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HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: Doak, Oliver remain in medal hunt after Day 2 of PIAA Championships

by DUSTIN FILLOY on March 08, 2014 10:29 AM

HERSHEY — For Heritage Conference stalwarts Drew Doak, Scott Thompson and Tyler Oliver, Day 2 of the PIAA Class AA wrestling championships sadly ended the way it started, with three disappointing losses.

Blairsville’s Doak (152 pounds) and Thompson (182) and United’s Oliver (195) each began Friday with a quarterfinal-round loss to eliminate them from the gold-medal round.

Doak and Oliver rebounded to win their second-round consolation bouts before falling in the consolation quarterfinals to drop into seventh-place consolation bouts.

Thompson, a three-time state qualifier and a 2012 state medalist, wasn’t so lucky, losing in the quarterfinals and then dropping a heartbreaking decision in a second-round consolation bout.

The top eight finishers in each weight division take home a medal.

The finals will be held simultaneously with the third-, fifth- and seventh-place consolation matches today.

The Class AA championship bouts begin at 2 p.m. today and the Class AAA championship matches start at 7 p.m.

“I love my guys and I’ll go to battle with them any time, but I’m very disappointed. We really underachieved the last two days,” Blairsville coach D.J. Doak said.

Doak (35-6) served up a second-period takedown, just the fifth he’s given up this year, and dropped a 3-1 decision to Calvary Christian’s Richie Cerebe in the quarterfinals.

A resilient Doak scrapped back and tallied four takedowns to topple Pius X’s Vinny Vonelli, 10-8, in a second-round consolation match.

Brookeville’s Brodie Zacherl, a Northwest Regional tournament champ, then blanked Doak, 9-0, in the consolation quarterfinals.

In their only other meeting this year, Doak nipped Zacherl, 2-1, in an ultimate rideout in a dual meet on Dec. 11.

Doak, the first wrestler in Blairsville history to claim state medals in his first three years of high school, will compete in the seventh-place consolation match at 152 for the third straight year when he takes on Fort LeBoeuf’s Brad Malinowski today.

“I know he’s disappointed right now,” D.J. Doak said of his son Drew, who joined the school’s only state champ, Matt Moore, as the only other wrestler in Blairsville history to have garnered three state medals. “But in the long run, if he stays healthy and does the right things, he’s going to be Blairsville’s first four-time state medalist and hopefully our second state champ.”

Thompson (36-4) lost back-to-back one-point decisions, including a frustrating 4-3 loss in the quarterfinals to Stephen Loiseau, an unbeaten Southeast Regional tournament champ who ultimately advanced to the finals.

Then, Colton Dull, of Bermudian Springs, eliminated Thompson by handing him a 7-4 loss in a second-round consolation match.

“Lots of guys get knocked off here,” D.J. Doak said. “That’s why Pennsylvania’s the best wrestling state in the country. We have the best wrestlers, from top to bottom, and every time you go out there in the state tournament you’re wrestling one of the best.

“Scott’s definitely disappointed. He’s a three-time qualifier and he wanted to place again, but he’s got one more year, and I’m confident he’ll come back better and stronger.”

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