Pin to win

JACKSON TWP — Donovan Malovich's forearm muscles were in spasms as he headed toward the
Butler wrestling team's bench.
Once he got there, the 145-pound Golden Tornado sophomore noticed his fingers had also turned a shade of purple.
All of the stress on his body came from finishing a pin his team needed against
Seneca Valley's Gavin Funovits in Butler's 37-33 Section 3-A win Wednesday night at William Paul Gymnasium.
“My arm was still tight,” Malovich said. “I was squeezing him so hard my muscles kind of froze.”
Malovich's win gave the Golden Tornado its seventh straight win over
Seneca Valley and kept its WPIAL postseason hopes alive.
Butler (3-3, 2-2) clinched a spot in the fifth-place match against the third-place team from Section 3-B, which will be against an opponent to be determined.
Butler has made seven straight trips to the WPIAL playoffs. The Golden Tornado will host Knoch tonight in their last section match.
“You want them to keep that streak alive and have that expectation,”
Butler coach Scott Stoner said. “When you look at the top 16 teams in the WPIAL, you want to see Butler's name is always there. We don't want to give that up.”
It was another tough loss for the Raiders.
Seneca Valley also lost a match to Butler, which leads the all-time series 12-11, by four points last season.
“Hopefully, that streak ends in the near future,” Raiders coach Kevin Wildrick said. “I'm not a big fan of the seven wins in a row. (Stoner) always does a nice job of getting his guys ready and coaching everyone up in different situations.”
Malovich's situation was a pressure one.
The Golden Tornado were down 27-25 with two matches left.
Against Pine-Richland in December, Malovich was pinned in the final match that could have won or tied the meet.
“The kid's a warrior. He went out sword and shield ready to win the match for the team,” Stoner said. “That's what I want these kids to do. Put everyone else's interests above your own and leave the mat exhausted.”
Behind 3-2 in the third period, Funovits nearly escaped from the bottom on the first three restarts.
Then an opportunity presented itself. Malovich grabbed onto an arm and worked a tilt into a pin.
“I've only hit that three times this year,” said Malovich, who is a 9-5 with four pins. “When I took him down, his arm came behind his back. I took it and took him over.”
Seneca Valley (5-6, 2-3) responded with a pin from Zac Cowell to go back ahead 33-31.
Butler's Jeremiah Bortmas finished off the team win with a pin in 3:25.
“I was thinking more about my team than the match itself,” Bortmas said. “I didn't think much about it. I just went out and did it.”
Seneca Valley built its biggest lead, 27-15, with solid work from its lighter weights.
Louis Newell (106 pounds) and Alex Lynch (113) both picked up pins, and Ben Lynch (120) and Ty Gross (126) earned decisions as the Raiders won four straight matches.
Butler's Scott Dietrich (132) picked up a major decision and Caleb Baxter (138) added a pin to close the gap before Malovich's match.
Butler 37, Seneca Valley 33
(Match started at 170 pounds)
106-Louis Newell (S) pin Isaiah Christy, 3:48; 113-Alex Lynch (S) pin Shane Culp, 1:59; 120-Ben Lynch (S) decision Connor Foust, 5-0 ; 126-Ty Gross (S) decision Sam Dietrich, 8-4; 132-Scott Dietrich (B) maj. dec. Alex Fischer, 13-3; 138-Caleb Baxter pin Tyler Smith, 5:16; 145-Donovan Malovich pin Gavin Funovits, 5:27; 152-Zac Cowell (S) pin Mike Vought, 3:16; 160-Jeremiah Bortmas (B) pin Dustin Moniot, 3:26; 170-Austin Leon (S) pin Thomas Greaves, 1:47; 182-Brad Hensler (S) dec. Nick Roth, 7-3; 195-Justin Johnson (B) pin Colman Mulkerrins, :46; 220-Seth McCrea (B) technical fall Lucas Chieppor, 15-0; Hwt.-JD Bojanac (B) maj. dec. Dante Santelli, 11-2