DuBOIS — With a 6-5 record going into this week’s dual meet schedule, the Redbank Valley Bulldogs decided to make it a busier one by electing to go to Saturday’s District 9 Class AA Duals at DuBois Area High School.
The Bulldogs are the sixth seed in a six-team field, meaning they’ll open with No. 3 Ridgway in the quarterfinal round.
That’s a rematch of their 48-22 loss at Ridgway back on Jan. 18. The winner gets No. 2 seed Brockway in the semifinals. The Bulldogs lost to Brockway, 47-16, Jan. 16.
On the other side of the bracket are top-seeded Brookville and No. 4 and 5 seeds Port Allegany and Johnsonburg. The Raiders dealt the Bulldogs a 65-3 rout on Jan. 2.
Bulldogs head coach Mike Kundick said the decision to go to the dual meet postseason was two-fold — his team will be at full strength with the addition to sophomore lightweight Ethan Wiant to the lineup for the first time and the extra experience for a young roster could be invaluable.
“People look at the score and think Ridgway beat us pretty good, but that’s not true,” Kundick said. “We had two guys pinned who were winning and you reverse those alone and that could be a 24-point swing. And Wiant in the lineup makes a big difference.
“It’s just experience, plain and simple. The kids need mat time. They’ve wrestled all year, but they need on mat as much as they can get. The more mat time the better off they’ll be.”
Kundick said he’ll have Wiant somewhere in the lightweight spots with Bryan Layton back at 160. Owen Shaffer, who missed the Fred Bell Tournament over the weekend, should be good to go at heavyweight Saturday.
Less than 24 hours after Friday night’s home match with Sharon, the Bulldogs and Elkers meet Saturday at 10 a.m. with the winner taking on Brockway around 12:30 p.m. The winner and loser of that match advances to either the consolation or championship final which starts at around 3 p.m. and since the district sends two teams to the state tournament, a “true-second” match may be held at around 5:30 depending on the combinations of results.
Going into Tuesday, regular-season matchups featuring the playoff field had:
— Brookville 42-23 over Brockway, 65-3 over Redbank Valley and 48-19 over Ridgway. The Raiders haven’t lost on the mat to a D9 team since the Bulldogs beat them in the dual meet finals in 2013, a streak of 54 straight matches.
— Brockway 46-24 over Ridgway, 47-15 over Johnsonburg and 47-16 over Redbank Valley.
— Johnsonburg 28-27 over Ridgway, Ridgway 36-33 over Port Allegany and Port Allegany 38-30 over Johnsonburg.
AT A GLANCE
DuBOIS — Here are the pairings and schedule for Saturday’s District 9 Duals held at DuBois Area High School. Seed listed in parenthesis. All times are approximate:
Quarterfinals, 10 a.m.
Ridgway (3) vs. Redbank Valley (6)
Port Allegany (4) vs. Johnsonburg (5)
Semifinals, 12:30 p.m.
Brookville (1) vs. Port Allegany/Johnsonburg winner
Brockway (2) vs. Ridgway/Redbank Valley winner
Finals/Consolation finals, 3 p.m.
True-Second, if necessary
Around, 5:30 p.m., If needed, meaning if consolation final winner did not wrestle the loser of the finals match, a “true second” match will determine the district’s second state playoff team.
Quarterfinal, 11:15 a.m.
Selinsgrove (4) vs. Williamsport (5)
Semifinals, 1:45 p.m.
DuBois (1) vs. Selinsgrove-Williamsport winner
Shikellamy (2) vs. Clearfield (3)
Championship, 4:15 p.m.
WHAT’S NEXT — The Class AA champion and runner-up advances to the state tournament with the runner-up starting with a preliminary round match next Monday. The winner of that match heads to the first round of the state playoffs at Hershey’s Giant Center starting Feb. 8. The D9 champion, which advances straight to Hershey, meets the winner of Monday’s preliminary match featuring the District 11 runner-up vs. District 3 third-place team. The D9 runner-up/District 4 runner-up winner meets the WPIAL champion in Hershey.
Check out the complete bracket on www.piaa.org.