The PIAA Championships are entering their final day and the Class AA Championships are set.
Here are five matchups to watch.
1. 113 pounds: Lancaster Catholic’s Joe Lobeck (41-2) vs. Central Cambria’s Max Murin (36-1). Lobeck, the Crusader junior, is looking for his first PIAA title. It would be the second straight for a wrestler from Lancaster Catholic – 182-pounder Stephen Loiseau won a state championship last year. Lobeck beat Murin last year in a consolation semifinal. Can he repeat that feat? Prediction: Lobeck, 4-2.
2. 132 pounds: Boiling Springs’ Korbin Myers (40-1) vs. Derry Area’s George Phillippi (42-3). The matchup everyone is waiting to see in Class AA. Myers is the returning 120-pound champion and ranked 10th nationally on the ranking service InterMat. Phillippi is fourth nationally on InterMat, and was a third-place finisher at 120 last year. Prediction: Myers, 3-2.
3. 152 pounds: Huntingdon’s Jacob Oliver (41-2) vs. South Park’s Jake Wentzel (39-1). The two met a week ago in the Southwest regional finals, won by Wentzel, 11-3. Oliver is flying high after handily knocking off wrestlers with a combined 10 losses coming into the PIAA tournament. Wentzel, meanwhile, is outscoring his foes 27-4. Expect some points. Prediction: Wentzel, 8-7.
4. 285 pounds: Southmoreland’s Jake Beistel (38-4) vs. Burrell’s Al Beattie (47-1). Another matchup between two southwest regional participants, as Beattie won 7-3 last week. Both reached the semifinals here a year ago but lost with Beattie finishing third and Beistel fifth. Prediction: Beattie, 6-2.
5. 160 pounds: Mifflinburg’s Cole Walter (40-1) vs. Boiling Springs’ John Vaughn (27-2). The most wide-open weight class features an intriguing final between a pair of wrestlers with a combined 67-3 record. Vaughn has been hot since returning from injury in January. Walter was third last year at 152, while Vaughn missed the medal stand at 145. Prediction: Walter, 6-1.
Stay tuned tomorrow for full coverage on GameTimePA.com of the AA finals and place matches as well as the AAA semifinals starting at 9 a.m.