DuBOIS — The Brookville and DuBois wrestling teams met Thursday night in their annual battle of intra-class powers in District 9, and it was the Raiders who came away with bragging rights for the seventh straight time against the Beavers with a 40-24 victory.
The Raiders used a run of seven straight wins after DuBois won the opening bout at 152 to seize control of the match with a commanding 34-3 lead. Brookville captured a couple key toss-up wins during that run, which featured five bonus-point wins (3 pins, 1 forfeit, 1 major decision).
DuBois then got a big pin from Kam Stevenson at 113 to keep its hopes of a comeback alive as it trailed by 25 points (34-9) heading in the the strength of its lineup with five bouts remaining.
However, Brookville (13-2) promptly dashed any hopes of a DuBois comeback when Cayden Walter used a penalty point and escape in the third period to pull out a 4-2 win against Braxton Adams at 120. Walter’s victory sealed the Raiders’ victory in what was DuBois’ first loss of the season after starting the season 11-0.
The victory was Brookville’s 61st in a row on the mat against District 9 foes. The last D-9 team to beat the Raiders on the mat was Redbank Valley in the 2013 District 9 Class AA team finals (33-29). Brookville beat Brockway on the mat back in 2015 at the Ultimate Duals but later had to forfeit the match due to an ineligible wrestler.
“I just told them (kids) ... they are a little bit of a mystery to me,” said Brookville coach Dave Klepfer. “I felt like we didn’t have a real good performance the other night (win vs. Johnsonburg Tuesday). We talked a lot about that yesterday (Wednesday) at practice, then we came out tonight and put together a real nice dual meet I thought.
“It’s the same thing I’ve said all year, it’s on the job training and they are learning on the go a lot of the younger guys. They’re starting to figure it out. It’s a work in progress, but I was very pleased with how we wrestled tonight.
“When you wrestle an undefeated team in late January and beat them, you have to be pretty happy about that. Not many teams make it this far without a loss. They’re a quality team and well-coached and strong through the middle. Night where we were just a little better.”
DuBois made its first tactical move of the night right out of the chute, as head coach Luke Bundy bumped senior Dalton Woodrow up to 152 to face Raider Jacob Cable.
The move paid off in a victory, with Woodrow using a second-period escape to edge the bigger Cable 1-0. Woodrow rode out the Raider in the third period.
That move led to the Beavers bumping up wrestlers at the next two weights, with Brookville coming away with wins in both.
At 160, Brookville’s Wyatt Griffin wasted little time grabbing control of his bout against Gauge Gulvas, scoring a takedown and two sets of backpoints for a 7-0 lead before the Beaver battled for a late reversal to trail 7-2.
Gulvas chose bottom in the second period but never got out as Griffin eventually worked the Beaver to his back and secure a fall just before the the midway point of the period.
Teammate Elliot Park followed with a hard fought 12-7 win against DuBois’ Garrett Starr at 170.
Starr jumped out to the early lead as he took Park down to his back for a five-point move in the opening period. The Raider quickly found off his back and reversed Starr to trail 5-2 after one period.
The second period belong to Park.
The Raider started down and escaped 18 seconds in, then took down Starr just before the midway point of the period. Park then let Starr up before hitting a five-point move of his own on the edge of the mat late in the period to go up 10-6.
Park let Starr up to start the third period, with the pair battling on their feet most of the final period before Park scored a takedown with 17 seconds left to seal his victory.
Brookville then got another big win at 182 when Braden MacBeth fought his way behind Eric Schneider during a flurry to score a takedown with two seconds left in overtime for a 3-1 victory to put the Raiders up 12-3.
Four straight bonus-point wins by Brookville promptly pushed that lead to 34-3 with six bouts remaining.
Nathan Taylor started the string of bonus-point victories with a second-period pin of Ryan White at 195. Taylor took a 4-0 lead into the second period before decking White from the top position in 2:31.
Tanner LaBenne followed with a 12-0 major decision of John Pendleton at 220 in a bout that was close after four minutes. LaBenne used a takedown in the final 20 seconds in both the first and second periods to take a 4-0 lead into the third.
LaBenne poured it on in the final period. He scored two points before he escaped from the bottom on an interlocking and the second stall call on Pendleton. After escaping, the Raider took down the Beaver to go up 9-0 before finishing off the win with three backpoints at the final buzzer.
Raider Colby Whitehill then decked Alex O’Harrah just 18 seconds into the second period of their heavyweight bout. Whitehill, who led 4-0 after one period, escaped from the bottom in the second before taking O’Harrah down his back to get the fall.
“Right before we came back into gym after warmups, I said listen we’re starting at 52. We gotta make sure we don’t come out slow because when it wraps back around to their horses, momentum is a crazy thing in sports,” said Klepfer. “We knew we had to get the bonus points up top, and credit to our guys. They went out pretty hungry to score a lot of bonus points.”
Owen Reinsel capped Brookville’s run of seven straight wins with a forfeit at 106 when DuBois elected to bump Stevenson up to 113, where he pinned Popson.
Walter countered with his 4-2 win against Adams before DuBois won three straight from 126-138.
Chandler Ho notched that first win by pinning Brookville’s Zack Keihl in 1:18 at 126. Teammate Trenton Donahue followed that with a hard fought 5-0 win against Cabe Park.
Donahue, fresh off an overtime win against Altoona’s Matt Sarbo Tuesday, scored takedowns in the first and third periods — adding an escape in between in the second — in the blanking of Park.
Ed Scott collected the Beavers’ final win when he pinned Wyatt Kulik in 3:23 at 138. Scott led 9-1 at the time of the fall.
Brookville closed out its victory with an 8-4 decision by Cody Hetrick against Ryan Gildersleeve at 145.
Hetrick scored takedowns in each of the first two periods before Gildersleeve reversed the Raider in the second to trail 4-2 after four minutes. Gildersleeve let Hetrick up early in the third, then scored a takedown near the midway point to get within a point at 5-4.
The Beaver let Hetrick up again in hopes of tying the bout, but it was the Raider who came up with that takedown with 23 seconds remaining to seal his victory.
“In a lot of the matches we were slow and lethargic, and they beat us with fundamentals,” said Bundy. “They were sprawling and do the little things, and that is stuff we didn’t do tonight. That was the deciding factor in some of our losses, and that’s them (Raiders) being well-coached and getting it done.
“We had to bump some of our guys up a weight class because that gave us our best shot to win, and that’s hard sometimes. They (Raiders) won some of those tossup matches and outwrestled us in those and some other matches tonight.
“Obviously, it (match) is about bragging rights and you want to win every time you step on the mat. They want to beat us, we want to beat them. But, it’s good to go against a good team like Brookville. It shows us some of our weaknesses and things guys need to work on. Hopefully, we can correct some of that as we get closer to the postseason.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday. Brookville hosts Punxsutawney, while DuBois travels to Brockway.