INDIANA — With 12 seconds left in his 138-pound title match against Burrell’s Ian Oswalt, it looked like Glendale’s Brock McMillen cracked a little bit of a smile.
Maybe it was because even he knows how hard he is to score on late in matches.
Oswalt attempted one final shot down 3-1 and McMillen easily gained control and shoved him to the mat for a takedown, winning his third straight regional title.
“I rode him there for a while, but with 12 seconds left there isn’t much someone can do,” McMillen said. “I had a stall call, but I feel like I am hard to score on with 12 seconds left.”
McMillen took control of the match early, getting a first-period takedown, then a second-period escape to take the 3-0 lead.
Oswalt chose down to start the third. McMillen got hit with stalling midway through the period, but held the Burrell wrestler down until there were 12 seconds left when Oswalt got his escape.
McMillen held off the last shot and won 5-2.
“Brock is confident and he knows what he is doing,” said Vikings head coach Brian Storm. “He had been confident all week and you could tell in that match.
“Brock is not afraid to be defensive and he knows when to score when he has a shot. That’s just Brock.”
McMillen said afterwards he was just glad to get the chance to get out there on the mat.
“It feels real good this year with everything we have been through as a wrestling community, and overall, it just feels great to be back competing,” he said.
The Viking senior also said heading into a title bout against Oswalt, the wrestler he beat to win his second straight PIAA title, he did a little more thinking.
“I wouldn’t say that it was easier, I will say that I strategized a little more, I wanted to get to my offense more. I feel like I need to do that.
“I felt like I wanted to put a hard ride on him and I feel like I wanted to get a takedown in regulation. I did that. Overall, I feel like I wrestled well.”
McMillen said he does think next week’s super regional will come down to wrestlers from the Southwest AA region.
“I feel like it could be me and him (Oswalt) or me and (St. Joe’s) Amonn Ohl. I think our regional is going to dominate. I’m looking forward to next weekend and the weekend after that. We’ll be seeing each other for the next couple of weeks.”
Glendale also got another wrestler through in 172-pounder Suds Dubler.
Dubler lost his quarterfinal matchup against eventual champ Rune Lawrence of Frazier, 4-3. It was the closest match Lawrence wrestled the entire day.
That loss dropped Dubler into the consolations, where he needed a win to stay alive.
He did just that, toppling Westmont Hilltop’s Hunter Holbay by major decision 13-0.
Dubler moved on to the consolation semis, where he scored a 5-4 decision over McGuffey’s Ethan Barr. The Viking grappler got a double-leg in for the takedown just as the buzzer sounded, qualifying him for the super regional.
“He really stepped it up there, and just getting that double there in the final seconds was awesome seeing him do that,” said Storm.
Dubler matched up with Mount Pleasant’s Noah Gnibus in the third-place finals, where he pulled off another close one, scoring a 2-1 decision.
The Viking got a reversal with 45 seconds left in the match, then held off Gnibus for the win.
Glendale’s other two wrestlers, Zeke Dubler at 152 and Brock Smeal at 285 were eliminated before the place rounds.
Dubler lost his first match, 3-1, to North Star’s Connor Yoder. He was then defeated by eventual third-place wrestler Gavin Stewart of Marion Center in the consolation quarters 3-2, ending his tourney.
“Zeke is a tough wrestler,” said Storm. “He just didn’t make it out. He is such a hard worker and I feel bad for him. But I think he will come back next year hungry. He’s going to be on fire.
“We would have like to get everyone through, but this is a tough tournament. I thought overall they wrestled well.”
Heavyweight Brock Smeal also went 0-2, losing by fall to Laurel’s Mitch Miles and by a 9-5 decision to Tussey Mountain’s Matthew Watkins.
“Brock Smeal wrestled well all year,” Storm said. “He is right there with those guys. He has another year left and I can see him doing big things next year if he continues to work hard.”
McMillen is slated to wrestle Philipsburg-Osceola’s Austin Foster in the opening round of the West AA Super Regional Tournament at IUP on Saturday.
Dubler drew Saegertown’s Landon Caldwell for his first matchup on Saturday.
The tournament is slated to begin at 8 a.m.