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Butler wrestling edged by Hempfield in WPIAL tourney

Sudden Defeat
Butler's Mickey Kreinbucher, top, has control of Hempfield’s Ryan Steffey in the 189-pound bout in Wednesday’s WPIAL Class 3A team quarterfinal playoff. Kreinbucher earned a pin, but Butler fell to the Spartans, 32-31. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

BUTLER TWP — History was not on Butler’s side Wednesday night.

Following a 41-26 defeat of Peters Township in the first-round of the WPIAL Class 3A team wrestling tournament, the Golden Tornado lost to Hempfield 32-31 at Butler High School.

A win would have sent Butler to Saturday’s semifinal round for the first time in the 32 years of the program’s existence.

Butler held a 31-24 lead late on the Spartans, but Hempfield earned a combined eight points in the final two bouts at 127 and 133 pounds.

Leo Iarrapino trailed the Spartans’ Owen Caracciola 6-2 entering the final period at 127. The former managed a reversal to cut the deficit to 6-4 and was on the verge of turning Caracciola onto his back when time expired.

Ethan Lebin then ended Butler’s hopes of advancing by earning a technical fall over Gavin Rush at 133.

Butler had defeated the Spartans 42-30 earlier this season at the Kiski Duals.

“When we beat them, we got pins at 121, 127 and 172,” said Butler coach Scott Stoner. “We needed pins tonight and the opportunities were there, but we didn’t execute well enough. They (Spartans) lost small tonight and that was the difference.”

“Hempfield is a tough team with tough kids.”

The two falls Butler did earn against the Spartans came from Kase Chopp, who needed less than 20 seconds to defeat Logan Williams at 139 to begin the match, and Mickey Kreinbucher, who pinned Ryan Steffey late in the second period.

“A big move for us tonight was moving (Caracciola) from 121 to 127,” said Hempfield coach Vince DeAugustine. “His win was huge for us.

“We knew Butler is strong in the upper weights, but we fought hard tonight.”

That move allowed Butler’s Kelley Schaukowitsch to win by forfeit at 121 and matched Caracciola up against Iarrapino. The former gained the lead with an early takedown before withstanding the late rally.

Hempfield slipped past Trinity in Wednesday’s first round. The match ended in a 33-33 tie, but the Spartans advanced on criteria.

Meanwhile, Butler trailed Peters Township 17-3 after four bouts, but won six of the final eight contests to win going away. The run began with Levi Donnel pinned Eli Schratz in 70 seconds.

Also earning falls against the Indians were Santino Sloboda (107), Kreinbucher (189) and Christie (215).

The Tornado have one team competition left, a home meeting with Bethel Park Feb. 15 when Butler (20-2) will recognize its seniors.

“We loaded up on tournaments this season (winning four of five),” said Stoner. “That’s why we have more wins than a lot of teams, but we believed it would give us more opportunities to develop our younger kids.”


Hempfield 32, Butler 31

(Match started at 139 pounds)

107-Santino Sloboda (B) dec. Nico Kapusta, 11-4; 114-Ty King (H) dec. Ana Malovich, 5-1; 121-Kelley Schaukowitsch (B) won by forfeit; 127-Owen Caracciolo (H) dec. Leo Iarrapino, 6-4; 133-Ethan Lebin (H) tech. fall Gavin Rush, 16-0; 139-Kase Chopp (B) pinned Logan Williams, :14; 145-Hempfield pinned Legend Wilkinson, 1:40; 152-Charley Mesich (H) pinned Dawson Davis, 1:03; 160-Lucas Kapusta (H) dec. Levi Donnel, 5-2; 172-Matt Zinkhann (B) major dec. Pierce Turner, 9-1; 189-Mickey Kreinbucher (B) pinned Ryan Steffey, 3:50; 215-Elijah Binakonsky (H) pinned Landon Christie, 1:14; 285-Ethan Babay (B) won by forfeit


Butler 41, Peters Township 26

(Match started at 133 pounds)

107-Santino Sloboda (B) pinned John Whitehead, :41; 114-Isaac Meyers (PT) dec. Ana Malovich, 8-4; 121-Kelley Schaukowitsch (B) major dec. Brayden Apple, 10-0; 127-John Radnor (PT) won by forfeit; 133-Darius McMillon (PT) tech. fall Gavin Rush, 16-0; 139-Kase Chopp (B) dec. Jackson Spiteri, 8-2; 145-Noah Schratz (PT) pinned Legend Wilkinson, 1:23; 152-Chris Cibrone (PT) pinned Dawson Davis, 3:05; 160-Levi Donnel (B) pinned Eli Schratz, 1:10; 172-Matt Zinkhann (B) major dec. Jiovanni DeChicchis, 10-1; 189-Mickey Kreinbucher (B) pinned Parker Nave, 4:56; 215-Landon Christie (B) pinned Zack Stromock, 1:52; 285-Ethan Babay (B) won by forfeit

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