bryce Waters 4:36; 120 — no contest; 126 — Jake Tomolonis (LL) won by forfeit; 132 — no contest; 138 — Jesse Tomolonis (LL) won by forfeit; 145 — Austin Harry (LL) won by forfeit; 152 — Tyler Kolb (LL) pinned Ya’Sir Jones 2:50; 160 — Bobby Wright (LL) maj dec Anthony Eck 15-2; 170 — Derek Dragon (LL) pinned Isiah Taylor 3:36; 182 — Josh Bullock (LL) won by forfeit; 195 — Brady Butler (LL) maj dec Kaine Rimmer 17-5; 220 — Khalil Lewis (Han) won by forfeit; 285 — John Sheridan (Han) pinned Chris Traver :36.
Note: Match started at 145 pounds