HERSHEY, Pa – Ethan Finch battled his way through a loaded bracket at the PIAA State Wrestling Championships Friday and returns to Sheffield as the 2021 189-pound silver medalist.
Finch picked up impressive wins in the quarter and semifinals to set up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in the championship against Montoursville’s Cael Crebs. Crebs came into the tournament as the top-ranked wrestler in the state, Finch was second.
Crebs secured a takedown late in the first period to go up 2-0. Finch started the second on top, but Crebs got a quick reversal and rode Finch out for the remainder of the period to take a 4-0 lead into the third.
Finch started the third on bottom and, midway through the period, Crebs was able to turn Finch for the pinfall victory.
Finch concluded an already historic season, he finished with a record of 32-1 and claimed his 100th career victory, the first in Sheffield program history, by becoming the Wolverines’ highest state medalist. He’s the first Warren County grappler to make it to a title match since Eisenhower’s Louie Head in 2016.
Finch opened the state tournament with a first-period pinfall, his 18th win by pin this season, over Saucon Valley’s Ty Csencstis in the quarterfinals.
After a scoreless first period against Southern Columbia’s Wesley Barnes in the semifinals, Finch began the second in the top position. Barnes quickly escaped to take a 1-0 lead, but neither was able to score again in the period. Finch earned a quick escape in the third to knot the match at 1-1, but again, neither was able to pick up another point and they moved to sudden victory tied at 1-1.
The extra minute wasn’t enough as again, neither grappler could secure a takedown. Finch began the first 30-second frame on top and was able to ride Barnes out. With his turn to start on bottom, Finch wasted little time securing a reversal and riding Barnes out to punch his ticket to the finals.
Finch concludes his Wolverines career with a record of 113-38, is a 2-time District 9 champion, 3-time state qualifier and a 2-time medalist, and will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Pittsburgh next year.