High School Wrestling: Warriors, Patriots each pick up Wyoming Valley Conference victories

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch | January 22nd, 2016 2:25 pm

The Wyoming Area and Pittston Area wrestling teams each put an end to tough stretches by returning to the win column Wednesday night in Wyoming Valley Conference matches.

Wyoming Area got its first win Division 2 and ended the week 1-2 in the division and 7-5 overall.

Pittston Area improved to 2-4 in Division 1 and 3-6 overall.

Wyoming Area 54, Nanticoke 15

Patrick Heck’s 28-second pin at 138 was one of five first-period pins Wednesday night when Wyoming Area handled Nanticoke, 54-15, in a WVC Division 2 match.

Zach Briggs (170), Damon Barhight (220), Justin Esposito (113) and Kendrick Beyer (132) also put away their opponents in less than two minutes.

After going 4-0 in dual meets in December, the Warriors had their first winning day of January. Their only other wins in the month had been during a 2-3 effort at the Jersey Shore Duals.

Nicholas Tomlinson added a pin at 285 while Robin Wrobleski (120) and Tyler Martin (126) won decisions.

Pittston Area 57, Berwick 10

Pittston Area ended a six-match losing streak when it defeated visiting Berwick, 57-10, in a WVC Division 1 match Wednesday.

Niko Cinquegrani won in 29 seconds at 220.

John Martinez (152) and Gino Coffay (285) also won by pin, Allen Thomas (182) won a decision and the Patriots picked up six forfeits.

Wallenpaupack 48, Pittston Area 21

Wallenpaupack won five straight bouts to open a 27-3 lead on the way to a 48-21 victory in Monday’s non-league match at Pittston Area.

John Martinez, at 152, and Niko Cinquegrani, at 195, had first-period pins for Pittston Area.

Brandon Lopez (106), Josh McGilvary (145) and Jason DeBoard (160) each won decisions.

Tunkhannock 75, Pittston Area 6

Gino Coffay opened the Jan. 16 match against the WVC Division 1 leaders by winning a pin in 43 seconds for the Patriots at 285 pounds before Tunkhannock took the next 13 bouts for a 75-6 rout.

Lackawanna Trail Duals

Scranton Prep’s Thor Balavage, a senior from Avoca, posted the 100th win of his career Jan. 16 at the Lackawanna Trail Duals.

Balavage went 5-0 on the day with the first win pushing him to the milestone. His pin of Valley View’s Matthew Pittsman in 1:36 at 285 pounds produced the 100th victory.

After spending the whole season wrestling at 285, Balavage had dropped to 220 earlier in the week. He won three times at 220 and twice at 285 during the Lackawanna Trail Duals as Scranton Prep went 3-2.

Balavage, a defending District 2 Class AA champion and state qualifier, has since added another win to improve to 21-2 this season after going 40-4 a year ago. He has a 104-30 career record, including 15-14 as a freshman and 29-10 as a sophomore.

While suffering both of his losses by decision, Balavage has not allowed any of his victims to go the distance this season. He has 15 pins, five forfeits and a technical fall.

Scranton Prep is 4-1 in Division 2 of the Lackawanna League and 8-7 overall.

Thor and younger brother Ivan Balavage, a sophomore who is 19-3 at 182 and 195 pounds, are second on the team in wins.

Jersey Shore Duals

Zach Briggs went 5-0 at 170 pounds Jan. 16 when Wyoming Area was 2-3 at the Jersey Shore Duals.

Briggs had two pins, a major decision and a win by injury default among his victories.

Wyoming Area beat Wyoming Valley West, 38-31, and Mount Carmel, 37-36. The Mount Carmel match was decided by tiebreaker criteria.

The Warriors lost to Muncy, 57-18; Greensburg-Salem, 59-15; and Warrior Run, 60-23.

Stephen Sokach-Minnick (152), Adam Buczynski (182) and Damon Barhight (285) had first-period pins in the win over Wyoming Valley West.

Barhight finished 4-1 on the day at 220 and 285 with a pair of pins.

Pittston Area wrestler Jarrod Cooper (red and blue head gear) came on strong in the third period but fell short against Wallenpaupack’s Brennan Hannon at 126.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_PA-Autism-Game-5.jpgPittston Area wrestler Jarrod Cooper (red and blue head gear) came on strong in the third period but fell short against Wallenpaupack’s Brennan Hannon at 126. Tony Callaio | For Sunday Dispatch

By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@s24530.p831.sites.pressdns.com.