CURWENSVILLE — The Curwensville wrestling team was able to get the matchups they wanted on Thursday night against visiting Brockway, defeating the Rovers 43-31 in their last dual meet of the season.
The Tide won four of the seven contested bouts on the mat and received four forfeits.
“We got another win,” said Curwensville head coach Dean Swatsworth. “It felt good to end the season with a win. I told the seniors, ‘Let’s go out with a bang this year for you and get the win.’ It was good for the seniors. I was glad to see them wrestle hard and get that win. It didn’t come how we wanted it to, but we got it.”
The Rovers picked up three forfeits on the night and won three bouts. Brockway took the victory in the best matchup of the night as Anthony Glasl defeated Zach Holland 4-3 at 106 pounds.
Still Brockway head coach Eric Grecco knows his team has to minimize its mistakes, especially with districts coming up next week.
“The matchups we did wrestle, I was okay overall with how we did,” he said. “A few matches we made some mistakes where it almost cost us the match or did cost us the match. We just have to learn from that and not make the same mistakes, especially with the postseason here with districts coming right around the corner.”
One of those bouts was at 106, where Grecco led 3-0 after two periods. Holland was able to get him to his back after Grecco chose down to start the third. The Tide freshman couldn’t get Grecco flat, so tried to reposition. The Rover grappler was able to escape with 17 seconds left to take a 4-3 lead, despite the crowd calling for a late takedown by Holland with three seconds to go.
“We knew it was going to be a tight match coming in with Holland,” Grecco said. “I felt pretty comfortable after taking that 3-0 lead in the second. Then, we just made that mistake and kind of hipped over there and the next thing we know it’s 3-3 and we are looking to get out to get that win.
“That comes down to mental toughness and he is extremely mentally tough. You just have to find a way to get out in that situation and he did. Ultimately, that won him the match.”
The match started at 152, where the Rovers picked up back-to-back forfeits for Angelo Inzana and Erik Botwright.
Curwensville’s Mason Lancaster took on Eric Johnson at 170. Lancaster took a 5-0 lead with a takedown and three nearfall points in the first, before building his lead to 10-1 after two.
Lancaster went on to win 12-6 despite a late charge by Johnson.
Brockway scored its first win on the mat at 182, as Garrett McClintick nabbed a 13-2 major decision over Kaleb Witherite. Witherite had McClintick on his back after a reversal in the second period, but the Rover escaped and went on to win the bout.
“Kaleb’s match was a good match,” Swatsworth said. “I was glad to see him wrestle McClintick. He’s a real good wrestler. It’s good for Kaleb to gauge where he is and he knows what he has to do in the next week to get better and be ready to wrestle.”
The Tide got their first forfeit of the night as Gordon Buchwitz got six points at 195.
“Gordon moved in late in the season,” said Swatsworth. He went to a school (North Clarion) that didn’t have wrestling and he said we wanted to wrestle. He got an exhibition there tonight. He’s trying and I am glad to see that. He’s young and I hope he comes back next year.”
Brockway picked up another victory at 220, as Justin Smith took down Nick Stewart and put him on his back for the fall in 1:03.
“With the matches we did wrestle, I was pretty pleased with that,” Grecco said. “We got some nice wins there with Justin Smith getting that pin at 220. It was a well wrestled match.”
The Tide matched the six points at 285, as Steven McClure garnered a fall over Hayden Thompson in 1:10 to put the match at 22-15 in favor of the Rovers.
Brockway widened its lead to 25-15 as Glasl scored his 4-3 decision over Holland at 106.
“That was a big match for Zachie,” said Swatsworth. “He wrestled hard and he was physical. It is what it is. It could’ve went either way. He just ended up on the wrong end of it this time.
“I told him that anything can happen at districts. I feel Zach is a kid that could be anyone in that bracket. He lost to a couple of those kids, but we are going to try and get him the best seed that we can.”
Curwensville’s Blake Passarelli picked up a forfeit win at 113, before Mason Gasper made quick work of Elijah Shifter with a 12-second fall at 120.
Gasper’s win gave the Tide a 27-25 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the match.
“It was a good match for Gasper,” Swatsworth said. “He needed something like that. Going into the seeding meeting on Sunday and districts next week, it’s just nice to get some of these kids some confidence to go out there and wrestle.”
Dylan Meyers and Ethan Collins picked up forfeits for Curwensville at 126 and 132 to widen the lead to 39-25 with two bouts left to go.
The Tide’s Cole Bressler took on Bryce Grecco at 138, and took a 2-0 lead after one period. Bressler chose down to start the seconds and quickly escaped, taking Grecco down to the mat for two sets of back points. Grecco escaped to put the bout at 10-1 after two.
After Grecco picked neutral position to start the third, he was able to take Bressler down. But the Tide sophomore rolled through and scored a reversal to set the final at 12-3.
“Cole Bressler had a good match,” Swatsworth said. “We were going to bump our 32 and 38 pounders. I’ve bumped Cole all year and he is wrestling 138 for districts and I just said he could wrestle there tonight. I’m tired of bumping him around and I’m glad he got a good win there tonight.”
With Curwensville not bumping Bressler and Collins, that left the last bout of the night as a forfeit to the Rovers, as Andrew Hickman had his hand raised to set the final at 43-31.
“We are focusing on the individual part,” said Grecco. “We were hoping they would move guys around a little more tonight to get us a few more matchups, but they were targeting the win and you can’t blame them for that.”
Both teams return to action Friday (Feb. 24) at the District 9 Class AA Individual Tournament at Clearfield Area High School.