Even though his Philipsburg-Osceola wrestling team had lost its second dual meet of the week, coach Tim McCamley was a happier man Thursday night in the aftermath of a 35-24 loss to Chestnut Ridge than he had been following a loss to Bellefonte on Tuesday.
“That’s more like what I expected to see,” McCamley said of his team’s gritty performance against the Lions. “We stayed in matches where we could have let them get away. I was pleased with the effort. In practice (Wednesday) we talked about whey they weren’t motivated against Bellefonte.”
The talk had the desired effect as the Mounties came out and won the first two bouts on the card, starting with Dakota Weitoish’s 12-5 win over Morgan Deremer at 152 pounds. Weitoish scored eight points in the third period on a pair of takedowns, three back points and an escape to get the win. Nick Patrick followed by beating Josh McGill, 7-6 at 160, Patrick got out to a 7-1 lead after two periods but McGill rallied with an escape and a four-point move off his feet in the third period to make it close.
At 170 the Lions got on the board as Brandyn Beaver took Ian Klinger down twice and turned him for six back points in a 14-8 win, and at 182 heavily favored Connor Buttry majored Brandon Anderson, 12-1 thanks to three takedowns and six back points to put the Lions in front 10-6.
P-O erased that lead in the next two bouts as Micah Sidorick needed only 1:03 to pin Brandon Clark and Bradly Dunkle put away Joel Evans in 4:50 to put the Mounties up 18-10.
“We knew they were probably stronger than us in the upper weights and we were probably stronger than them in the lower weights,” said Lions coach Greg Lazor. “In the middle we figured there would be a lot of good matches and we were hoping to pull out one more win than them.”
That’s exactly how it played out.
At 106, Cody Brown pinned P-O’s Brandon Butler in 36 seconds and at 112 Seth Harbaugh put the Lions back in front when he majored Noah Twoey 15-3, getting four takedowns and seven back points to set the score at 20-18.
“That was our 106-pounder’s first varsity match and I was happy to see him get a pin,” Lazor added. “And our 182-pounder is just a freshman and that was a big win for us.”
The Mounties stopped the bleeding at 126 where Matt Johnson won a hard-fought, 4-3 decision over Scott Miller on the strength of a pair of first-period takedowns that set the dual meet score at 26-1 with three weight classes to go.
But the Lions won two of them, one by forfeit and the other at 132 where Jared McGill took down Bryce Bennett at the final buzzer for a 7-6 win.
P-O’s Levi Hughes matched that with a 9-8 win over Levi Hobson at 145, after trailing 4-0 going into the final two minutes. Hues had an escape, reversal and three takedowns in the third period for the win.
“ Levi gets a tough match every time,” said McCamley, shaking his head and smiling. “That forfeit really loomed large as the meet went along. We might have been done something different with Bryce (Bennett) if not for that. But the dual meet was already lost when he took the mat.”