For those that liked watching Huntingdon and Claysburg-Kimmel duke it out under the spotlight at the Richland Sportscenter in the Richland Duals finals, you're probably already looking forward to a rematch at the District 6 Duals Feb. 5.
And that will be good for area wrestling.
I have to admit that I didn't think the Bearcats, who I had ranked third behind Claysburg-Kimmel and Bedford in the Mirror rankings, could beat the Bulldogs.
I thought C-K's lightweights and middleweights would pick up bonus points - with the exception at 119, where Huntingdon's Kie Brown has put together an undefeated record - and the upperweights would fight off bonus points. But the Bearcats hung with C-K's best wrestlers, and they were the ones getting pins at their strong weights.
The Bearcats stayed in good positions, didn't give up a pin or a technical fall and yielded only two major decisions to a C-K a lineup that now has four wrestlers with 21 wins or more in James Dodson, Ty Dively, Cole Claar and Corey Aungst.
It was gritty wrestling. Dylan Gutshall only lost by four to Dively. Chris Shope only lost by two to Claar. Owen Peters lost by a point to Dylan Weyant. Nick Marter lost by a point to Aungst, who had moved up to 160.
The Bearcats were were determined to win a title that had eluded them against Bellefonte last year.
The dagger came at 171, where C-K's Tyler Ickes had to injury default to Alex Miller with an injured arm with 26 seconds remaining. Ickes had wrestled smart, stayed away from the big move and held a 9-4 lead when Miller hit the throw out of bounds and came down on Ickes' arm.
Whether that injury and subsequent default played the key role in the outcome is debatable. Could C-K have possibly won if Ickes hadn't gotten hurt? Possibly. Take the six points away from Huntingdon and give three to C-K, and the Bearcats win by four, 30-26.
C-K coach Dave Marko said the injury affected somewhat how his team wrestled the rest of the way. Could Evan Lehman have beaten Nathan Shope at 189 after waiting for almost 20 minutes while Ickes was down? Shope won, 4-3, so that's possible, but Shope had to wait for almost 20 minutes also.
We'll never know the answer to the question.
Going into the Richland Duals, C-K and Huntingdon were first and second, respectively, in the District 6 team seed points. Given how easily the teams have been putting away the opposition within the district, it's very likely they'll meet again in the district finals.
That will be very intriguing, even with Ickes out of the lineup. Each team could attack that matchup differently lineup-wise, although Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut was content with not bumping his wrestlers up a weight.
You know C-K will be looking for revenge.
Stoy makes return
It was good to see Penn Cambria's Jon Stoy back in the lineup this weekend.
Stoy had to sit out the first half of the season because of an injured wrist he sustained in the automobile accident that killed his brother, Joey.
Jon, wrestling at 135 and 140, went 6-0 for the Panthers, who placed fifth in the Duals.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.