Jaquay, Finch, Black first county trio to medal in same year since 1993
HERSHEY, Pa. — This winter season had already seen a number of “first time in a long time” moments.
It got quite a few more at the Giant Center in Hershey Friday as Sheffield’s Ethan Finch and Eisenhower’s Logan Jaquay and Cael Black became the first trio of Warren County wrestlers to medal in the same postseason since 1993. That year, Youngsville’s Jim Hoffner and Matt Kiser and Warren’s Joe Farr and Mike Rodgers all won state medals, with Hoffner taking home the gold.
Jaquay will wrestle for third place at 120 against Notre Dame Green Pond’s Brandan Chletsos. Finch (182) and Black (220) will each wrestle for fifth place in their respective weight classes. Finch takes on Burrell’s Richard Feroce and Black will square off with Mount Union’s Jake Ryan.
Jaquay became the first Knight to win multiple state medals, and he and Black are the first duo to do so for Ike in the same season since Dave Osborne and Mitch Straight in 2008. Black is just the second underclassman to win a state medal for the Knights. The first? Jaquay two years ago.
Finch ended a 28-year state medal drought for the Wolverines. Terry Schrader’s fifth place finish in 1992 was the last time a Sheffield wrestler found his way to the medal stand.
The Parade of Champions starts at 1:45 p.m. with the final set of matches to start at 2 p.m. today.
Jaquay went into the semifinals knowing the task ahead. Troy’s Sheldon Seymour is the defending state champion and, like Jaquay, had only one blemish on his record coming into the match.
Seymour got a takedown and near fall just past the midway point of the first period to open a 5-0 lead. Jaquay scored a takedown a minute into the second period to close the gap to 5-2. Seymour escaped with 30 seconds left to take a 6-2 lead into the third. Jaquay began the third on bottom and quickly reversed to get within two at 6-4. Seymour escaped just before the one minute mark and fought off the rest of the way for a 7-4 win and the chance to defend his title.
Jaquay dropped into the consi semis and a postseason rubber match with Reynolds’ Cole Bayless. Bayless handed Jaquay his first defeat of the season in the District 10 title match, but Jaquay topped Bayless a week later for the region title.
After a scoreless first period, Jaquay opened the second on bottom. He scored a quick escape and then a takedown for a 3-0 advantage. Bayless escaped with 20 seconds left, but Jaquay countered with a takedown and nearfall to take an 8-1 lead into the third. With just over 30 seconds left in the match, Jaquay scored another takedown and nearfall and rode out Bayless for the 11-1 major decision.
Finch opened the night with a match against Tamaqua’s Nate Wickersham. Scoreless after one, Wickersham started the second on bottom. He was able to score a reversal, but Finch quickly escaped. With just under 40 seconds left in the period, Wickersham scored the first takedown of the match. He rode out Finch the rest of the way to take a 4-1 lead into the third. Finch quickly reversed out of the bottom position to cut the lead to 4-3 in the third. He scored a nearfall to take a 6-4 lead, but Wickersham escaped with just under a minute to go to make it 6-5. Finch held on for the win and a spot in the consolation semifinals.
In the consi semis, he met Saucon Valley’s Dane Csencsits. Csencsits scored a late takedown to take a 2-0 lead into the second. Finch escaped with just under a minuted to go in the period. Csencsits grabbed another takedown to stretch the lead to 4-1 going to the third. Csencsits scored a takedown early in the third, but Finch quickly escaped. Finch wasn’t able to get Csencsits and dropped a 6-2 decision.
Black started the nightcap with a chance to do something he hadn’t done all season. Beat Maplewood’s Joey King. King won a 7-0 decision during their December dual meet, then scored 3-1 and 2-1 decisions in the section and district finals, respectively.
The two wrestled to a scoreless first period and King opened the second on bottom. He got the escape just about 30 seconds in, but Black came back with a takedown for a 2-1 lead. King quickly escaped again to tie it at 2-2. Black scored a late takedown in the second for a 4-2 lead going to the third. He started on bottom and, though he didn’t notch an escape point, he didn’t allow King to turn him either as Black came away with the 4-2 win.
Black squared off with Brookville’s Nathan Taylor in the consi semis. Neither wrestler was able to score in the first period and Taylor started the second in the down position and quickly escaped. Taylor followed with a takedown for a 3-0 advantage. Taylor scored a pair of late nearfalls to take a 9-0 lead into the third. Black grabbed a third period takedown, but Taylor escaped for a 10-2 lead. Taylor grabbed another late takedown and nearfall for the 15-2 major.
Jaqauy picked up right where he left off when wrestling began Friday. After feeling each other out for most of the first period, Jaquay secured a late takedown and went to work on Faith Christian’s Eric Alderfer. He secured his medal and advanced to the semifinals with an 8-2 win.
Finch’s two morning matches were polar opposites. In his opening bout, Finch was deadlocked, 2-2, with Huntingdon’s Myles Baney in the third period. Finch secured a late takedown to advance with a 4-2 decision.
Finch’s second bout ended rather abruptly in the first period. Neither Finch nor Line Mountain’s Jacob Feese had a point when Finch shot in for a takedown that ended in a pinning combination. With seven seconds to go in the period, the official’s hand slapped the mat and Finch had himself a spot on the podium.
Black wrestled a pair of grinding matches in the first session. He was unable to register a point in his 3-0 quarterfinal loss to Chestnut Ridge’s Duane Knisely. Knisely had a takedown and escape to move on to the semifinals. Black then met his first familiar opponent of the day in the consolation round, Reynolds’ Evan Miller. The two first met in the District 10 duals where Black secured a 6-4 decision. They then squared off in the District 10 championship semifinals with Black winning 3-2. They met again for third place at regionals with Black picking up another 3-2 decision. With a state medal on the line, it was deja vu all over again as Black scored a takedown and an escape to come away with a third consecutive 3-2 decision over Miller.