Mo Valley wrestlers lose 39-38 heartbreaker to Cambria Heights|
Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
ALLPORT - As head coach of the Moshannon Valley baseball team, Justin Fye is used to getting thrown a curveball or two.
But the one he got on Wednesday night as his Knight wrestlers took on Cambria Heights in the first round of the District 6 Class AA Team Duals was quite the hanger.
Just about 30 minutes before the match started, Fye learned that his 106-pound wrestler didn't make weight, forcing an already depleted Mo Valley squad to surrender another forfeit.
That forfeit proved to be the difference in the match, as the Highlanders scored a fall in the last bout to take the 39-38 victory.
"We looked at every scenario possible, and we didn't have a lot of time," said Fye. "Weigh-ins were a little late and we only had about a half hour or so to decide what we were going to do.
"We looked at bumping lightweights, bumping heavyweights ... everything possible. We knew we had to win every match that was wrestled."
The Knights did win six of the eight bouts contested on the mat, scoring a 32-9 victory in those matches. But it was the five forfeits that allowed Cambria Heights to make a big comeback heading into the final two bouts.
"You can't give up 30 points," said Fye. "We won matches wrestled, 32-9. I know some people will say, ‘This guy could have got some points here.' But all of our guys wrestled tough.
"I can't complain. Our guys go non-stop. They don't back down no matter who they are wrestling. They are going to go out and go hard and try to beat somebody every time."
The match started at 120 pounds where the teams exchanged forfeits.
Mo Valley picked up its first win of the night at 132 where Bryce Bloom scored a 15-1 major decision over Eric Kuskoski.
That was followed by a fall from teammate Ryan Thomas, who decked Mike Zabinski in 3:44.
The Knights' Sam Ohler built on the team's 16-6 lead with a 13-5 major decision at 145 pounds, before Cody Hamilton recorded a fall in 1:15 at 152 pounds.
That put Moshannon Valley up 26-6 with three open spots coming up for the Highlanders.
The Knights forfeited at 160, 170 and 182 - moving their usual 182-pounder Kent Stewart up to 195 to face Anthony Mezzello.
Stewart picked up the much-needed pin, taking just 58 seconds to show the Cambria Heights wrestler the lights.
James Stodart bumped to 220, where he built a 9-1 lead before pinning Dominic Novella in 1:27.
With Mo Valley leading 38-24, it put a big emphasis on the match at 285, where the Knights' Jake Ludwig was giving up 56 pounds to the Highlanders' Aaron Gill.
A win would have sealed the match for the Knights, but the weight advantage was evident as the match wore on.
Ludwig scored a takedown to start the match, but was reversed. The wrestlers headed into the second period with a 2-2 tie.
Gill chose down to start the second, and quickly garnered an escape. He then got a takedown, which after a scoreless third period, set the final at 5-2.
"He was giving up 60 pounds to one of the better heavyweights," Fye said. "Gill just beat (West Branch's Morgan) Selepack, who I thought was the best heavyweight in the district, over the weekend. So he is wrestling the best heavyweight in the district as of right now, and he wrestled well.
"When you are giving up weight, the more time you don't move, the harder it is to get out. He was doing good on his feet, he just got himself into a couple of situations. I know he is upset with himself, but I can't ask for anything else from Jake."
The move of bumping their top three wrestlers proved to be the right one, although it didn't end up working out in the end.
"When we bumped those three guys up, we felt confident we could get three falls out of that," said Fye. "It just didn't happen that way. If we wrestled again, maybe it does happen.
"It's hard when you have to change your game plan on how you wrestle like that. There is a difference on how you can move a guy who is 220 or a guy who is 280. Even with that, Ludwig wrestled great."
The match still wasn't over for the Knights, who forfeited to Mark Zabinski at 106, cutting the score to 38-33.
That put the match in the hands of whoever took the bout at 113 pounds.
Mo Valley could lose, but needed to avoid anything more than a major decision. A technical fall would have tied the match, but given the win to Cambria Heights on criteria.
The Knights sent out freshman Joey Vanish against sophomore Michael Dautlick.
Vanish scored an early takedown, but Dautlick escaped before netting a takedown of his own. Vanish escaped, but was taken down again as Dautlick also scored three nearfall points.
The Highlander added four nearfall points in the second period before getting Vanish to his back for the fall in 3:21.
"He (Vanish) went out there and was going after it the whole time," said Fye. "No matter what until the very end, he was fighting. We told him to go out there and run. Run for six minutes. But I don't want to do that to a kid.
"Joey hasn't wrestled very long. He is not real experienced out there. He went out and got a takedown and was wrestling well. He is still learning on how to react when he gets into a certain position. He doesn't know some of that stuff yet.
"But I can't fault him. I know he is upset with himself. But once again, when you give everything you have out there wrestling, I can't argue with that."
The win by Dautlick set the final at 39-38, setting Cambria Heights up for a quarterfinal match with West Branch. The Warriors won that bout, 48-22.
Still Fye was proud of his wrestlers who came out and put up their best.
"I can't fault the guys who were out there wrestling tonight," said Fye. "They wrestled their hearts out, every single match. We won six of the eight matches wrestled. We forfeit five weights and lost by a point in district duals.
That wouldn't happen to anyone else. Our guys wrestled as hard as they could. I can't fault any of them who went out there and wrestled."
Moshannon Valley fell to 9-7 overall. The Knights travel to Curwensville this evening.
Cambria Heights improved to 12-4 with the win.
120-Dylan Fudalski, MV, won by forfeit. (0-6).
126-Joseph Davis, CH, won by forfeit. (6-6).
132-Bryce Bloom, MV, maj. dec. Eric Kuskoski, CH, 15-1. (6-10).
138-Ryan Thomas, MV, pinned Mike Zabinski, CH, 3:44. (6-16).
145-Sam Ohler, MV, maj. dec. Austin Gill, CH, 13-5. (6-20).
152-Cody Hamilton, MV, pinned Travis Yahner, 1:15. (6-26).
160-Levi Neibauer, CH, won by forfeit. (12-26).
170-Dalton Waksmunski, CH, won by forfeit. (18-26).
182-Tyler Crawford, CH, won by forfeit. (24-26).
195-Kent Stewart, MV, pinned Anthony Mezzello, CH, :58. (24-32).
220-James Stodart, MV, pinned Dominic Novella, CH, 1:27. (24-38).
285-Aaron Gill, CH, dec. Jake Ludwig, MV, 5-2. (27-38).
106-Mark Zabinski, CH, won by forfeit. (33-38).
113-Michael Dautlick, CH, pinned Joey Vanish, MV, 3:21. (39-38).