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Warriors beat Highlanders
Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
ALLPORT - After calling his team's winning performance rough against Penns Valley last week, West Branch wrestling head coach Jason Bainey didn't have any nicer things to say about his team's showing against Cambria Heights.
The Warriors looked sluggish and lackluster in some spots, but picked up enough big wins to down the Highlanders, 48-22, in the quarterfinals of the District 6 Class AA Team Dual Tournament on Wednesday night.
"We didn't wrestle well," said Bainey. "There is no other way of putting it. We lost six matches tonight. That's not going to cut it come Saturday."
"You have to be ready to go, and our guys weren't ready to go. We had some big wins, but at the same time we were a little lethargic and didn't do what we had to do tonight."
After sitting through a nailbiting 39-38 first-round matchup between Cambria Heights and Moshannon Valley, the Warriors looked to start things off on the right foot at 126 pounds.
But West Branch lost by decision, 10-4, giving the Highlanders the first points of the night.
The Warriors' J.P. Hayles scored a fall in 3:20 over Brad Thomas to put his team on top 6-3.
Teammate Parker Bumbarger followed up with a fall at 138, taking down Mike Zabinski in a workmanlike 40 seconds.
But the Highlanders rebounded in a big way at 145 pounds, as Austin Gill, who was trailing 5-1 heading into the third period, stunned the Warriors' Clayton Green for a five-point move before going on to win 10-5.
Cambria Heights scored a fall at 152 pounds, as Travis Yahner pinned Kris Smeal in 1:12. Smeal led the match to start, hitting a five-point move of his own before Yahner reversed him and got the pin.
That bumped regular 152-pounder Luke Slippey up to face the Highlanders' Levi Niebauer at 160. The two wrestled a scoreless first period, before Slippey got on the board in the second period with an escape.
The Warrior held that until the third, when Niebauer garnered an escape and a takedown with 1.6 seconds left to win the match.
That decision gave Cambria Heights a 15-12 lead heading into the bout at 170 where Lucas Kristofits faced off against Tyler Crawford.
Crawford came into the bout with an 18-2 record, while Kristofits was sporting a 21-6 mark.
The Highlander scored a takedown and three nearfall points quickly, but Kristofits was able to fight off his back to avoid the fall.
He netted a reversal and a takedown of his own before pinning Crawford in 1:53.
"Lucas went out and gave up a five-point move right away," Bainey said. "But he regained his composure and came back to pin Crawford, who placed in districts last year."
West Branch took another gamble at 182, bumping up Vince McDowell to 195 to have Robbie Pearce take on William Hoover.
Pearce fell behind 4-0 after two periods before eventually falling by major decision, 11-1.
With three losses in five of the weights where kids bumped, Bainey was not pleased with the moves.
"I don't think it helped us out much," he said. "At 152 we were winning 5-1 and got pinned. At 182, we were wrestling a kid who weighs 160 pounds and we get major decisioned.
"It was nice to get those kids in the lineup. I tell them they always need to be ready."
One of the biggest wins for the Warriors on the night was at 195, where McDowell bumped up to face Anthony Mezzello.
McDowell, a freshman, has had to take on some bigger and more mature kids this season. But McDowell showed a glimpse into his future Wednesday night, pinning Mezzello in just 44 seconds.
"Vince has lost six of his last seven," Bainey said. "That was a big win for him. He got the six points in a pressure situation, and we needed them."
Buzzy Maines made quick work of Dominic Novella at 220, scoring a takedown in the first few seconds of the match before pinning him in 49 seconds.
The highlight bout of the night was the rematch at 285 between West Branch's Morgan Selepack and Cambria Heights' Aaron Gill.
The two wrestled at the Thomas Tournament in Bedford over the weekend with Gill coming out on top, 1-0.
This time, the match was once again all Gill as he broke out to a 5-1 lead after the second period and never looked back. Gill went on to win, 8-4, and up his record to 21-3.
West Branch finished up the bouts on the mat with two falls, as Dustin Deliman pinned Mark Zabinski at 106 in 22 seconds, while Wyatt Sankey was a winner over Michael Dautlick in 1:59.
Jake Brown picked up a forfeit at 120 pounds for the Warriors to set the final at 48-22.
"We need to work on conditioning," Bainey said. "I didn't think our conditioning was that good at all. We were out of shape in some spots and we didn't push the issue. We need to get a little more crisper before Saturday."
West Branch improved to 23-2 overall. The Warriors face off against Penns Valley in the semifinals on Saturday at Tyrone at 10 a.m.
Cambria Heights dropped to 12-5.

West Branch-48
Cambria Heights-22
126-Joseph Davis, CH, dec. Abe Albright, WB, 10-4. (0-3).
132-J.P. Hayles, WB, pinned Brad Thomas, CH, 3:20. (6-3).
138-Parker Bumbarger, WB, pinned Mike Zabinski, CH, :40. (12-3).
145-Austin Gill, CH, dec. Clayton Green, WB, 10-5. (12-6).
152-Travis Yahner, CH, pinned Kris Smeal, WB, 1:12. (12-12).
160-Levi Neibauer, CH, dec. Luke Slippey, WB, 3-1. (12-15).
170-Lucas Kristofits, WB, pinned Tyler Crawford, CH, 1:53. (18-15).
182-William Hoover, CH, maj. dec. Robbie Pearce, WB, 11-1. (18-19).
195-Vince McDowell, WB, pinned Anthony Mezzello, CH, :44. (24-19).
220-Buzzy Maines, WB, pinned Dominic Novella, CH, :49. (30-19).
285-Aaron Gill, CH, dec. Morgan Selepack, WB, 8-4. (30-22).
106-Dustin Deliman, WB, pinned Mark Zabinski, CH, :22. (36-22).
113-Wyatt Sankey, WB, pinned Michael Dautlick, CH, 1:59. (42-22).
120-Jake Brown, WB, won by forfeit. (48-22).


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