USA Wrestling Pletcher controls He...

Pletcher controls Heil, Guilford edges Francis are among the highlights of Pittsburgh WC’s PWC2 card

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 26, 2021, 8:13 p.m. (ET)

Luke Pletcher battles Dean Heil in PWC2. Video capture from PWC Rokfin channel.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Luke Pletcher of the Pittsburgh WC and Dymond Guilford of the Titan Mercury WC were among the big winners on the PWC2 card, presented by the Pittsburgh Wrestling Club on Tuesday night.

In the final match of the card, Pletcher jumped ahead with a strong first-period, then controlled the action on the way to a 7-1 decision over Dean Heil of the Navy-Marine Corps RTC at 67 kg.

In the first period, Pletcher scored a two-point exposure, a step-out and a single leg takedown, only giving up a step out to Heil, to lead 5-1 at the break. In the second period, Pletcher had a strong defense and was able to secure a spin behind takedown to close out the match at 7-1.

Pletcher was a three-time All-American at Ohio State, and is making his Olympic run with the Pittsburgh WC. Heil won two NCAA titles for Oklahoma State, and is now training with the Navy-Marine Corps RTC under new Navy coach Cary Kolat.

It was the second straight PWC card where Pletcher won a main event, stopping David Habat of Slovenia in PWC 1 in December.

In a battle of top Olympic hopefuls in women’s freestyle, 2020 U23 Nationals champion Dymond Guilford of the Titan Mercury WC scored a second-period takedown to win a close 4-2 match over two-time World Team member Victoria Francis of the Titan Mercury WC at 78 kg.

Guilford opened the match with a high single leg takedown to lead 2-0, but Francis scored a spin-behind takedown in the closing seconds of the first period to knot it up at 2-2 at the break. Guilford secured a single leg takedown in the second period and held off a hard-driving Francis late for the two-point victory.

These athletes may face each other again at the Captains’ Cup in February. Francis was one of the captains, and selected her own team for the competition. Guilford was the No. 1 pick in the draft for Tamyra Mensah-Stock’s team.

Chance Marsteller, a two-time All-American for Lock Haven, opened up an impressive offense in a 10-0 technical fall over Wisconsin’s two-time All-American Evan Wick of the Titan Mercury WC at 79 kg. Marsteller opened the match with a two-point exposure and added two ankle laces for a 6-0 lead. After a takedown, Marsteller got the ankle lace again to close out the technical fall.

In his interview after the bout, Marsteller dedicated the win to his friend Mikey Racciato, the former Pitt wrestler who recently passed away at age 26.

In an active battle of big men, another Pittsburgh WC star put on a show, when Demitrius Thomas scored a 15-5 technical fall over Max Lacey of Costa Rica at 120 kg. Thomas jumped to an 9-0 lead, including a four-point throw on a body lock, plus a takedown and a head pinch turn. Lacey answered with a big five-point throw to close it to 9-5. Thomas iced the match with another four-pointer of his own and a go behind takedown to finish off the win.

In the first Senior-level match on the card, Lock Haven’s 2018 NCAA runner-up Ronnie Perry of the Mat-Town won in a wild comeback for an 11-11 criteria decision over former Campbell star Quentin Perez of the Navy-Marine Corps RTC at 75 kg.

Perez led 8-2 at the break, scoring two takedowns and two tilts in the first period, with Perry getting one takedown. In the second period, Perry started chipping away with three straight takedowns, closing the Perez lead to 9-8. Perez scored a tilt with a Perry reversal to make it 11-9. A takedown by Perry in the closing seconds.

It was Perry’s first major competition since competing in the 2018 NCAA finals. Perry currently serves as the head women’s coach at Lock Haven. In his interview, Perry called out Marsteller for a match on a future card.

A card of seven youth and middle school folkstyle matches were held at the start of the card, featuring tough athletes from the region, including Pennsylvania and Ohio athletes.

Bo Bassett, a seventh grader from the Young Guns Club in Pennsylvania, won two matches against opponents from Ohio. He opened the card with a 19-4 technical fall over T.J. Clinton at 110 pounds. In the final youth match, Bo Bassett returned for a second bout, beating Brody Saccoccia in an 18-3 technical fall.

Bassett’s young brother Keegan won his match at 80 pounds, in an 11-1 major decision over Conner Whitley. Other winners were Nico Kapusta (70), Cash Mitchell (75), Melvin Miller (90) and Devon Margo (125).

At Pittsburgh, Pa. Tuesday, January 26

110 lbs.- Bo Bassett tech. fall T.J. Clinton, 19-4
70 lbs. - Nico Kapusta dec. Chase Karenbauer, 8-6
75 lbs. - Cash Mitchell dec. Tino Scuillo, 2-0
80 lbs. - Keegan Bassett maj. dec. Conner Whitely, 11-1
90 lbs. - Melvin Miller maj. dec. Carter Beck, 9-1
125 lbs. - Devon Margo dec. Jared Goldberg, 9-2
110 lbs. – Bo Bassett tech. fall Brody Saccoccia, 18-3
75 kg - Ronnie Perry (Mat Town WC) dec. Quentin Perez (Navy-Marine Corps RTC), 11-11
120 kg – Demetrius Thomas (Pittsburgh WC) tech. fall Max Lacey (Costa Rica), 15-5
79 kg - Chance Marsteller tech. fall Evan Wick (TMWC/WRTC), 10-0
78 kg - Dymond Guilford (TMWC) dec.Victoria Francis (TMWC), 4-2
67 kg - Luke Pletcher (Pittsburgh WC) dec. Dean Heil (Navy-Marine Corps RTC), 7-1