Arrington, Bassett Notch wins at Who’s No. 1 event | Sports


Who is number 1?

Cambria County can make a very good point when it comes to high school wrestling.

Forest Hills senior Jackson Arrington and eighth-grade Catholic Bishop McCort Bo Bassett each scored victories at the FloWrestling Who’s No. 1 event on Saturday night in Dallas, Texas.

Arrington, a two-time PIAA champion who pledged to wrestle in the state of North Carolina, knocked out the nation’s highest-ranked 145 pounds, beating Hunter Garvin of Iowa 4-3 in part because the ‘event was using university rules.

Bassett defeated Illinois’ Seth Mendoza 19-8 in the event’s first-ever “Match Futures”.

It’s an impressive performance for Cambria County in one of the country’s most exclusive events.

“Jackson is awesome,” Bassett said. “He’s from our region. We practiced a lot together at the time. … I think we will continue to build and make wrestling more important in our region.

Arrington pushed the pace against Garvin, a two-time state champion from Iowa. Garvin got a strikeout to the edge of the mat, but the Arrington corner, led by Young Guns Wrestling Club coach Jody Strittmatter, contested the call and it was called off on replay.

Arrington took advantage, scoring an out with 29 seconds left and straddling it for the remainder of the first period.

A quick breakaway to start the second made it 3-0. Garvin scored another controversial withdrawal at the end of the second period – this one was confirmed on examination – to close the gap to the third.

Despite relinquishing a stall point, Arrington was able to straddle Garvin for the entire third period for a driving time point and a 4-3 win.

Arrington, who could not be reached immediately for comment, entered the bout nationally ranked third and belatedly replaced Meyer Shapiro of Maryland, who was unable to participate due to injury.

Bassett has done what he’s been doing all year: dominate his opponent. Two months after winning a Cadet Freestyle World Title, Bassett took advantage against Mendoza, who got the better of their clashes at the youth level. Mendoza pushed the action early with a few shots that challenged the world champion, but Bassett hit first, scoring on a comeback with 57 seconds left in the first 3-minute period.

“I think he tried to pick up the pace,” Bassett said. “Normally, I’m the one who sets the pace. I go 100 miles an hour. It’s my identity.

Mendoza escaped quickly, but Bassett increased his lead to 4-1 with a strikeout at the end of the first period.

Bassett scored three more strikeouts in the second period with a snapdown, a go-behind and a short double leg.

“I felt him break a bit in the second half,” said Bassett. “Funny story, when the game ended, I thought it was the end of the second period. I felt like I could have spent another period or two. The longer the match, the better for me.

This was evident in the third, as Bassett scored one knockdown and three strikeouts in the final two minutes. A driving time point gave him the 19-8 victory.

“I’m pretty happy with my performance,” said Bassett. “I wanted a technology or a pin. I didn’t get there, but 19 points is still not bad.

Cambria County-based Strittmatter Young Guns Wrestling Club also won the first of three games at 170 pounds, where Rocco Welsh of Waynesburg Central defeated Manny Rojas of Michigan 6-3. In the battle for first place, Georgia’s Gabe Arnold, who fights in Pennsylvania at Wyoming Seminary, beat the Welsh 2-1 in overtime.

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