What started out as a blowout turned into a nail-biter before Philipsburg-Osceola managed to hold off a late charge by Bald Eagle Area and post a 39-32 decision in a wrestling dual meet Tuesday night.
The meet started at 152 pounds and by the time it got to heavyweight the Mounties were on top, 27-6. Then BEA won six of seven bouts — the P-O win was by forfeit at 113 — and when it came down to the final bout at 145 the Mounties were holding a 33-32 lead.
But P-O had veteran Dakota Weitoish on deck while the Eagles had rookie Bailey Irvin and it only took Weitoish 41 seconds to close out the meet with a fall.
“We had debated bumping Dakota up to 152,” said Mountie coach Tim McCamley, “but we decided we’d rather have him at 145.”
It turned out to be a wise choice in this latest battle between the long-time rivals where the momentum swung from one side to the other over the course of the meet.
BEA drew first blood as Jacob Crestani won by injury default in 5:47 over Payton Moore when he took him down hard to his shoulder and Moore couldn’t continue.
Then P-O went on a five-bout roll starting with Nick Patrick’s fall over Brock Hockenberry in 41 seconds at 160.
The Mounties picked up a forfeit at 170 before Josh Hubler used a pair of takedowns to decision Dylan Bisel 4-0 at 170 and Brandon Anderson got a forfeit at 197.
Micah Sidorick pushed the P-O lead to 27-6 with a pin of Cory Thompson in 3:13 at 220. It was P-O’s last win in a contested bout until Weitoish’s meet-clinching victory as the teams split the 14 bouts evenly.
Josh Fye got BEA moving when he pinned Bradley Dunkel and Garrett Giedroc followed with a 12-4 major decision over Braden Butler.
“I couldn’t wait until we got to G,” BEA coach Steve Millward said of Giedroc. “He gives up a lot of size but he has the talent and the skills and he has a big heart for such a little kid.”
A forfeit at 113 set the team score at 33-16 before BEA reeled off four straight wins.
At 120, Clayton Giedroc took Trevin Hampton down five times in a 16-8 major decision.
In the feature bout of the night, BEA’s Garrett Rigg pinned Matt Johnson from the neutral position while they were scrambling for a takedown. Rigg was leading 5-0 at the time of the fall, which came at 5:37 in their 126-pound bout.
“Garrett hung in there,” Millward said. “Sometimes he just does things without even thinking. We knew 120, 126, 32 and 38 were going to be key matchups.”
“Blame that one on the funk rolls,” McCamley said of Thompson‘s bout. “Sometimes you’re better off staying with your straight counters.”
BEA kept the momentum as Seth Koleno posted a 7-1 win over Bryce Bennett, taking him down three times, and when Coby Bainey took down Levi Hughes with 19 seconds left in overtime for a 4-2 win, the stage was set for Weitoish.
“It was a typical BEA-P-O match,” McCamley said. “We thought we’d win a couple of those last four matches but give BEA credit, they won a couple of those in there. BEA took it to us. It’s tough to wrestle in this gym. I thought our guys wrestled well up top. I was proud of Hubler. He did a nice job.”
It was a typical BEA-P-O match. We thought we’d win a couple of those last four matches but give BEA credit, they won a couple of those in there. BEA took it to us.
P-O coach Tim McCamley
Millward was happy with his team’s effort if not the final score.
“I was proud of the way we wrestled,” Millward said. “Sometimes it’s tough to keep momentum through the whole dual meet. But this was typical P-O-BEA. There’s a lot of pride in both programs.”
P-O will return to action Thursday night when it entertains Brookville, the top-ranked Class AA team in the state.
“We’ll have our work cut out for us,” McCamley said. “We’ll have to wrestle better than we did tonight.”