- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) - Bethlehem Catholic’s Zeke Moisey, who has won two PIAA silver medals, says that he’s been waiting all year for Saturday - his third shot to win a gold medal.

“I think (having two silver medals) puts a little pressure on me, but I wrestle good under pressure. I definitely wrestle good under pressure,” Moisey (43-0) said after stopping Jefferson-Morgan’s John Demaske (42-1), 5-1, in the PIAA Class AA 126-pound semifinals Friday.

Moisey will face Josh Giorgio (38-6) of Schuylkill Valley in the finals. Moisey has two wins over Giorgio this season.

“I wrestled Giorgio twice so I know what to expect, and I’m going to keep my game plan going,” Moisey said “That’s just score points the entire six minutes. Keep the intensity up and keep the pace going six minutes, so I’m excited.”

Meanwhile, Kittanning’s Jason Nolf (145) and Lakeview High School heavyweight Sam Breese will look to win their third gold medals Saturday.

Nolf pinned Dakota Nixon of Muncy with a headlock at the 3:15 mark Friday after building a 15-5 lead. His frustration, though, was still apparent Friday night from a morning match in which his postseason streak of pinning all of his opponents ended. He defeated Brookville’s Zach Vroman, 16-4, in the quarterfinals.

“I was mad because I didn’t get it (a fall) done,” Nolf said. “But I’m pretty excited, as excited as I usually am, I guess, for the state finals.”

Nolf will meet Williamson’s Billy Barnes (42-0) in the finals.

One 2013 Class AA champ was beaten Friday morning when Joey Gould of Bethlehem Catholic defeated George Phillippi of Derry Area, 3-1, at 120 pounds. Gould fell 10-8 to Todd Lane of Southern Columbia in the semifinals.

Five wrestlers who were Class AA runners-up last year will vie for their first gold medals on Saturday. Bethlehem Catholic’s Luke Karam meets Bedford’s Jonathan Gabriel at 113 and Coudersport’s Kyle Bova will face South Fayette’s Jared Walker at 160.

Kane’s Evan Delong will wrestle Richland’s Nico Pecora at 170 and Bermudian Springs’ Tristan Sponseller will go for the 195-pound title against Corry’s Ryan Morris.

On the Class AAA side of the quarterfinal round, one of 10 returning champions was upset as Chase Zemenak of Nazareth knocked off Tyler Smith of Franklin Regional 3-1 at 132 pounds.

Smith had defeated Zemanek 1-0 in the PIAA Team Duals in February but Zemanek used an escape and a second-period ride to get the best of Smith.

Franklin Regional will have four wrestlers in Saturday’s semifinal round, including defending champ Devin Brown at 106 and freshman Spencer Lee at 113. Lee has registered two technical falls so far.

Kennard-Dale’s Chance Marsteller (170) and Solanco’s Thomas Haines (285) each won easily to continue their pursuit to become four-time state champions. There have only been 10 four-time state champions in state history.

A potential Class AAA matchup at 120 pounds would pit defending champions Luke Pletcher (41-0), of Latrobe, against two-time champ Ethan Lizak (43-4), of Parkland. Pletcher got past Spring Grove’s Zach Clingan, 12-2, on Friday.

“I wrestled a good bout,” Pletcher said. “I always try to keep scoring points. I hope we both get the opportunity to wrestle. It should be fun.”

Two champs could meet at 145 as well if Joe Galasso (25-0) of Father Judge and Solomon Chishko (26-3) of Canon McMillan each win their Saturday semifinal matches.

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