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Clearfield ends dual meet season with loss to Bearcats
Friday, February 8, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
HYDE - The Clearfield wrestling team finished its dual meet season Thursday at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium against Huntingdon, winning six of the 11 contested bouts but giving up three forfeits and dropping a 41-26 decision on Senior Night.
The Bison got solid matchups from the Bearcats up and down the lineup in their last action before the District 9 Tournament on Feb. 22 and 23.
"We got some good battles from them," Clearfield head coach Jeff Aveni said. "Overall, we looked good. But I thought we did look a little tired, which is possible because we've wrestled a lot of matches the last three weeks.
"But I thought it was a good, solid performance. We improved on some things that we've been working on, but there is still room for improvement. We have to improve our conditioning and get focused for the postseason now."
The match started at 170 where Clearfield did not have an entrant, but chose to bump up 160-pounder Mike Beck in a move Aveni hoped would catch the Bearcats off-guard.
But Huntingdon moved its 160-pounder - Matt Norris - right up with Beck and earned a 7-0 decision to take the 3-0 lead in the dual.
"We moved up with Mike Beck, and they moved with us," Aveni said. "When they did that, it countered what we wanted to do and it wouldn't have made a difference either way. We really only had the one move, and when you're short-staffed, you don't have a lot of room for maneuverability."
Clearfield took its only lead of the night at 182 where Jake Verchick powered Hunter Rupert to his back and pinned him in 2:39.
Rupert led 1-0 after one on a penalty point as Verchick was having trouble getting his offense going.
But things changed quickly in the second when, after a Verchick escape, Rupert decided to try a headlock. Verchick challenged Rupert with an upper body move of his own and tossed the Bearcat to his back.
"We had to get Jake to lower his level in the first period," Aveni said. "All his shots were too high on the legs. That's an adjustment he needs to make when he wrestles someone that is shorter.
"But then he got into a little tussle situation, and Jake's pretty strong and he's normally going to come out on top of that."
Huntingdon got back-to-back forfeits at 195 and 220 and then got a second-period fall from Tyler Wholaver at heavyweight to take a 21-6 lead. Wholaver pinned Bison Shane Billings, who bumped up from 220, in 3:52.
The Bearcats continued their 6-point run at 106 where Colin Glorioso upped his record to 28-3 with a pin of Bison sophomore Logan Gilbert in 4:11.
That gave the Bearcats a 27-6 lead.
But the Bison began chipping away at their deficit, winning the next four bouts to close to 27-21.
Josiah McClarren began the Bison charge with a second-period pin of Jacob Dobbs at 113.
McClarren led 2-0 after one, thanks to a takedown, but found himself in trouble early in the second when he chose down but got caught in a cradle.
Dobbs earned three nearfall points to take a brief lead, but McClarren battled out of trouble before reversing Dobbs to his back and decking him in 3:31.
"What I've been saying about Josiah is that he is just making too many mistakes," Aveni said. "As the season has gone on, those mistakes are becoming less and less. He made one tonight, came out of it and then he finished the job.
"He has his motor running a little better. He's making less mistakes and hopefully we'll get those eliminated completely. But he's turned into a real solid 13-pounder."
Bison 120-pounder Noah Cline continued the Clearfield momentum with a last-second takedown and two back points against Matt Wilson, who came into the meet with 21 wins.
The pair battled through two scoreless periods before Wilson broke the ice with an escape with 39 seconds left in the bout.
Cline was in deep on a single in the first period, but could not secure the takedown and then nearly reversed Wilson in the second, but again was thwarted by the Bearcat.
But with time winding down, Cline took Wilson to his back and got the a two-count from referee Denny Nosker as the third-period buzzer sounded to get a roar from the crowd. The 4-1 win cut the Bison deficit to 27-15.
"I don't how many times this year we've talked about six minutes," Aveni said. "It's six minutes. It's not two minutes. It doesn't matter what happens in the first. It doesn't matter what happens in the second. You keep coming for six minutes because there's time.
"I really thought we did all the work in that match and somehow we weren't scoring any points. We were so close in a couple situations. Noah kept his head, kept his composure and scored a winning takedown with something we worked on yesterday. So good for him for paying attention and getting better. It was a good win for Noah."
Dylan Graham kept things rolling for the hosts with a hard-fought 6-3 win over Huntingdon's Devon Green at 126.
Graham scored a takedown at the edge of the mat in the first and reversed Green at the opposite edge in the second, taking a 4-2 lead into the third after giving up escapes in each period.
Green escaped to close to 4-3, but Graham was the clear aggressor and never really in danger. His final shot seconds before the buzzer gave him a 6-3 win.
"We had a little scouting report, and the kid had a real good lateral drop," Aveni said. "So we had to be careful to not get caught in that. He threw it once on the edge of the mat. Dylan came off the mat and said, ‘all that kid wanted to do was throw me.'
"So Dylan was being smart in some situations and not getting himself into danger. But really all the scoring opportunities were his. It was just another solid win."
Bison 132-pounder Christian Stone matched Graham, by securing his own 6-3 decision over Bearcat Nathan Russell.
Stone gave up the first takedown to the unorthodox Russell, but quickly reversed him to tie the bout. A Russell escape gave him a 3-2 lead after one period.
Stone chose down to start the second and again scored an easy reverse to take a 4-3 lead. He then rode Russell the rest of the period, but could not turn him.
Russell took neutral in the third and kept Stone's offense at bay until a late low single by Stone dropped him to the mat and nearly to his back as the buzzer sounded.
"It was one of those matches where I don't think it was what (Christian) expected," Aveni said. "We never really got our offense going until the low single shot in the third period. It was the first one Christian took all year, so it was good to see it.
"It's something I've talked to him about a couple times and something he has to have in his arsenal come postseason.
"He kept his head and stayed with the game plan. I felt we were going to get in some situations early and we were going to pin him. We needed five more seconds at the end and we were going to pin him right there."
Huntingdon put a halt to the Bison momentum and clinched the meet at 138 where Jon Wagner defeated Clearfield's Jon Sponsler, 7-1. The decision put the visitors in front, 30-21, and they still had a forfeit coming.
So Aveni decided to forfeit to Noah Brooks, who hadn't wrestled a varsity match, at 145 and bump Nolan Barger up to face a more seasoned opponent.
Barger put on a show for the home crowd, scoring a 16-1 technical fall with a barrage of tilts throughout the matchup. The final 3-point tilt of Eric Lynn, who was 19-9 coming into the night, came with 21 seconds left in the bout.
"You can't score 15 points in two weights, so we're not going to put Barger out there against their jayvee kid," Aveni said. "We're going to move him up, and he did a whale of a job."
Huntingdon's Logan Fisher ended the dual meet with a technical fall over Bison Grant Climie.
Clearfield finished its dual meet season with a record of 7-10 and now turns its attention to the District 9 Tournament and beyond.
"We have some young guys looking to make names for themselves, and some older guys that are looking to make some real deep runs," Aveni said.
"Everybody is focused. I think we have a lot of guys that are hungry. We need to take a couple days to regroup and refocus and understand where we're at and really start to push toward where we want to go."
The District 9 Tournament will be held at Clarion University's Waldo S. Tippin Gymnasium.
NOTES: Stone and Barger each improved to 28-1. Barger is on a 25-bout winning streak ... Graham (27-3), Cline (22-10) and Gilbert (20-10) also have at least 20 wins on the season.

Huntingdon 41, Clearfield 26
170-Matt Norris, H, dec. Mike Beck, 7-0, (3-0).
182-Jake Verchick, C, pinned Hunter Rupert, H, 2:39. (3-6).
195-Logan Gallagher, H, won by forfeit. (9-6).
220- Mitchell Lauer, H, won by forfeit. (15-6).
285-Tyler Wholaver, H, pinned Shane Billings, C, 3:52. (21-6).
106-Colin Glorioso, H, pinned Logan Gilbert, C, 4:11. (27-6).
113-Josiah McClarren, C, pinned Jacob Dobbs, H, 3:31. (27-12).
120-Noah Cline, C, dec. Matt Wilson, H, 4-1. (27-15).
126-Dylan Graham, C, dec. Devon Green, H, 6-3. (27-18).
132-Christian Stone, C, dec. Nathan Russell, H, 6-3. (27-21).
138-Jon Wagner, H, dec, Jon Sponsler, C, 7-1. (30-21).
145-Noah Brooks, H, won by forfeit, (36-21).
152-Nolan Barger, C, tech fall Eric Lynn, H, 16-1, 5:39. (36-26).
160-Logan Fisher, H, tech fall Grant Climie, C, 15-0, 4:27. (41-26).

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