HERSHEY — For openers, it wasn’t a great one for the DuBois Beavers wrestlers, but it wasn’t too bad either.
Underdogs going into their matchup with District 10 champion Cathedral Prep, the No. 7 team in the state according to the latest papowerwrestling.com state rankings, the Beavers took three of the first four bouts and staked themselves to a 15-6 lead.
But, the Ramblers won eight of the final 10 bouts for a 42-22 victory and sent the Beavers into Friday morning’s consolation round matchup against WPIAL runner-up Canon-McMillan at 10 a.m.
In order for his team to notch an upset, Beavers head coach Luke Bundy thought he’d need to come out on top of the majority of bouts at 138, 145, 195 and 220 pounds, but came up empty.
“I told our guys that granted we’re the underdogs, but the underdogs are allowed to win,” said Bundy, whose team dropped to 13-4. “I thought we put ourselves in a great position to win coming out of the top of the lineup and going into the bottom. We got pins where we needed, but we dropped matches where we shouldn’t and you save a bonus point and pick up a couple of those wins and we pull off the upset.
“I’m happy with a lot of the effort of a lot of our guys, but some I can’t say I’m happy with the effort they gave.”
The match started at heavyweight, and after Prep’s Kawaun Deboe pinned Alex O’Hara in 83 seconds, the Beavers won four of the next five bouts through the strength of their lineup in the lightweights.
Freshmen Trenton Donahue and Ed Scott, ranked 24th and 11th respectively, turned in second-period pins in almost the exact same times. Leading 4-0 at the time, Donahue decked Alex Chelton in 3:28. Then it was Scott who pinned another state-ranked wrestler, senior returning Brady Sittinger who was ranked No. 22. He needed 10 more seconds than Donahue and was leading 2-0 after a reversal to start the second.
Woodrow, ranked 14th at 120, decisioned Andrew Start 5-1 to put the Beavers up 15-6. After Prep’s Tyler McKinney pinned Jake Myers in the second period at 126, No. 10 Kolby Ho majored Spencer Staab 15-7 at 132 to put the Beavers up 19-12.
“The young guys are fearless and out there to get falls and points and that’s what it takes down here,” Bundy said. “When you get in the arena and people are nerved up, you have to put that behind you and get after it.”
But, Prep went to work after Ho’s win and won the next four bouts to take the lead for good at 33-19. Marques McClorin pinned Austin Fairman in the second period at 138 to get things rolling for the Ramblers.
The Beavers’ No. 21-ranked Brock Adams was held to just a second-period escape in a 4-2 loss to Albert Taylor at 145. Then Prep’s No. 4 Carter Starocci, an eighth-place medalist last year, pinned Lance Henninger in the second period at 152. No. 5-ranked Dazjon Casto pinned Dom Dilullo in 25 seconds to finish off the run at 160.
The Beavers’ No. 18-ranked Carson Hanna won their final bout with an 11-4 decision over Kyle Carter at 170 to stop Prep’s run and cut things to 33-22.
Prep won the final three bouts with No. 8 Luigi Yates hard-earned 3-0 win over Izsak Kerner at 182, Michael Hughes’ come-from-behind — he trailed 4-1 in the first period — 8-6 win over the Beavers’ No. 18 Dave Henninger at 195 and DyJheir Norman’s 2-1 rideout win over the Beavers’ Matt Starr at 220.
A win over Canon-McMillan, which was ranked No. 4 in the state before losing a 30-29 nail-biter to No. 8 Council Rock South in their opener, would put the Beavers in another consolation match at 6 p.m. It’ will take two Friday wins to get into Saturday.
“I talked to our guys about resetting goals,” Bundy said. “The goal was to get here but any good team will reset their goals and try to get some wins down here, whether you’re the underdog, the favorite or if it’s a tossup match. We’re going to try to come down here and get the job done.”