After Bellefonte suffered a lopsided loss to Huntingdon on Friday, Red Raider coach Mike Maney said he wanted to see more aggressiveness out of his team.
That’s exactly what he got Monday night in a District 6 Class AAA Team Duals quarterfinal win over Altoona.
Bellefonte (9-3) won 12 of 14 bouts, scoring bonus points in nine of them, in shellacking Altoona 62-9.
“We certainly still have some things we need to work on if we want to compete with Central Mountain and Mifflin County, which we’ll get next,” Maney said. “We wanted to be more aggressive than we were at Huntingdon. Practices have been focused on that.”
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Bellefonte advances to the District 6 Class AAA Team Duals semifinals against Mifflin County at 10 a.m. Saturday at Tyrone Area High School.
For Altoona, which got the duals invitation when Bald Eagle Area declined to participate, it was another chance to compete against top-level competition.
“Sometimes they get you and sometimes you get them,” Mountain Lion coach Joel Gilbert said “They got us tonight. They’re a really good wrestling team.
“They were much more physical than what we were on the mat. When they had the opportunity to pin us, they did. We didn’t take advantage of situations. We have a lot of work to do to get to where they are.”
Bellefonte piled up six falls, accepted two forfeits, got two major decisions and two decisions in amassing a 19-7 edge in takedowns.
“We always have to be looking for those bonus points,” Maney said. “If there’s an opportunity, take it, and things don’t work out and you get put to your back, you have to find ways to fight off and go back to work and score points.”
The Raiders were aggressive from the start, rolling out to a 20-0 lead before the Mountain Lions knew what hit them.
The match started at 126 pounds, and Chase Gardner staked the Raiders to a lead they would never relinquish with an 11-0 major decision.
Trevor Corl followed with a fall in 45 seconds before Nate Rosenberger cruised to a 10-0 major decision at 138. Zach Musser then scored a fall in 2:50 at 145 and Bellefonte was rolling.
Altoona registered one of its two wins on the night at 152. David Hollingshead was leading 14-1 when he locked up a crossface cradle and scored a fall in 3:02.
“I think he’s looking forward to the postseason more than anyone else on our team,” Gilbert said of Hollingshead. “Hopefully, he has an opportunity to get down to Hershey and show everyone what he has.”
The Raiders shook off that loss and won the next six matches.
Austin Cable started with an 8-2 decision at 160. Dillon Kephart followed with a 10-4 decision.
Brien McChesney (182) and Tim Benfer (220) accepted forfeits around a fall from 195-pounder Toby Cain, who led 7-4 before scoring a pin in 4:45.
Then, at 285, Ben Putnam ignited the biggest cheers of the night with a second-period fall in 3:44.
“That’s the nice thing about the sport. You have team success, but you also have individual success,” Maney said. “Last year at districts he won a match and then here tonight. I’m happy for him to go out and get a fall. Good for him.”
With the match out of reach at 50-6, Altoona got its only other win at 106. Cole Manley scored a first-period takedown and added a stalling point in the third for a hard-fought 3-0 win over Aaron Witherite.
Luke Leathers (113) and Brock Port (120) finished off the match with falls in 14 seconds and 3:14, respectively.
“Both of their guys who won are studs, they’re tough kids. They’ve been around for a while,” Maney said. “Both of those guys are good, but at the same time we know those are guys we have to beat if we want to advance in a couple weeks in the individual postseason.”