The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 2, 2014

College wrestling: Penn State wins fourth straight title at Southern Scuffle; Bucknell nearly places

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Bucknell sophomore 125-pounder Paul Petrov came one win away from placing at the competitive Southern Scuffle, which wrapped up Thursday.

He was one of three Bison in action at McKenzie Arena as junior 197-pounder Tyler Lyster and junior 285-pounder Joe Stolfi entered the day in the consolation brackets at their weight classes.

While the Bison had just one wrestler come near placing, Penn State stole the show.

The Nittany Lions, which are ranked No. 1 in the latest Intermat Tournament Power Index, roared to the Southern Scuffle title, its fourth straight.

Penn State won the title with 189 points while Oklahoma State was second with 164.5.

The Nittany Lions went 6-for-7 in the afternoon sessions.

True freshman Zain Retherford, a former Line Mountain wrestler, posted a 2-0 win over No. 11 Zach Horan of Central Michigan to move into the semifinals.  The freshman went on to defeat Virginia’s Joe Spisak with a 6-4 sudden victory in the finals.

No. 2 seeded Nico Megaludis defeated Air Force’s Josh Martinez in the semifinals with a 7-2 decision, but fell just shy of taking the title at the 125-pound weight, losing to Nashon Garrett of Cornell, 6-4.

Bucknell’s Petrov, the No. 12 seed in his bracket, posted a 3-0 record on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals. A win in his opening match Thursday against third-seeded Josh Martinez of Air Force would have guaranteed at least a top-six placing, but he lost by fall, ending a nine-bout winning streak.

Petrov then dropped a 5-3 decision to Missouri’s Zach Synon in the consolation bracket, ending his tournament with a 3-2 mark.

Lyster posted a 1-1 mark for the second straight day. He opened with a 5-3 decision over Air Force’s Robert Isley, but followed that with a 5-0 loss to 11th-seeded Conner Hartmann from Duke.

The win over Isley was the 40th of Lyster’s career, making him the third current Bison to reach that plateau.

The sixth-seeded Stolfi was upset by the No. 11 seed in his final match on Wednesday.

He bounced back with two pins in his first two bouts Thursday, but his day came to an end with a tight 4-3 loss to fifth-seeded Austin Marsden from Oklahoma State. It was the second meeting of the year between Stolfi and Marsden. The two squared off in a November dual with Marsden posted an 8-3 win.

Stolfi’s two pins on Thursday lifted his season total to 11, marking the most by a Bucknell wrestler since Eric Lapotsky had 13 in 2006-07.

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