WILLIAMSPORT — Anthony Scicchitano appeared to have Owen Hivner in position for a single-leg takedown.
But he didn’t know Hivner was jonesing for victory.
“(The move’s) called a Jonesy,” Hivner said. “I always do that in my matches when they get a single on me. The opportunity was there so I was like, ‘Why not hit it now?’ I mean I already made it to states so win or lose I’m already going to Hershey. But it was definitely nice that I won that.”
With Scicchitano gripping his right leg in the first period, the Lackawanna Trail senior put his left arm behind the Southern Columbia senior’s left knee and threw his back to the mat.
A few seconds later, Hivner had the pin and the Class 2A Northeast Regional championship at 170 pounds.
“I pictured myself here, but with the competition at this level it was definitely hard,” Hivner said. “I’m just very excited.”
With the 55-second pin and his 35th win of the season, Hivner became the lone Lackawanna League wrestler to claim gold Saturday at Williamsport High School.
“I don’t want to overlook everybody else. I don’t want to make myself look like the hot shot, but I’m definitely excited about that, too,” Hivner said. “Everybody else in District 2 worked hard whether they went 0-2 or 1-2. It doesn’t matter what they went. Everybody worked hard to be at this level. You should be proud of yourself no matter what.”
He was one of five, including Western Wayne’s Cole Fuller (220) and Braden McIntosh (152), Valley View’s Brandon Judge (126) and Scranton Prep’s Ivan Balavage (195), to punch a ticket to the PIAA tournament.
“I definitely want to be on the podium at states,” Hivner said. “That’s been my goal since I was a little kid. This year, I definitely put in the extra work with my coaches’ help. They’ve gotten me where I have to be and now it’s time for me to really do what I need to do.”
In his semifinal matchup, Hivner recorded two points at the end of both the second and third periods, which helped him defeat Muncy’s Mike Kustanbauter, ranked No. 17 in the state according to PA Power Wrestling’s Feb. 28 poll, 7-4.
“He was definitely a tough kid,” Hivner said. “Definitely one of the toughest I would have had to wrestle. I’m not going to lie, I was a little exhausted toward the end of the match. I was up by a point so I knew I just had to be cautious about everything and keep the pressure on. But he tried to hit me with a move and then I just countered it and got my two.”
Hivner’s performance was definitely a great way to keep up the excitement he had built from his performance at districts last week.
“I was definitely fired up,” Hivner said. “Coming from districts, winning districts — I was pretty pumped about that — but I had something else to look forward to, which was regionals. And then seeing the bracket, that I was the first seed at regionals, definitely got my momentum a little higher than if I was second or third seed. But, yeah, I was pretty pumped.”
Now, it’s on to Hershey to cap off his career.
“I’m not too sure,” Hivner said of his expectations for Hershey. “I only looked at the bracket once; I don’t know who I have and I don’t really care who I have. But I seeded fourth at states, so to be in the top four would be pretty good. Now that I’m there, I have to place. Now, there’s a new goal. I checked off all my goals from preseason, now the new goal is to place.”
The PIAA tournament, weather permitting, is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Hivner has a bye in the opening round, and will face the winner of Littlestown junior Carl Harris (30-4) and Burrell junior Austin Mele (27-22) in the second round bout.
Class 2A Team standings
1. Southern Columbia (SC) 150, 2. Muncy (MUN) 107, 3. Montoursville (MNT) 96, 4. Wyalusing (WYA) 62, 5. Athens (ATH) 60.5, 6. Benton (BNT) 55, 7. Mifflinburg (MFB) 53, 8. Line Mountain (LM) 39, 8. Warrior Run (WR) 39, 10. Western Wayne (WW) 34, 11. Lewisburg (LEW) 31, 12. Jersey Shore (JS) 29, 13. Bloomsburg (BLM) 26, 14. Lake-Lehman (LL) 24, 14. Midd-West (MW) 24, 14. Troy (TRY) 24, 17. Valley View (VV) 23, 18. Lackawanna Trail (LT) 21, 19. Shamokin (SHM) 19, 20. Milton (MLT) 18, 20. North Penn-Liberty (NBL) 18, 22. Hughesville (HSV) 17.5, 23. Hanover Area (HAN) 16, 24. Sullivan County (SCT) 15.5, 25. Scranton Prep (SP) 14, 26. Blue Ridge (BR) 13, 27. Canton (CNT) 12, 28. Mount Carmel (MC) 11, 29. Central Columbia (CC) 10, 29. Honesdale (HON) 10, 31. Meyers (MEY) 8, 31. Wyoming Area (WA) 8, 33. Towanda (TOW) 7, 34. Berwick (BER) 6, 35. Montrose (MON) 4.
170: Hivner (LT) pinned Anthony Scicchitano (SC), 0:55.
170: Hivner (LT) dec. Mike Kustanbauter (MUN), 7-4.
170: Owen Hivner (LT) dec. Kyle Tomb (JS), 7-3.