---- — By Frank Dimon
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- In an outstanding freshman season, Brian Friery was missing just one item on his young resumé. Of his 27 wins, none could be called a signature victory.
Friery corrected that deficiency during the quarterfinal round of the District 4 Class AA wrestling tournament at Williamsport on Friday night.
Friery handled Line Mountain's Cameron Newman, tilting the state qualifier from last season early in the match and then added a takedown on the way to a convincing 7-3 decision that propelled him into this morning's semifinals. Eighteen area wrestlers moved into the semifinals, led by Milton and Warrior Run with four each.
Benton leads the team race with 48 points, just in front of Central Columbia (44). Milton is third with 36.5 points followed by Warrior Run (34)
Newman was the lone No. 1 seed to fall -- though 13 sectional champions failed reach the semis -- thanks to Friery, who will face Muncy's Angelo Barbario in the semis.
"We are pleased because that's what we've been waiting for, a signature win," Lewisburg coach Jim Snyder said. "I like the way he approached the match. He was having difficulty scoring on the bottom and he did that. He had a great takedown. He did what he had to do to beat a quality opponent. Hopefully, he can build on that."
Friery, who lost a 2-0 decision to Newman at 113 pounds during their dual meet, wanted to go after Newman more aggressively this meeting.
"I wanted to attack and just try to win a close match," Friery said. "That's what the postseason is about."
If Friery's advancement to the semis was a bit of a surprise, his teammate, Brandon Smith's wasn't. The top seed at 220, Smith pinned Muncy's Nick Roberts in jut 50 seconds and will face Connor Bassett of Montoursville today.
Milton advanced Zack Bennett (132), Taylor Porter (145), Ryan Preisch (152), and Ryan Solomon (195) into the semifinals. Bennett pinned Mario Henriquez of Loyalsock in the preliminary round and then blanked South Williamsport's Nate Jones, 4-0. Porter topped Brooks Gleckner of Canton in the prelims and then knocked off freshman Garrett Hoffman of Montoursville, 9-3.
Preisch and Solomon both earned first-round byes with South Sectional titles last week and added quick falls in their only matches. Preisch decked Tyler Fenton of Wyalusing in 1:27 while Solomon needed 59 seconds to dispose of South Williamsport's Tyler Jenkins.
The Defenders outstanding trio of lightweights -- Zack LeBarron (106), Eric Hunt (113), and Brian LeBarron (126) -- will be joined by Garrett Moser (182) in the semis. Zack LeBarron pinned Jacob Strassner of Montoursville in 5:01, while Brian outlasted Montour's Keith Batkowski in a 9-7 decision that went the second tiebreaker of overtime. Hunt pinned Tyler Webb-Verbeski of South Williamsport and then topped Mifflinburg's Cooper Wagner, 3-0. Moser beat Wyalusing's Justin Griffith in his first bout and then pinned North champion, Dakota Manning of Towanda, in 1:35.
Southern Columbia, Mifflinburg, Midd-West each moved three wrestlers into the semifinals. The Tigers advanced Brett Shepard (113), Kent Lane (126), and Blake Marks (152). The Wildcats moved on Cole Walter (132), Ty Walter (160), and state champion Nazar Mironenko (285). Midd-West's Corey Stauffer (106), Zack Heeter (145), and Alex Lieberman (170) reached the semis.
With Friery's upset of Newman, just on Line Mountain wrestler reached the semis. Seth Lansberry followed a bye in the prelims with a 19-4 (2:50) over Tyler Eubanks of Loyalsock at 138.
The first consolation round will start at 8:30 a.m. followed by the semifinals at approximately 10.