Jay Prentice is accustomed to saving events.
As the goalie for the Philipsburg-Osceola soccer team, he helped the Mounties to the District 6 Class AA title.
But this was the first time he had been called on to save a meet for the wrestling team.
No big deal. A save’s a save. Prentice went out and registered a gutsy 6-4 win over veteran Gavin Caprio to nail down what wound up being a 32-30 win over Central Mountain here on a stormy Thursday night.
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Caprio took Prentice down in the first period for a 4-1 lead, but the Mountie reversed Caprio to his back in the second period to make it 6-4 and then rode Caprio the entire third period.
“When I took him to his back, I got a lot of momentum,” Prentice said. “Then I just took it and went with it.”
Prentice said he doesn’t necessarily thrive in save situations.
“Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t,’’ he said. “It depends on the mood I’m in. I don’t know if this tops winning a District 6 title, but it’s a proud moment when you can beat Central Mountain in anything.”
“You had better be ready to go six minutes with Jay Prentice,” said Mountie coach Tim McCamley after his first win over the Wildcats. “He wrestled really well. We knew how tough Caprio is and Jay stayed out of trouble. He didn’t extend himself.”
The Mounties started the meet off with a win as Dennis Lumadue opened the meet with a 37-second fall over Nick Miller at 182, and they never trailed by more than six points at any time.
A forfeit to Blaze Buckwalter at 197 set off a three-bout run for the Wildcats, as Cameron Porter followed with a 3-1 win over Nick Gray at 220, and Caleb Stover beat RJ Kephart 2-1 in overtime at heavyweight to make the meet score 12-6.
The teams traded falls at 106 and 113, as P-O’s Chris Thompson needed 1:07 to put away Ryan Moore at 106, and Keinan Bottorf pinned P-O’s Nathan Quick in 13 seconds at 113 to make it 18-12.
But Bryan Descavish majored Draven King 12-2 at 120 with six back points to make it 18-16, and Brian Evans gave P-O a 22-18 lead with a fall over Aaron Confer in 31 seconds.
At 132, Central Mountain’s Cole Hanley edged Scott Yarger 6-5, thanks to a takedown and two back points in the second period, to cut the P-O lead to 25-21.
“Scott Yarger is a tough, tough kid,” McCamley said. “He’s beating out a heck of a kid (Dallas Kephart). Almost every elimination match between those two is overtime. Scott gave Hanley all he could handle.”
Caleb Shively then topped Jacob Watt at 140 9-3 with four back points in the third period, before Mountie Justin Millard used seven takedowns to major Zach Knepp 19-10 at 145, to make the score 29-21.
Central Mountain got a 3-2 win from Chad Reese over Andrew Greenawalt at 152. It was Greenawalt’s first bout of the year due to a knee injury.
“Andrew isn’t ready to wrestle yet but he told me he’d do what I needed him to do,” McCamley said. “He’s been cleared by a doctor to wrestle but he’s not in mat shape. He’s only gone live one day.”
Greenawalt took Reese down early in the first period but gave up an escape and takedown in the second and was unable escape in the third.
With their lead cut to five points with two bouts to go, the Mounties needed a win from Prentice to lock down the victory and he gave it to them.
“The kids really put it all together tonight,” McCamley said. “I can’t say enough about them. Even the ones who didn’t win didn’t give up any momentum. There were no momentum swings in this meet.”
The win, P-O’s first in three meets, was made sweeter by the team it beat.
“There is a mystique about them (Central Mountain),” McCamley said. “We haven’t even come remotely close to beating them through the years.”