Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Retains Powerade Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Retains Powerade Title

Article excerpt

With nationally ranked teams from California and Georgia joining the Powerade Christmas Tournament field, some wondered whether Franklin Regional would be able to retain the team title it won in 2013.

California's Buchanan High School entered the 48-team tournament ranked No. 7 in the country by Flo-wrestling.org, while Georgia's Archer High was No. 11. Franklin Regional was ranked between the two at No. 8.

After the first day of competition, Buchanan led the field with 106.5 points and had all 14 entries still alive, while Archer was second with 89.5 points and 13 entries. Franklin Regional was third with 76 points, as five of the Panthers entries made a quick exit from the competition.

When the semifinals began Saturday morning, Franklin Regional was down to six entries, but all six were still in the championship bracket. Buchanan had 10 entries in the semifinals, while Archer had seven.

That's when the race for the team title took a turn toward Franklin Regional. Five of the Panthers' six entries posted semifinal victories. Buchanan had only three of its 10 semifinalists win, while Archer had only two of its seven advance.

When the finals began, Franklin Regional still trailed Buchanan by 10.5 points. When the finals were over, the Panthers celebrated a second consecutive team title with a narrow 2.5 point margin of victory (199-196.5).

Spencer Lee clinched the team title for Franklin Regional with an impressive 15-4 win against Ty Agaisse of New Jersey's Delbarton High in the 120-pound title. It was the second consecutive Powerade Tournament title for Lee, who was clearly the most dominant wrestler in the tournament, as he recorded pins in his other four bouts.

"I was surprised," said Lee, when informed he received trophies for the Outstanding Wrestler Award and the award for recording the most pins in the least amount of time. "It was great that I was able to clinch the team title for us, but it was a team effort."

Devin Brown, Michael Kemerer and Josh Shields joined Lee in the champions photo, as all four were repeat champions. Brown claimed the 113-pound crown with a 5-1 win against Erie McDowell's Charles Lenox.

Kemerer, a University of Iowa recruit, made his fourth appearance in the finals and claimed his third title with a 5-2 win against Mifflin County's Hayden Hidlay in the 145-pound final. …

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