DuBOIS — The District 4/9 Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships belonged to District 4 Saturday at DuBois Area High School as Selinsgrove knocked off Williamsport, 39-33, in the finals to capture the title and earn a trip to Hershey later this week.
Selinsgrove came in as the second seed and reached the finals with a 40-32 victory against sixth-seeded Clearfield. The Bison were coming off a 43-32 win against third-seeded Cranberry in the quarterfinals.
Williamsport pulled off the upset of the day, as the fifth-seeded Millionaires handed top-seeded DuBois a dramatic 37-36 loss in the other semifinal. Williamsport opened its day 42-35 victory against D-4 foe Shikellamy (No. 4 seed), a team the Millionaires had beaten 39-33 in early January.
DuBois’ heartbreaking loss had to give some of its fans a little déjà vu as it marked the second year in a row the Beavers lost to a D-4 foe on a pin in the final bout in the event. Shikellamy pulled off the feat last year, as a fall in the last match gave the Braves a 37-31 victory.
That loss was later wiped away as Shik’s title was vacated following the state duals when it was discovered the Braves used an ineligible wrestler in the district tournament.
In both losses, DuBois held the lead with two bouts remaining. Last year the Beavers were up 31-25, while Saturday they held a 36-25 lead following a pin by heavyweight Alex O’Harah.
From there, DuBois had just one wrestler — 106-pounder Kam Stevenson — left to send out, and the coaching staff made the decision to forfeit to Austin Stugart at 106 and bump Stevenson up to 113 to face Riley Harris, who had yet to wrestle a match this season.
And, it was Harris who came up with the huge pin to win the match for the Millionaires.
Harris scored the opening takedown and turned the Beaver for three nearfall points before securing the pin with eight seconds left in the first period to catapult Williamsport on to the finals.
Both teams won seven bouts in the match, but Williamsport won the bonus-point battle 16-15 — with that one point deciding the match.
“When we talk as coaches, the magic number for team points is usually 34 or 35. If you can get past that, it’s pretty hard to lose,” said DuBois coach Luke Bundy. “To score 36 team points and still lose, it comes down to we just didn’t get the job done as far staying off our backs and saving a team point here or there.
‘It just wasn’t in matches we lost though. There were a couple matches we won where we could have gotten an extra team point here or there. And, that makes all the difference.”
Williamsport jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead when Braden Bower pinned Braxton Adams in 1:20 in the opening bout at 120.
DuBois (11-3) then ran off five straight wins to build a 24-6 advantage.
Chandler Ho started that run with a 6-0 win against freshman Riley Bower at 126. The Beaver sophomore opened the scoring with a first-period takedown and added on three backpoints for a 5-0 lead.
After a scoreless second period, Ho tacked on an escape from the bottom position to set the final.
Teammate Trenton Donahue followed with a hard-fought 8-4 win against freshman Carter Dawson.
The Millionaire struck first with a takedown in the opening period but gave a point back on technical violation. Donahue then got rolling and reversed Dawson before scoring three backpoints for a 6-2 lead after one period.
Donahue tacked on a reversal from the bottom position in the second for an 8-2 advantage, but that’s all the scoring the Beaver would do. Dawson took down Donahue in the third to make it 8-4, which wound up being the final.
DuBois then grabbed its first lead on back-to-back pins by Ryan Gildersleeve and Ed Scott.
Gildersleeve jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one period before putting Tylil James on his back in the second period, recording the fall in 2:40.
Scott needed just 44 seconds to deck Roman Morrone at 145, while teammate Dalton Woodrow received a forfeit to put the Beavers up 24-6.
Williamsport started its comeback with third-period pins by Owen Mahon and Anthony Robinson at 160 and 170, respectively.
DuBois’ Gauge Gulvas jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Mahon on a pair of first-period takedowns. It was all Mahon from there though.
The Millionaire started down in the second period and reversed the Beaver, scoring three backpoints in the process. Gulvas worked free for an escape, but Mahon scored another takedown and set of backpoints to take a 10-5 lead into the the third where he eventually secured the fall in 4:39.
Robinson built a 10-0 lead entering the third period against Garrett Starr before pinning the Beaver in 4:43.
DuBois senior Eric Schneider got six of those points back at 182 when he took Cale Cooklin down straight to his back and pinned the Millionaire in 56 seconds to put the Beavers back up 12 at 30-18.
Williamsport then got a key tossup win from Dade Splain at 195 against Ryan White.
The duo wrestled a scoreless first period, with White notching a takedown in the second. However, that move was offset by two interlocking calls that set the match to the third tied 2-2.
Splain started down in the final period and escaped before taking down White for a 5-2 advantage. White earned an escape but couldn’t come up with a takedown to tie things up and force overtime.
Teammate Charles Crews followed with a 13-1 major decision of DuBois’ John Pendleton at 220 to get the Millionaires back within five points at 30-25.
O’Harah’s second period fall at heavyweight put DuBois on the brink of victory, but it was not to be as Harris’ pin in the final bout sent the Beavers packing.
“Today is really a summary of how some of our guys are here going through the motions, and it shows,” said Bundy. “Some of the guys are still here gutting it out and working hard, and that shows too. Ideally, at the end of the day, each guy on our team has look at themselves in the mirror and ask what can they do to get better if they are winning and what they can change to get better if they are losing.
“We need a little gut check I think.”
DuBois is back in action Saturday at the Bison Duals at Clearfield.
Clearfield goes 1-1
Clearfield (5-7) came ready to go in Saturday morning’s quarterfinal matchup with Cranberry, which turned into a bonus-point battle. All but one of the 14 weights saw bonus points scored in it.
And, it was the Bison who won that battle, 19-14, racking up six falls in the process while winning collecting eight wins to six for the Berries.
Nolan Barr and Karson Kline for the Bison off and running with back-to-back first-period pins at 113 and 120, respectively. barr decked Michael Stanley in 48 seconds, while Kline needed just 45 seconds to flatten Evan Hepler.
Cranberry countered with four straight wins, with Carter Stanley and CJ Shreffler recording falls to bookend major decisions by teammates Mitchell Rossey and Duane Clark. hat run put the Berries up 20-12.
Clearfield countered with four straight wins of its own to regain the lead for good at 31-20.
Caleb Freeland jump-started that spurt with a 0-0 major decision of Garret Hogue at 152. Mark McGonigal followed with a first-period pin of Cody Deloe in 1:20, then Cole Smay decked Daniel Wry in 3:22 at 170. Smay led 4-2 at the time of that fall.
Brett Zattoni capped the Bison run with a hard-fought 5-2 win against Jesse York at 182. Zattoni scored takedowns in the second and third periods on his way to the win.
The Bison forfeited to Brayden Crocker at 195 and bumped Oliver Billote up to 220. Billotte, making his return from an injury, pinned Xavier Barton in 1:50.
The Berries didn’t go away quielty though, as heavyweight Trey Wright pinned Avry Gisewhite in 2:58 to pull Cranberry within five points (37-32) with one bout left.
Bison senior Johnathan Thomas dispelled any thoughts of a Cranberry victory though as he dominated Jacob Umstead in their matchup at 106 in the final bout. Thomas racked up eight takedowns and a set of backpoints before securing the fall in 5:13 to seal the Bison victory.
Eventual champ Selinsgrove flipped the script on the Bison in their semifinal contest as the Seals captured eight wins to Clearfield’s six and won the bonus-point battle 16-14.
Despite that, Clearfield had a chance to pull out the win at the end, trailing by five points (37-32) heading into the final bout. However, Selinsgrove’s Aiden Gaugher edged Nolan Barr, 4-3, in that matchup at 113 to send the Seals to the finals.
The Bison got off to a fast start as Kline tech falled CJ Boyer, 16-0 in 5:07 in the opening bout at 120, and Luke Freeland pinned Walker Garden in 2:19 to give Clearfield an 11-0 lead.
Selinsgrove answered back with three straight wins, including pins by Shawn Matthews and Scott Kissinger to go up 15-11.
Clearfield came back with a pair of wins by Caleb Freeland and McGonigal to take its final lead at 20-15.
Freeland bested Max Charles, 6-3, at 152, while McGonigal notched his second fall of the day at 160, flattening Dean Hollenbach in 2:55.
The Bison’s lead was short-lived though as a 47 second pin by Coy Bastian against Cole Smay. Selinsgrove went on to win the next three bouts, getting win from Ryan Aument (major decision), Blaise Zeiders (forfeit) and Nate Shon (pin) to go up 37-20.
Gisewhite then pinned Seals heavyweight Aaron Hoke in 5:10 to keep the Bison alive as Thomas received a forfeit at 106 that made it 37-32 with one bout left.
However, Gaugher’s victory sealed the win and sent Selinsgrove the finals where it won the title.
“I have a lot of freshmen who wanted to be here and wanted to wrestle,” said Bison coach Jeff Aveni. “And, I thought a couple of my seniors came to wrestle, and a couple of them didn’t. We got to have everybody firing on all cylinders, and we didn’t.
“We were capable of winning that (semifinal) match and had some guys let us down today. It was an eight-point match, and I can show you those eight points immediately.”
Clearfield wrestles at Bellefonte Tuesday