NEW BETHLEHEM — It was a pin-fest to start the 2017 calendar season on the mat at Redbank Valley High School.
And in a lopsided affair, it was the unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Brookville Raiders wrestlers that were on top of most of those pins in a 69-12 win over the Bulldogs Tuesday night.
Of the 14 bouts wrestled, 12 ended with pins and 10 of those belonged to the Raiders, who also notched a technical fall and major decision. Both of the Bulldogs’ wins were pins as well. The Raiders move into Thursday’s home match with Philipsburg-Osceola at 9-0 with their dual meet winning streak extended to 38 matches.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs dropped their first match of the year and take a 7-1 record into next Tuesday’s match at Punxsutawney. This Friday and Saturday, they head to the Tool City Tournament in Meadville.
The Raiders, coming off their five-medal performance at last week’s prestigious Powerade Invitational in Pittsburgh, had four of those five medalists notch pins — Xavier Molnar’s second-period pin of Grant Rupp at 195 pounds, Tyler Cook’s 48-second pin of Colton Schrecongost at 220, Keelan Kunselman’s third-period pin of Mason Songer at 120 and Gavin Park’s second-period pin of Hunter Martz at 126. Caleb Hetrick nailed down a 17-2 technical fall of John Tibbs to start the match at 160.
The Raiders won the first six bouts with Hetrick’s win at 160 and Clayton Peace’s third-period pin of Curtis Mohney at 170. Mohney scored the first takedown of the bout, but Peace built a 9-2 lead before pinning Mohney 16 seconds into the third period. State-ranked Noah Cieleski, nursing a rib injury from the Powerade, made it 15-0 after three bouts when he fought off a determined Logan Minich with a 11-3 major decision at 182.
Molnar and Cook extended the lead to 27-0 after five bouts and Raidewrs’ sophomore heavyweight Tanner LaBenne decked Scott Toth with 18 seconds left in the first period.
The Bulldogs ended the Raiders’ run at 106 pounds when Ethan Wiant scored two takedowns in the first period and took a 4-1 lead into the second period against Raiders freshman Parker Fleming before pinning him in 3:41.
In one of the better bouts of the night, Brodie Joiner rallied from a 7-2 first-period deficit against Redbank Valley’s Brayden Altobelli. He nearly got pinned by Altobelli, but managed to rally for a 9-7 lead before pinning Altobelli 28 seconds into the third period to put the Raiders up 39-6.
Kunselman and Park had pins to hike the Raiders’ lead to 51-6 before Kai Sorbin decked Dawson Wilson at 132. Wilson scored the first takedown, but Sorbin led 7-2 before pinning Wilson with 40 seconds left in the second period.
Dontae Constable made it 63-6 when he showed Scott Drenning the lights with 33 seconds left in the first period at 138 pounds.
The Bulldogs’ other win came in a wild affair at 145 where Travis Crawford eventually fought off the Raiders’ Jacob Cable for a third-period pin. Cable led 4-1 after the first period, but Crawford’s reversal and two nearfall points just before the end of the second gave him an 11-10 lead. He scored two more back points to lead 13-10 before pinning Cable with eight seconds left in the bout.
The Raiders’ Josh Keesecker wrapped up the night with a third-period pin of Bryan Layton at 152 pounds.
NOTES: It was the 61st meeting between the teams and the Raiders closed the Bulldogs’ series edge to 31-30. The Raiders have won seven straight matches against the Bulldogs and 10 of the last 13 dating back to the 2008-09 season. … Since beating the Bulldogs in New Bethlehem at the end of the 2011-12 regular season for their 500th win, the Raiders are 106-15. … In preceding junior high match, Brookville beat Redbank Valley, 39-31.