As the high school wrestling dual-meet season hits its midpoint, four teams are emerging as top contenders for the District 9 Class AA team title and the area’s lone entry into the PIAA bracket, with five-time defending champion Brookville facing serious competition from Brockway, Port Allegany and Redbank Valley.

The Gators continued their strong start in the first week of the new year, dominating Ridgway, 64-9, then claiming the championship plaque at the eight-team Flynn Propane Duals at Towanda. Port (9-1) won 12 of 14 weight classes against the undermanned Elkers on Jan. 3, with Justin Young (technical fall), Eli Petruzzi (pin), Braedon Johnson and Lucas Fowler (major decisions) all recording bonus-point victories in addition to seven forfeits.

At Towanda, the Gators won their first three matches with relative ease, then dropped a tiebreaker decision to Class AAA school West Scranton before closing out the long day with another victory to secure the team title.

The quartet of Bryent and Braedon Johnson, Reese Vollmer and Petruzzi finished a combined 23-0 for the week, with Vollmer (15-1) joining the PAHS Top 20 in career wins with a current record of 93-29. Petruzzi (17-3) has been a bonus-point machine all season; the Gator junior racked up four more pins on Saturday for a team-best total of 12, along with a 14-2 major decision in his only match to go the distance.

Smethport’s Johnson brothers also didn’t need the full six minutes to finish most of their bouts at Towanda, with Bryent (14-3) recording four pins and a tech-fall while Braedon (16-1) notched three falls, a tech, and a major. Young (17-3) went 4-1 with three pins, while the 3-2 record compiled by Issac Smoker (14-4, 74-48 career) included a a win over Western Wayne’s Kasen Taylor in a matchup between regional qualifiers.

At Ridgway, Jan. 3:

Port Allegany 64, Ridgway 9

160: Taro Tanaka (PA) forfeit; 170: Isaak Baumgarner (PA) forfeit; 182: Derek Kallenborn (PA) forfeit; 195: Dalton Distrola (PA) forfeit; 220: Justin Young (PA) TF 15-0 (4:47) Hunter Kos; 285: Maximus Ehrensberger (R) 0:54 Nicholas Carinci; 106: Chase Weimer (PA) forfeit; 113: Bryent Johnson (PA) forfeit; 120: Scott Fuller (PA) forfeit; 126: Braedon Johnson (PA) 8-0 Gary Emerick; 132: Eli Petruzzi (PA) 0:50 Tyler Merritt; 138: Montgomery Tanner (PA) 2-1 Luke Tomaski; 145: Lucas Fowler (PA) 9-1 Ben Briggs; 152: Jacob Wickett (R) 5-3 Alex Sanderson.

Flynn Propane Duals At Towanda, Jan. 5:

Port Allegany 42, Abington Heights 33

106: Brandon Grogan (AH) 1:06 Weimer; 113: Bry. Johnson (PA) 1:22 Cole Kroptavich; 120: Reese Vollmer (PA) 1:12 Keane Kiat; 126: Bra. Johnson (PA) 3:08 Ty Wilmot; 132: Petruzzi (PA) 3:50 Hutch Lynott; 138: Tanner (PA) 4:51 Sal Schaivone; 145: Jacob Rosentstein (AH) 5-3 Issac Smoker; 152: James Brown (AH) 2:58 Sanderson; 160: Sam Northup (AH) 4-0 Tanaka; 170: Scott Jacoby (AH) 13-7 Kallenborn; 182: Distrola (PA) 1:13 Aidan Price; 195: Young (PA) 0:35 Seth Drake; 220: RJ Knott (AH) forfeit; 285: Gavin Drake (AH) 0:30 Carinci.

Port Allegany 56, Montoursville 22

113: Bry. Johnson (PA) 3:14 Xan Oberheim; 120: Reese Vollmer (PA) 9-2 Broc Lutz; 126: Bra. Johnson (PA) 1:46 Lucas Sherwonod; 132: Petruzzi (PA) 1:53 Quentin Gonzalez; 138: Tanner (PA) 4:37 Wyatt DeWald; 145: Issac Smoker (PA) 2:16 Jake Dinges; 152: Cael Crebs (M) 2:46 Sanderson; 160: Tanaka (PA) 1:30 Caleb Moser; 170: Kallenborn (PA) 3:02 Gavin Livermore; 182: Dylan Bennett (M) 10-1 Distrola; 195: Young (PA) forfeit; 220: Lane Stutzman (M) forfeit; 285: Cameron Wood (M) 0:14 Carinci; 106: Weimer (PA) TF 17-2 (4:55) Savannah Paulhamus.

Port Allegany 65, Western Wayne 10

120: Vollmer (PA) forfeit; 126: Bra. Johnson (PA) TF 16-0 Michael Devore-Mirailh; 132: Trevor Zuver (PA) 18-8 George Lee; 138: Petruzzi (PA) 3:17 Mitchell Herzoal; 145: Mathew Leslie (WW) 18-5 Tanner; 152: Smoker (PA) 7-4 Kasen Taylor; 160: Tanaka (PA) forfeit; 170: River Specht (PA) forfeit; 182: Kallenborn (PA) forfeit; 195: Distrola (PA) forfeit; 220: Young (PA) 2:41 Clayton Franko; 285: Evan Thomas (WW) 0:50 Carinci; 106: Weimer (PA) 0:30 Jacob Rohland; 113: Bry. Johnson (PA) TF 16-1 Nathan Koch.

West Scranton 38, Port Allegany 37 (criteria)

126: Bra. Johnson (PA) 17-9 Anthony Caramanno; 132: Petruzzi (PA) 1:50 Cesar Rodriguez; 138: Tanner (PA) 5:35 Randy Bonitz; 145: Garrett Walsh (WS) 3-2 Smoker; 152: Sanderson (PA) 10-5 Nathan Trotta; 160: Tyler Connor (WS) 1:19 Tanaka; 170: Cameron Butka (WS) 2:40 Kallenborn; 182: Jeremy Seymour (WS) 12-2 Distrola; 195: Young (PA) 2:44 Jake Butka; 220: Peyton Reese (WS) forfeit; 285: Camdon Rawlings (WS) 0:59 Carinci; 106: Austin Fashouer (WS) 2:36 Weimer; 113: Bry. Johnson (PA) 1:12 Aiden Kologe; 120: Vollmer (PA) forfeit.

Port Allegany 44, Central Columbia 26

132: Petruzzi (PA) 14-2 Isaac Kester; 138: Gabe Waltman (CC) 0:35 Tanner; 145: Smoker (PA) 6-4 Nate Snyder; 152: Sanderson (PA) 1:20 Troy Johnson; 160: Jacob Busch (CC) 14-0 Tanaka; 170: Kallenborn (PA) 12-5 Isaac Gensemer; 182: Distrola (PA) 3:13 Dylan Devlin; 220: Jack Schechterly (CC) 12-0 Young; 220: Logan McWilliams (CC) forfeit; 285: Alex Eveland (CC) 1:28 Carinci; 106: Weimer (PA) 19-5 Marcus Long; 113: Bry. Johnson (PA) 2:20 Mason Yorty; 120: Vollmer 0:48 Patrick O‘Connell; 126: Bra. Johnson (PA) 0:44 Ihor Marchenko.

The lone match this week is a Jan. 9 trip to Coudersport, with Senior Night activities slated for Jan. 15 in Port and Jan. 24 in Smethport.