HERSHEY — Navigating through an injury-filled season, the Brookville Raiders wrestling team certainly heads home from Saturday’s PIAA Class AA Dual Meet Wrestling Championships at Giant Center with a hard-fought 2-2 record.
Saturday morning in the third-round consolations, the Raiders, ranked No. 6 in the latest papowerwrestling.com statewide poll, fell to No. 4 Notre Dame-Green Pond, 41-28, and was eliminated from the tournament.
In the latest papowerwrestling.com state rankings, the Raiders were No. 6 while Notre Dame was No. 4. It was dropped into the consolations on Friday with a 39-25 loss to defending state champion Reynolds.
Against Notre Dame, the Raiders won five bouts, including three of the first four to start things out. At 182 pounds, Elliot Park pinned Mason Ludlow in 1:36 and after No. 22-raked Jason Sine edged the Raiders’ Cole LaBenne 10-7 at 197, the Riders got back-to-back pins from their own state-ranked wrestlers Nathan Taylor and Colby Whitehill at 220 and heavyweight.
Taylor decked Eshan Swartz in 1:48 at 220 while Whitehill pinned Lex Rivera in just eight seconds to give the Raiders an 18-3 lead.
From there, however, Note Dame won the next seven bouts and led 35-18 before the Raiders took two of the final three bouts to set the final score.
In a battle of ranked wrestlers at 106, No. 10 Evan Maag edged the Raiders’ No. 6 Cayden Walter 8-6. The Raiders’ No. 5 Owen Reinsel dropped a 8-0 major decision to Notre Dame’s No. 2 Brett Unger, who was a state champion in New Jersey last year.
At 152, Wyatt Kulik ended Notre Dame’s run with a 42-second pin of Jacob Wehr and in the final bout, Wyatt Griffin majored Jared Blobe, 15-3, to set the final score.
After opening with a 42-33 win over Tunkhannock on Thursday, the Raiders lost their quarterfinal match on Friday to Southern Columbia, 47-18. Southern topped Chestnut Ridge 39-26 in Friday’s semifinals to earn a rematch with Reynolds in the finals later Saturday. Clinching a match for Saturday, the Raiders edged Montoursville, 32-31.
The Raiders (23-4) finish up their dual schedule Thursday at home on Senior Night against Warren.
Here’s a closer look at Friday’s matches:
FRIDAY, Feb. 7
The Raiders clinched the win in the final bout of the match when Wyatt Griffin lost an 8-1 decision to Montoursville’s No. 17 Isaac Cory at 160 pounds. The Raiders were up four points after Wyatt Kulik’s pin at 152, but Cory would’ve needed to tech fall or pin Griffin since the Raiders had the tiebreaker — second criteria — in hand with the most five-point wins (one) after both teams each had three six-point wins.
Montoursville, the District 4 third seed, won three of the first four bouts to lead 12-6. All three wins came from state-ranked wrestlers. Cael Crebs pinned the Raiders’ Hayden Kramer at 170 while No. 2 Dylan Bennett edged the Raiders’ No. 24 Elliot Park, 4-2, at 182.
The Raiders’ got on the board at 195 with Cole LaBenne’s pin of Caleb Moyer at 195 before Montoursville won another matchup of state-ranked wrestlers at 220. No. 6 Cameron Wood used a third-period reversal to edge the Raiders’ No. 4 Nathan Taylor, 4-3.
Then it was the Raiders’ turn as they won four of the next five bouts to grab a 23-16 lead. No. 1 Colby Whitehill won by forfeit at heavyweight and after Montoursville’s No. 1 Brandon Wentzel majored Logan Oakes 16-4 at 106, the Raiders got three straight wins from lightweights Cayden Walter, Brayden Kunselman and Owen Reinsel.
Walter, No. 6 at 106, bumped up to 113 and beat Cole Johnson, 6-2. Kunselman got the big technical fall win, 20-5, over Lucas Sherwood at 120, and Reinsel, No. 5 at 113, bumped up to 126 and beat Broc Lutz, 2-0, at 126. Reinsel scored the only points of the bout with a second-period reversal.
The teams traded wins from there. Montoursville’s James Batkowski pinned Josh Popson at 132 and Emery Balint decked Coyha Brown at 145. The Raiders got a big win from Parker Fleming with his 3-0 win over Alexander Oberheim at 138. Then Kulik’s huge bonus-point pin gave the Raiders enough of a gap to hold off Montoursville going into the Cory-Griffin matchup.
47, Brookville 18
The returning state-runner-up Tigers came into the weekend with 10 ranked wrestlers, including seven in the top eight at their respective weight and all but one of them won.
The only one? No. 4 Lear Quinton, a Brown University recruit who ran into the Raiders’ top-ranked and Pitt-bound Whitehill, who pinned Quinton in the second period. Last year, Whitehill beat Quinton 8-4 in the state semifinals on his way to a state title.
The other wins from the Raiders came from Logan Oakes at 106, Cayden Walter at 113 and Brayden Kunselman at 120.
Oakes won a wild one in a 10-7 rideout win over Toren Cooper. After a 5-5 tie at the end of regulation, the two battled through a scoreless takedown period. Then in the first 30-second rideout period, Cooper scored two nearfall points before Oakes reversed Cooper to tie it up with five seconds left. In the second 30-second period, Oakes scored three nearfall points with four seconds remaining to get the win.
Walter’s second-period escape was the difference in his 4-3 decision over Brady Feese at 113 and Kunselman needed just 44 seconds to pin Edward Zuber at 120 to get the Raiders within 22-18 with five bouts remaining, but the Tigers won all five.
Among them was No. 7 Kole Biscoe’s 2-0 win over the Raiders’ Reinsel at 126. Earlier, No. 3 Tyler Waltman beat Park, 4-2, at 182 while top-ranked and returning state champion Gaige Garcia moved up from 195 and decisioned the Raiders’ Taylor, 7-2.
Garcia, a standout running back on the state football champion Tigers, is a Michigan recruit who will apparently play both sports there next year.