Wetzel, Peters win first-round matches in Class 3A

Mar. 8—HERSHEY — Jack Peters clearly wanted to make a good first impression.

Wrestling at the Giant Center for the first time in his career, the Selinsgrove heavyweight won his match in the first round against Thomas Jefferson's Shepard Turk. Peters was one of two Class 3A wrestling who were victorious in their first-round matches and will wrestle in today's quarterfinal matches — the other being Shikellamy's Connor Wetzel at 172 pounds.

Peters, a sophomore, defeated Turk 7-3. The match was tied 3-3 after the first period. After that, Peters picked up a nearfall and benefitted from two stalling calls to give him a four-point edge.

With the win, Peters has a matchup today with Kennett's John Pardo, who's ranked fifth in the state.

"It's amazing," Peters said. "I've been dreaming of being down here for years — I've watched all my teammates wrestle up through here, and it just feels great being able to come out here and be able to compete at one of the toughest tournaments in the country."

In a rematch of last year's opening bout, Wetzel cruised to a 14-4 major decision over Gettysburg's Jaxon Townsend. Last year's match was much closer as Wetzel knocked off Townsend 4-3.

During Thursday's match, Wetzel started off with a pair of takedowns in each of the first two period before closing it off with three takedowns in the final two minutes.

Wetzel will take on Sam Gautreau (Owen J. Roberts) today in the quarterfinals in a matchup of wrestlers ranked in the top five in the state. Gautreau is third while Wetzel is ranked fourth.

"I was just able to find my angles, find my shots," Wetzel said. "I just work really hard in the room at that, and I'm just able to show it out here."

The three other Braves, Alex Reed (121), Isaac McGregor (133) and Brody Rebuck (215), lived to see another day after each finished 1-1. Reed and McGregor both won their preliminary-round matches, but then lost in the first round. Reed is set to take on Pierce Kane (Council Rock North) in the consolation bracket while McGregor will look to avoid elimination against Easton's Bejamin Fanelli today. Reed is ranked higher than Kane while Fanelli is the second-ranked wrestler at 133.

Rebuck fell to Wilson's Ryan McMillan (Wilson) in a 3-2 decision in his first match at states. Rebuck stayed alive for today's action with a 2-0 win over Bradyn Jumper (Carlisle) in the consolations. The match was scoreless until Rebuck worked a reversal 16 seconds into the final period.

Rebuck has a meeting with Franklin Regional's Juliano Marion in the second round of consolations today. Marion is ranked 10th in the state rankings while Rebuck comes in one spot below him at 11th.

Selinsgrove's Tucker Teats fell in his opening match at 189 to Central Catholic's Roman Thompson after he was pinned late in the first period. Teats will meet Spring Ford's Mason Richards during the second round of consolations today.

The Seals' Ethan Miller was eliminated after dropping two matches at 160. After being pinned by Gavin Cole (Council Rock South) in the first round, Miller was knocked out of the tournament after suffering a 12-4 major decision loss to Neshaminy's Ernazar Baiyshbekov.

Miller ended his junior season with a record of 25-14. It was his first time appearing in the state tournament.

"I think that's gonna benefit him for sure next year when he's got one more year left, to get here again and hopefully come back and win some matches, and maybe end up making the podium," said Selinsgrove coach Seth Martin. "Because he's capable of it, he definitely is... He's definitely upset — he doesn't like to lose."