(Updated 12:53 p.m.) HERSHEY — Seconds after the opening whistle, Shane Noonan gave up his first points throughout the entire state tournament.
Selinsgrove’s Nate Schon kept them coming in the six minutes that followed in their semifinal.
Schon made up for his only loss this season by knotting up his head-to-head series with Hazleton Area’s 220-pounder in convincing fashion. He knocked Noonan into the consolation bracket with a 14-6 major decision during this morning’s Class 3A session of the PIAA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center.
Noonan had little time to recover from his first loss of the season before facing nationally-ranked Hunter Catka, 2018’s state champion. He dropped a 5-3 decision to the Sun Valley junior and will wrestle for fifth in the state tonight. It’s the Wyoming Valley Conference’s top finish at states since 2017.
Noonan (43-2) wrestles his last match with the Cougars against Bangor’s Nick Nittoli in a rematch of last weekend’s Northeast Regional final. Noonan won their previous meeting, 6-3.
Also in District 2, West Scranton’s Jeremy Seymour fell in his fourth-round consolation bout. He’ll try to finish his career in seventh place at 182 pounds during tonight’s 3A medal rounds, which begin at 7.
Seymour guaranteed a top-eight finish, the first for the Invaders in more than a decade, with his quarterfinals victory Friday. Noonan hadn’t given up a point through two days of states and made it to today’s semifinals with his second pin of the week on Friday.
They make up half of District 2’s four 2019 state medalists.
At 2, medal rounds in Class 2A start. That’s when Montrose senior Joe Hester officially snaps a long state medal drought for the Meteors, and Hanover Area senior D.J. Erickson ends a dry spell almost just as long for the Hawkeyes. They’ll shoot for seventh place at 132 and 152 pounds, respectively.
Here’s a quick look at how District 2’s day is shaping up so far. For more live updates throughout the final day of states, follow staff writer Eric Shultz on Twitter @CVEricShultz.
Jeremy Seymour (38-5), West Scranton senior, 182 pounds
Up next: Seventh-place match vs. Easton sophomore Dominic Falcone.
Consolation fourth round: Lost to Peters Township senior Brandon Matthews by 1-0 decision.
Recap: Seymour and Matthews didn’t score any points while the clock was ticking in their consolation matchup this morning. Matthews got his lone point at the start of the third period, when Seymour took over top position and opted to go neutral. Once again, Matthews showed he could withstand a bout’s worth of offense from District 2’s top wrestlers. He didn’t give up a takedown during a 3-1 victory of D2 champion Steven Newell in the match before this one.
Seymour’s last bout with the Invaders will be against Easton’s Dominic Falcone in a rematch in last weekend’s Northeast Regional semifinals. Falcone beat Seymour, 6-5, before also topping Newell for regional gold.
Shane Noonan (43-2), Hazleton Area senior, 220 pounds
Up next: Fifth-place match vs. Bangor senior Nick Nittoli.
Consolation semifinals: Lost to Sun Valley junior Hunter Catka by 5-3 decision.
Semifinals: Lost to Selinsgrove sophomore Nate Schon by 14-6 major decision.
Recap: Noonan had been unstoppable through two days of states, pinning both his opponents without giving up as little as an escape point. Schon had been nearly as impressive with two pins of his own, though, and stormed out the gates of his semifinal.
Schon (39-1) made up for a January tournament loss to Noonan with several takedowns and a set of back points before the second period ended. They’ve now dealt each other their only losses of the season.
Noonan was then tasked with beating Catka, last year’s 220-pound champion who’s ranked fourth in the country by InterMat. He wrestled tough and didn’t give up when Catka caught him in a risky position midway through their bout. Noonan escaped to cut the deficit to two points in the closing seconds, but a miracle takedown wasn’t in the works.
Joe Hester (43-5), Montrose senior, 132 pounds
Up next: Seventh-place match: vs. Reynolds sophomore Kaeden Berger.
D.J. Erickson (40-6), Hanover Area senior, 152 pounds
Up next: Seventh-place match vs. Westmont-Hilltop sophomore Hudson Holbay.