HERSHEY — The Curwensville wrestling team went a perfect two-for-two in its first-round bouts Thursday at the PIAA Class AA Championships, with junior Blake Passarelli and senior Steve McClure each reaching today’s state quarterfinals.
Passarelli (29-5), a three-time state qualifier, started off his stay in Hershey with a 5-1 win against Brandywine Heights freshman Dalton Gimbor (38-9) in the first round at 113 pounds.
The pair wrestled a scoreless first period before Gimbor jumped on the scoreboard first with an escape from the bottom position 34 seconds into the second period. However, Passarelli countered with a takedown with 37 seconds left in the period to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.
The Golden Tide junior added to his lead with a quick escape in the third before putting the bout away with a takedown with 20 seconds remaining.
The victory earned Passarelli a date with returning state medalist Wyatt Lutz (37-2), a senior from Montoursville who is the Northeast Regional champ. Lutz pinned Blairsville junior Jack Bruce in 5:29 in his first-round date.
McClure needed overtime and then some to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals in a 3-2 double-overtime win against Central Cambria senior Nate Martin (31-9).
The pair wrestled a typical heavyweight bout at states — one that featured a scoreless first period and the two competitors trading reversals in the second and third periods. McClure and Martin battled on their feet through the one-minute overtime period, sending the bout to the two 30-second double-overtime periods.
McClure started down in the first of those periods and scored a huge reversal with 11 seconds left, but Martin scored an equally important escape in the final seconds to make it 3-2. However, the Red Devil was never able to get out in the ensuing period as McClure rode him out for the 3-2 victory.
Next up for McClure is Line Mountain senior Jaron Renn (40-10), who scored a late takedown to edge Kennard Dale senior Tanner Harkins (29-4) in the their first-round bout.