As the 145-pound bout between Bald Eagle Area’s Seth Koleno and Philipsburg-Osceola’s Levi Hughes headed into the third period, the score was deadlocked, as was the dual meet
But in the third, Koleno escaped for a 3-2 lead and took Hughes down with 35 seconds to go for a 5-2 cushion. But he wasn’t satisfied with that and turned Hughes for back points which turned into a fall with one second left in the bout to give BEA the lead permanently, 12-6.
Koleno won the Dennis “Flash” Horton Award which is given to the outstanding wrestler for each team in the intra-county rivalry won by BEA, 46-23.
“Zach Beitz (BEA assistant coach) taught me that move,” Koleno explained. “I was going for a quick tilt, looking for back points and I was going to ride him out. But I had it locked up tight so I decided to go for the fall. The team needed those points. The referee slapped the mat right at the buzzer.”
“Seth deserved that award, that’s for sure,” said Eagle coach Ron Guenot. “That was a no-brainer. After he got that fall I felt pretty good because we weren’t expecting that.”
It was one of five falls turned in by the Eagles. Their powerful trio of middleweights — Garrett Rigg, Koleno and Gage McClenahan — all registered pins along with lightweights Alec Nyman and Drew Koleno.
“I’m proud of those guys,” Guenot said of Rigg, Koleno and McClenahan. “We asked Seth to move up. He gave up some weight but he kept grinding. Those guys gave us the momentum and it carried over into the upper weights.”
The meet started at 126, where P-O’s Matt Johnson, back in the lineup after being out with an arm injury, trimmed Lucas Holderman 14-10. Johnson was leading 14-5 deep into the third period before Holderman hit a five-point move to erase a major decision.
Rigg followed with a fall over Landon McDonald in 3:38, but P-O’s Tristan Beauseigneur beat Clayton Giedroc with a takedown 22 seconds ahead of the buzzer for a 5-4 win.
Koleno followed with his win over Hughes and McClenahan needed only 51 seconds to pin Zach Kahley and move BEA ahead 18-6. The Mounties got a bonus point win from Matt Shimmel, who teched Bailey Irwin 17-2 in 4:41.
The Eagles followed with a 14-4 major decision from Dylan Bisel over Ian Klinger and a wild 12-8 win from Andrew Cohen over Kyle Taylor. Cohen scored three takedowns and two back points in the third period for the win.
The teams swapped forfeits at 195 and 220 before P-O’s Brad Dunkle pinned Kurt Hall in 3:05 to get the Mounties within eight points, 31-23.
But BEA’s Garrett Giedroc used a third-period takedown to edge Chase Chapman 2-1 at 106 before Nyman pinned Jason Franchock at the 1:31 mark and Drew Koleno decked Noah Clark in 2:47 to close out the meet.
In the aftermath both coaches cited the importance of wrestling from whistle to whistle in the outcome of the meet.
“We preach to our kids about how important it is to wrestle hard the whole time, to wrestle six minutes with heart and passion,” Guenot said. “Garret didn’t give up when he could have and ended up getting a takedown. We want our kids to make sure they don’t give up easy points.”
P-O’s Brad Pataky concurred.
“Our biggest mistake tonight was that we didn’t wrestle six minutes,” he said. “It’s not acceptable to wrestle 5:40 or 5:45. We would stop and give up opportunities to score points or we gave them opportunities to score points and they took advantage of it. We went into this meet expecting to win.”
BEA will be back in action Saturday afternoon when it entertains Shikellamy. P-O is idle until Tuesday when it travels to meet Huntingdon.