Warriors suffer first loss of season in 34-33 setback to Brookville|
Thursday, January 17, 2013
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
ALLPORT - Looking at the results on paper, the much-anticipated West Branch-Brookville match came down to the last bout.
But in reality the match was thrown off course much earlier in the night.
Regardless of how the match got steered off course, the Raiders got the only result that could give them a win on Wednesday evening - a fall at 182 pounds. That gave them a 34-33 victory in front of a packed West Branch gymnasium.
"It was a good high school wrestling match," said Warriors head coach Jason Bainey. "The officiating was good. It was a good crowd. It's a good group of kids. They have a lot of fan support. They expect to do well after last season.
"We made our schedule tougher this year. We wanted to up our schedule and face teams like Brookville. They are always ranked in the state. And, you know what? We are right up there with them."
Both teams came into the match ranked in the top 6 in the state according to Off the Mat rankings. Brookville was tabbed as the fifth-best team in the state, while West Branch was sixth.
The match, which started at 195, didn't disappoint, but could have started at a better place for the Warriors, who are strongest in the upper weights.
West Branch won the flip and looked to be in the driver's seat.
But a crucial decision at 152 took the wind out of the Warriors sails and set in motion a chain of events that couldn't be corrected.
West Branch was to send out last at 152. Brookville sent out Dane Clever, but there was miscommunication at the scorer's table and the Warriors assumed Jimmy Miller was the wrestler sent out.
So, the Warriors sent out Luke Slippey, who was one of three wrestlers weighed in for the night.
Slippey easily disposed of the 1-4 Clever, but that left Miller, the Raiders' starting 152 pounder, to bump up and wrestle Conor Myers.
Miller scored a technical fall over Myers in 4:22, and gave Brookville the better of the matchups heading into the final three bouts.
"They gave us the wrong name at the table," Bainey said. "But it was our fault. We shouldn't have sent out first, and our guys jumped the gun and ran to the table. We didn't catch it as a coaching staff.
"We won the coin flip, but that (the matchup at 152) allowed them to bump guys up at the end. If we catch that, they send out first and we can bump up and win the dual meet."
With West Branch up 33-25 after the loss at 152, the Warriors needed to win one of the next two bouts or give up less than nine points in two losses to win the match.
Bainey decided to send out Lucas Kristofits to take on Brodie Zacherl at 170.
Zacherl came into the match with an 18-2 record, while Kristofits sported a 13-2 mark.
The match turned out to be a good one.
Zacherl took the lead with a second-period escape, before going up 3-0 on a takedown. Kristofits reversed Zacherl late in the second period to cut the score to 3-2 heading into the final period.
The Warrior grappler chose down to start the third period and was able to escape shortly after the whistle.
The two tussled back and forth but Kristofits, who had received a warning for stalling in the second period, got hit again, giving Zacherl the penalty point and the 4-3 lead.
Kristofits tried in vain for the final 39 seconds to get the takedown, but Zacherl, who was also warned for stalling managed to keep him away to seal the victory.
That brought the match down to the final bout, where senior Taylor Cudworth (14-3) took on freshman Vince McDowell.
Cudworth needed a pin to give his team the victory. A technical fall would have only tied the match, which West Branch would have won on criteria by virtue of most six-point wins.
Cudworth sent the Brookville fans into a frenzy, however, when he flipped McDowell to his back and pinned him in 1:27.
"I didn't want to give them six points for no reason when I thought we had a chance to win,' said Bainey. "And, Lucas had a chance to beat him. He almost got the takedown at the end.
"If you give up six there, you are forced to go out and win the last match against Cudworth, who has a good record. I didn't want to give up the forfeit. It shouldn't have come down to that."
West Branch had several chances to increase its lead, but allowed two very important bonus points to the Raiders at 138 and 145.
At 138, Brock Zacherl scored a technical fall right at the buzzer with a takedown to defeat Parker Bumbarger, 22-7.
In the bout at 145, Zach Vroman hit a five-point move at the buzzer to nab an 18-7 major decision over Clayton Green.
"We talked," Bainey said. "You can't blame it on one kid. We got taken down in two instances at the buzzer which gave up a major decision and a technical fall. If we don't give those up, we win 33-32."
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Warriors did come away with a victory in what was the best bout of the night.
That matchup was at 132 pounds where West Branch's J.P. Hayles took on Brookville's Dalton Zimmerman. Hayles came into the match with a 13-2 record, while Zimmerman, who is ranked eighth in the state according to Off The Mat, was 15-2.
Hayles came out aggressive, taking down Zimmerman quickly to start the first period. Zimmerman scored a reversal, leaving the match tied at 2-2 heading into the second.
Hayles deferred, and Zimmerman chose down to start the frame. Hayles tried to turn the Raider several times, but was unsuccessful.
After riding out the period, Hayles also chose down, but struggled to get out of the grasp of Zimmerman's legs. The two headed into overtime, where nether was able to score.
That led to two double overtime tiebreaker periods, where Hayles had first choice.
He deferred and Zimmerman chose down. Hayles was unable to tilt Zimmerman, but was able to keep him down on the mat, giving him a chance to win in the next 30-second period.
Hayles took down and after flipping and rolling was able to get Zimmerman to the edge of the mat, where he popped up with 1.9 seconds left for the escape and the 3-2 victory.
"He wrestled a great match and got a big win on Senior Night," said Bainey.
West Branch also picked up victories by fall at 120 (Abe Albright), 195 (Robbie Pearce) and 285 (Morgan Selepack). Buzzy Maines garnered a forfeit at 220.
Still Bainey couldn't help wondering what could have happened if things would have went just a little different.
"It's just disappointing," Bainey said. "These kids worked so hard and they are all upset. But a loss may not be a bad thing right now. We still have some tough matches to go.
It's never good to get a loss. I know they are disappointed but there are things that we will work on. It's not something we can't fix. We could've won that match."
The Warriors fell to 15-1 overall. West Branch travels to the Bison Duals at Clearfield on Saturday.
Brookville improved to 12-1 overall.
Brookville 34, West Branch 33
195-Robbie Pearce, WB, pinned Nate Bonfardine, B, 5:16. (0-6).
220-Buzzy Maines, WB, won by forfeit. (0-12).
285-Morgan Selepack, WB, pinned Tom Smouse, B, :10. (0-18).
106-Taylor Ortiz, B, tech fall Dustin Deliman, WB, 16-1, 4:11. (5-18).
113-Cole Aaron, B, dec. Wyatt Sankey, WB, 5-1. (8-18).
120-Abe Albright, WB, pinned Devin Joiner, B, 2:36. (8-24).
126-Cole Clever, B, dec. Jake Brown, WB, 7-2. (11-24).
132-J.P. Hayles, WB, dec. Dalton Zimmerman, 3-2 OT TB. (11-27).
138-Brock Zacherl, B, tech fall Parker Bumbarger, WB, 22-7, 6:00. (16-27).
145-Zach Vroman, B, maj. dec. Clayton Green, WB, 18-7. (20-27).
152-Luke Slippey, WB, pinned Dane Clever, B, 1:01. (20-33).
160-Jimmy Miller, B, tech fall Conor Myers, WB, 17-1, 4:22. (25-33).
170-Brodie Zacherl, B, dec. Lucas Kristofits, WB, 4-3. (28-33).
182-Taylor Cudworth, B, pinned Vince McDowell, WB, 1:27. (34-33).