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NTL WRESTLING: ATHENS' COURTNEY, NITTINGER ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS AT COAL CRACKER; ROBINSON, NASON ALIVE IN WRESTLEBACKS (2023-01-20)

Valley Sports Report
LEIGHTON, Pa. — Senior Jake Courtney and junior Josh Nittinger reached the quarterfinals, and freshman Cooper Robinson, and sophomore Caleb Nason are alive in wrestlebacks here at the rugged Coal Cracker Invitational.

Courtney went 3-0 Friday to advance to the quarterfinals in the 141-pound bracket.

Courtney, the eighth seed, opened with a 22-6 technical fall over Salisbury’s Jordan Tocci-Wachte in 3:25.

In the round-of-32, Courtney scored a wild 13-10 decision over Freedom’s Keenan Ray. Courtney trailed 9-4 after two periods, but scored a takedown with 1:15 remaining in the third period, then scored two sets of near-fall points to take an 11-9 lead.

After Ray escaped, Courtney scored a takedown at the buzzer to seal the win.

In the round-of-16, Courtney scored a five-point move late in the first period, then reeled of five takedowns in a 17-4 major decision over Palmerston’s Derek King.

Courtney will face top-seeded Conner Heckman of Midd-West in the quarterfinals.

At 287 pounds, Nittinger scored a 16-second fall over Overbook’s Jaden Welcome in the opening round.

In the round-of-32, Nittinger scored five-point moves in the first and third periods on his way to a 16-0 technical fall of Williams Valley’s Cameron Green.

In the round-of-16, Nittinger forged an 8-3 win over Honesdale’s Aaron Phillips.

Nittinger will face Parkland’s Michael Gavrilesku in the quarterfinals Saturday morning.

At 217 pounds, Nason received a bye into the round-of-32, where he fell behind early, but rallied to beat Northwestern Lehigh’s Noah Schlofer, 10-6.

In the round-of-16, Nason trailed Catasauqua’s Chad Beller 5-3, before losing by fall at 2:35. Beller’s first two bouts of the day lasted a combined 41 seconds.

At 129 pounds, Robinson opened with a pin of Hatboro-Horsham ’s David Jensen in 62 seconds, but dropped a 4-2 decision to Western Reserve Academy’s Marco Cartella in the round-of-32.

In his initial wrestleback match, Robinson decked Interboro’s Ryan Rossiter in 1:58.

In the second round of wrestlebacks, Robinson built an 11-1 lead before pinning Scranton’s Anthony Brown in 2:39.

At 154 pounds, sophomore Keegan Congdon went 1-2 on the day, receiving a medical forfeit in the first round of wrestlebacks.

At 123 pounds, freshman Dalton Davis was 0-2.

At 135, freshman Shane Peters was 0-2.

Action begins Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

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IN PHOTO 1: Athens senior Jake Courtney from earlier this season. ... VSR STOCK PHOTO.


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