District 1 AAA Duals quarterfinals preview

by Nate Heckenberger, PA-Wrestling.com

Posted on January 30, 2020

Eight teams remain in the District 1-3A Duals and by Saturday evening, four will have punched their tickets to the PIAA Duals.

This is the double-elimination portion of the tournament, with the quarterfinals starting at 6 pm, Friday, at Upper Dublin High. The semifinals and first round of consolations will follow. Saturday afternoon, the consolation semifinals begin at 1, with the championship and consolation finals slated for 3 pm.

Here's a look at the quarterfinal matchups:

No. 1 Quakertown (17-0) v. No. 8 Neshaminy (13-5)

Ranked wrestlers - Quakertown: Zach Borzio (No. 3, 106); Kyle Miller (4, 120); Zack Lewis (3, 132); Domenic DeFalco (2, 138); Patrick McCoy (5, 145); Ralph Martin (HM, 220); Jeremy McGuigan (5, 285)
Neshaminy: Calvin Lederer (HM, 120); Zac Martin (1, 138); Gunner Spain (4, 170); Jason Pascucci (4, 182)

Outlook: The Panthers keep chugging along as the only undefeated team in the district. They will get a change to avenge a first-round loss to Neshaminy (32-27) in last season's tournament. Each starter has a winning record, nine with 20 or more wins this season, leading to a district-leading 70.1 win percentage. Quakertown is also an astounding plus-436 in bonus points in bouts wrestled.

All but two of Neshaminy's starters have winning records, but the Redskins have given up twice as many pins as Quakertown. Neshaminy will need to figure out a way to limit points, as the Panthers' balanced lineup leads District 1 with an average of 60 points per dual meet. Martin and DeFalco could renew their rivalry, after facing each other five times last season. Martin leads the series, 3-2. DeFalco is currently at 97 career wins.

The last time Quakertown won in the quarters, 2009, it went on to win the title. Neshaminy, meanwhile, has not reached the semifinals since 2003.

No. 2 Council Rock South (8-1) v. No. 10 Interboro (9-4)

Ranked wrestlers - Council Rock South: Cavan Kinne (2, 106); Kyle Waterman (4, 126); Mohammed Savriddinov (5, 132); Cole Flanagan (5, 145); Joel Martsinovsky (5, 152); Matt Colajezzi (2, 160); Giani Gilch (3, 182)
Interboro: Victor Quintiliana (5, 106); Nate Shippey (HM, 113); Domenic D'Agostino (4, 152)

Outlook: The Bucs are in uncharted territory in their first district quarterfinal in school history. They get the pleasure of taking on the most decorated program in the tournament's history. South, winner of five titles, with as many runner-ups, has reached the semifinals every year since 2004, except 2012, when it had to forfeit out with a skin issue.

The Golden Hawks are starting to round into form, getting Flanagan back, and at 145, so Martsinovsky can stay in the lineup. Due to many new faces, some injuries and a challenging schedule, South's winning percentage is only 56.9 percent, and its plus/minus in bonus is just plus-97. But the Hawks are built for this time of year, and are looking for their seventh straight trip to Hershey.

Interboro will try to pull off another upset by going big. Against No. 7 Central Bucks East, Interboro won by fall in seven of its 10 wins. The Bucs have given up more major decisions and technical falls than they've won, but have 42 more pins than they've surrendered. The Hawks don't find their way to their backs a ton, this time of year, but a blitzkrieg might be the only way Interboro has a shot.

No. 3 Spring-Ford (12-1) v. No. 6 West Chester Henderson (14-1)

Ranked wrestlers - Spring-Ford: Cole Smith (HM, 106); Quinn Tobin (1, 132); Zach Needles (4, 138); Jack McGill (3, 152); Joey Milano (1, 182)
West Chester Henderson: Killian Delaney (2, 120); Sam McMonagle (2, 126)

Outlook: Fittingly, as the dual with the two closest seeds, this one appears to have plenty of potential swing matches. Both lineups are pretty solid, up and down, though the Rams seemingly have to have the edge in talent. History is on Spring-Ford's side, as well. No one in the tournament has reached the quarterfinals more than the Rams, who are 9-9 there, all-time. Henderson is winless in six tries in the quarters, and Ches-Mont teams are 2-8 against Pioneer Athletic Conference schools at this point in the tournament.

Past trends don't guarantee anything in the present, but the Warriors will have to get the matchups they want, and capitalize, if they want to have a shot. The struggle will be to score enough points against the battle-tested Rams. Henderson is third in the district with 155 pins, but Spring-Ford has given up the second-fewest, 41. Only Quakertown has given up less points in duals than the Rams, who average 16 points against. Henderson is not far behind, giving up 18.

This is the 10th straight season the Rams have reached quarters, and they've won six of the previous nine matchups. They've reached the finals the last two seasons and have won their last three duals against Ches-Mont foes in this tournament.

No. 5 Owen J. Roberts (14-2) v. No. 13 Garnet Valley (16-4)

Ranked wrestlers - Owen J. Roberts: Antonio Petrucelli (1, 145); Connor Quinn (3, 160); Austin Boaman (5, 170)
Garnet Valley: Griffin Hollingsworth (HM, 126)

Outlook: The Jaguars provided the shocker of the tournament when they upset No. 4 Council Rock North, 33-32, in the first round. After going 4-4 in its first eight duals, Garnet has won 12 in a row and enters with a ton of momentum. These two teams are familiar foes, having faced each other five times the last four seasons. Since Garnet got by OJR in the 2017 quarters, the Wildcats have won the last four, including their matchup in December, 52-21. With Garnet's improvement, it figures to be a closer battle in the rematch.

Against North, Garnet Valley split the matches, but was remarkable limiting the Indians', who average 49 points per dual. Owen J. puts up 53 a dual, and has the firepower to score big. Despite owning a losing record in bouts determined by decision, OJR is top five in the district in majors, tech falls and pins. As a result, the Wildcats are plus-225 in bonus, while Garnet is just plus-84.

Expect a hard-fought, gritty struggle between these two postseason powers, and the Jags relish the role of underdogs. Garnet is 1-4, all-time, in the quarterfinals, and eye its first state qualification since 2014. Owen J. is in quarters for the 10th time in the last 11 years, and has four wins there. Every time the Wildcats have reached the semis, they've qualified for states, while also advancing to Hershey in 2017, after losing to Garnet.

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