P-O's Prentice fights back for third at NW Regionals|
Monday, March 4, 2013
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
ALTOONA - A magical run through the consolation bracket by Philipsburg-Osceola's Jay Prentice turned a forgettable Friday and tough early round on Saturday into a memorable Class AAA Northwest Regional Tournament for the Mounties Saturday at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
After losing by technical fall to eventual 170-pound champ Tom Sleigh (of DuBois) on Friday night, Prentice stormed back through the consolation bracket Saturday. The Mountie senior won four bouts, including a 3-2 victory over Central Mountain's Devin Stacey in the third-place bout to earn his spot in next week's PIAA Tournament.
"Four matches in one day and they were all intense," P-O head coach Tim McCamley said. "It's one loss and you're done. It's a hard grind. It's tough to get up for every one. It shows the heart and the character of the kid.
"He did everything he needed to do. One-point victories and blowouts ... that's what it's all about."
Prentice (29-7) started his run with a dominant 8-0 major decision over Meadville's Louis Crawford in the second round consolations before hammering Obama Academy's DeAndre Caviness, 11-2, in the consey quarters.
He then earned a tough 6-3 win over General McLane's Tyler Hendricks in the consolation semifinals, scoring three points in the third period to break a tie and put him in position to earn a trip to states.
"After my first win where I kind of killed the kid, it got me confidence and I knew I just had to take one match at a time," Prentice said. "And then I beat Hendricks, who beat one of my teammates last year. After that, I felt I could do anything."
Riding a wave of momentum into the third-place bout, Prentice wrestled smart and looked to past experience to top Stacey, 3-2.
Prentice beat Stacey last week in the District 6 tournament and knew what he needed to do to pick up another win over the Wildcat.
He entered the third period trailing 1-0, but tied the bout at 1-1 with an escape just seven seconds in before taking Stacey down late in the period. Prentice gave up an escape and then held on for the one-point win.
"I knew I needed to keep pushing him," Prentice said. "I had to stay away from the upper body stuff with him. I knew from wrestling him in districts that I couldn't go upper body with him. I had to stay low and push him."
As the final few seconds counted down, McCamley grabbed on to assistant coach Tracy Minarchick, and as the buzzer sounded, Prentice put his arms in the air and saluted the Mountie fans behind him in a rare rush of emotion.
"I worked real hard for this and I just let it all out," Prentice said.
"Jay's not a rah-rah type of guy, but he is very intense when it comes to things like this," McCamley said. "You feel for him. Jay hasn't been wrestling that long. But he puts everything into his sports. He's had a heck of a year in sports between soccer and wrestling.
"That's the kind of athlete you want, the type of guy you want in your program."
Prentice wasn't the only Mountie to give P-O fans a thrill on Saturday, as 182-pounder Bub Lumadue also had a strong run through consolations.
Lumadue looked to be all but eliminated on Friday night as he trailed St. Marys' Joey McLaughlin by a 5-point margin midway through the third before catching him in a spladle and pinning him.
The spladle was on display again Saturday as Lumadue put it on Meadville's Ben Bish and decked him in 90 seconds in the second round of consolations.
After that, Lumadue gutted out a 2-1 win in overtime tiebreaker against Cathedral Prep's Phil Selker. Lumadue escaped in the first 30-second rideout and then kept Selker on the mat in the second.
Unfortunately for Lumadue, his run ended in the consey semis, 5-0, to McLane's Chris Laird, who took third at 182. Laird had Lumadue well scouted and stayed away from the Mountie junior's offensive arsenal. Lumadue finished the year with a record of 29-7.
"There's no doubt that he's the most exciting wrestler in the tournament, and I'm never going to take that away from him," McCamley said. "I'm not going to make him a single and double guy ... that's not what he is.
"He knows what he needs to work on, and hopefully he'll do something in the offseason to improve on that. But he had a really good tournament. He's not a secret anymore. Everyone knows about him now, so he's going to have to widen his variety a little bit. There are other things he does have. He's just not a conventional-type wrestler, and that's what makes him fun."
Bryan Descavish (120) and Caleb Shively (138) each lost wild second-round consolation bouts to see their tournaments come to an end.
Descavish fell to Central Mountain's Chase Andrus, 12-10, in overtime, while Shively dropped a 12-11 decision to Punxsutawney's Perry Arrington, giving up a takedown and two back points at the buzzer.
Nick Gray also lost a second-round consey heartbreaker at 220, falling 3-1 in overtime to Mifflin County's Kyle Kahley, whom he beat 3-2 in the ultimate tiebreaker last week at districts.
"We wrestled well on Saturday, but made tons of mistakes with mat strategy and that kind of thing, which came back to haunt us a little bit," said McCamley. "But the only way to gain that experience is to get out there and do it. Hopefully, we'll learn from it."
Descavish ended his senior season with a record of 14-16, while Shively (23-10) and Gray (25-11) look to build on sold junior campaigns.