PHILIPSBURG — You can calculate the final score of Tuesday night's dual meet between Bellefonte and Philipsburg-Osceola in one of two ways.
If you go by falls, the Red Raiders won 5-3.
If you go by the scoreboard, it was Bellefonte 39, P-O 32 — the six bonus points from the fall differential being the deciding factor.
And both coaches knew it was going to come down to that.
“We told the kids before the match that P-O was going to put a solid kid out there at every weight and it was going to come down to bonus points,’’ said Raider coach Mike Maney. “We knew it was going to be close and whoever got the most bonus points would come out on top. Ever since I’ve been coaching at Bellefonte, it’s always been tough to wrestle here. Last year, both of our meets with them were close. We’ve been stressing staying aggressive.’’
Of the five falls the Raiders registered, perhaps none had the impact of Dillon Kephart’s first-period fall over Kaleb Guy in 1:04 at 152 pounds.
“He just battled,’’ Maney said. “In his first match (against State College), he got sloppy and he had that look in his eye like that wouldn’t happen again. Tonight he took advantage of an opportunity and got a big pin for us.’’
The fall restored the Raider lead to seven points at 21-14, after the Mounties had erased a 15-0 deficit and had closed to within a point after Justin Millard’s 12-4 major decision over Dillon Ault at 145.
Bellefonte used a pair of first-period falls from Aaron Witherite and Luke Leathers, plus Trevor Corl’s 4-1 decision over Brian Evans at 126 to take a 15-0 lead.
But the Mounties fought back, as Dallas Kephart pinned Nate Rosenberger at the first-period buzzer at 132, and Caleb Shively majored Zach Musser 9-1, thanks to two takedowns and three back points to make it 15-10 heading into Millard’s bout.
P-O’s Jay Prentice pinned Tanner Fetterolf in 2:33 at 160 to pull the Mounties back to within a point at 21-20, but Austin Cable’s fall over Alex Hunsaker in 2:29 and a forfeit to Nick Shawley at 182 put the Raiders back on top, 33-20.
And again, P-O battled back as Bub Lumadue pinned Austin Phillips in 5:48 and Nick Gray decisioned Toby Cain 7-0 at 220 to make it 33-29.
However, the Mounties could not match up with Garrett Poorman at 285, as he needed only 22 seconds to pin an overmatched RJ Kephart to lock up the meet.
P-O’s Chris Thompson blanked Collin Wesley 6-0 at 106 to end the meet.
“We were giving up 80 pounds at heavyweight,’’ said P-O coach Tim McCamley. “We didn’t have anyone to match up with Poorman.
“But it all came down to bonus points. We didn’t get them and they did. We went for them but we just couldn’t get them. I told the kids it was probably going to be close and would come down to bonus points.
“And the meet started at the right place for them (113). That allowed them to make adjustments to their lineup and we couldn’t cover it. I thought we wrestled hard and I saw some good things in a lot of matches.’’
P-O returns to action Thursday when it travels to Penns Valley while Bellefonte will be in the King of the Mountain Tournament beginning Friday.