Little Lions wrestling coach Ryan Cummins looked stunned after Monday night’s match.
Cummins’ squad went from being down 18 points to, in less than a minute, being tied thanks to several forfeits. But, in the end, State College still fell 40-30 to Carlisle — to continue its six match losing streak.
“Not our finest performance, that’s for sure,” Cummins said. “A lot of guys got in bad positions and shouldn’t have been there. We’ll talk about it more (Tuesday). Hopefully, they learn from it and are smarter next time, and we don’t have to worry about this again.”
The match began with the Thundering Herd’s Ridge Wargins pinning the Little Lions’ Omer Kandemir in just 24 seconds at 152 pounds. Carlisle’s Colton Zimmerman and Logan Rhoades followed suit in the pin parade.
Zimmerman earned his victory in 1:28 over Jason Dry at 160 pounds. Rhoades reversed Ty Price and stuck him in 1:35. State College was in an 18-point hole at that point.
“Yeah, stay in it, keep wrestling. It’s definitely not over,” Cummins said of the message to his team at that point. “They did. They fought back and kept it as close as they could. A couple of things didn’t go our way and that’s just wrestling.”
Noah Prewitt (182 pounds), Tate McLaughlin (195) and Cole Urbas (220) all received consecutive forfeits, and State College was out of its hole.
The Little Lions’ Harrison Schoen put on a rally in his 285-pound bout against Dylan White. However, there just wasn’t enough time for Schoen to complete the comeback in a 6-4 loss. State College trailed 21-18 at the break.
Out of the break, the Little Lions were in a seven-point deficit after a 13-4 major decision win for Carlisle at 106 pounds. But then it was supposed to be time for the strength of State College’s lineup to shine.
“Urbas has a shot at being a state champ,” Thundering Herd’s coach Joe Wilson said, “but (Cummins) has a couple other guys — that little 113-pounder is tough as crap, 120 and 126. He could have three or four kids at states.”
The 113-pound wrestler Wilson referred to was Jude Swisher, who racked up a 13-0 lead going to the third period. He scored eight points alone in the second period on an escape, takedown and two sets of near-fall points.
The freshman tried his best to get a much-needed pin for his team. However, it just wouldn’t come to fruition. He recorded the two needed points for a 15-0 technical fall with 18 seconds remaining in his match. State College trailed, just barely, 25-23.
Junior Clayton Leidy used a late two-on-one tilt in the third period to record a 2-0 win over Seth Bloomquist at 120 pounds. The Little Lions led for the first time at 26-25.
Carlisle reclaimed the lead in the next bout from junior varsity wrestler Azmir Ibrahim. Ibrahim, who is the backup to two-time state qualifier Rafael Portilla, got the nod as Portilla was one of five starters out of the lineup.
Ibrahim caught State College’s Owen Barr in one of those “bad positions” and pinned the freshman in 4:44.
“The win at 126 is tough. Azmir has really come a long way in the last year,” Wilson said. “This shows our depth to be able to come up here and wrestle a solid program like State College and come away with a win. Those kids have been biding their time in the room. I’m happy with their performance.”
State College didn’t go away.
The Little Lions saw usual 126-pound wrestler Owen Woolcott bump up to 132 pounds. He did so with flair.
Woolcott opened with a nine-point first period over Nathan Bernheimer. He followed that up with an eight-point second period and a 17-3 lead to start the third period.
The sophomore chose the top position to start the third, looking for another needed fall for State College. He couldn’t get the pin and came up one point shy of a technical fall in the 17-3 victory. The Little Lions were down 31-30 with two bouts to go.
The Thundering Herd clinched the dual in the next bout with a pin in 1:48. They followed it up with an 11-4 decision at 145 pounds.
“Anytime you wrestle State College, I coach football too, it’s the same thing when we play them in football, whether its freshman, JV, it doesn’t matter,” Wilson said. “If you come to State College or State College comes to you, you are going to get a battle, it doesn’t matter what the sport is.
“The kids have a lot pride in their program. The coaches are doing a great job. Even their younger guys that maybe weren’t expected to win, they still came and battled. It’s every year. State College is always tough, and it’s always nice to take that long ride back 322 with a W.”
Carlisle 40, State College 30
Monday at State College
152: Ridge Wargins, C, pinned Omer Kandemir, :24
160: Colton Zimmerman, C, pinned Jason Dry, 1:28
170: Logan Rhoades, C, pinned Ty Price, 1:35
182: Noah Prewitt, SC, won by forfeit
195: Tate McLaughlin, SC, won by forfeit
220: Cole Urbas, SC, won by forfeit
285: Dylan White, C, dec. Harrison Schoen, 6-4
106: Noah Clawson, C, major dec. Bailey Weaverling, 13-4
113: Jude Swisher, SC, tech. fall Clayton Shughart, 15-0 (5:42)
120: Clayton Leidy, SC, dec. Seth Bloomquist, 2-0
126: Azmir Ibrahim, C, pinned Owen Barr, 4:44
132: Owen Woolcott, SC, major dec. Nathan Bernheimer, 17-3
138: Bryce Dunkelberger, C, pinned Kyle Martin, 1:48
145: Jarrett Wilson, C, dec. Michael McShea, 11-4
Takedowns: Carlisle 14, State College 8
Records: Carlisle 5-5, State College 5-9
Next match: Hollidaysburg at State College, Feb. 11, 7 p.m.