PHILIPSBURG - Given that Bellefonte beat Philipsburg-Osceola earlier in the season and Logan Walstrom was a win away from 100 for his career, the anticipation was pretty high at P-O for Wednesday night's District 6 Duals first-round rematch.
In the end, the anticipation equaled the results.
The fourth-seeded Mounties overcame a 12-point deficit by getting a key win from 132-pounder Justin Millard, two falls, including Walstrom's first-period pin of Tanner Fetterolf for his 100th, and Nick Gray's meet-clinching win to avenge the loss, 40-33, over the fifth-seeded Red Raiders.
"They beat us the first time, and it's not likely that we get to wrestle somebody who beat us," Walstrom said. "Once we got the momentum, we were hard to beat."
"The kids really deserved to avenge that loss," P-O assistant coach Tracy Minarchick said. "The kids were really up for it. They planned for it. They worked for it."
"I know the team score doesn't indicate it, but overall, I think we wrestled pretty good," said Bellefonte coach Mike Maney, a former P-O head coach. "Any time you come to wrestle P-O, you want to be at full strength. Unfortunately, we still have a few guys who aren't 100 percent yet."
Minarchick was filling in for head coach Tim McCamley, who underwent an appendectomy at 2 p.m. Wednesday. McCamley was getting updates via the WPHB 1260-AM radio broadcast and text messages from Minarchick's wife, Naomi.
"He is home," Minarchick said. "There was a good punch for Coach because Coach McCamley doesn't back down from anybody. He knew he had his team in good hands because I've been with him for 32 years."
The win also made some history. The Mounties advanced to Saturday's 10 a.m. semifinal in Tyrone, where they'll wrestle top-seeded Central Mountain, for the first time since taking third in 2003. The win also assured the 10-2 Mounties of their first winning season since 2001-2002.
"It's been a beaucoup bunch of years," Minarchick said. "It's good to get back."
Walstrom came out fired up - twice flying off the mat with Fetterolf, nearly taking out the scorer's table the second time.
He eventually got a takedown, slipped in a double-arm bar, forced the Raider to his back and got the pin in 1:21. The student section, complete with signs, erupted in celebration.
"I was hoping I wouldn't get a forfeit," Walstrom said. "That would be a bad way to get it. I just wanted that [100 wins] so bad."
"That was huge for him," Minarchick said. "I've seen every one of them. It's good to see it in this gymnasium. It's the way it used to be in the good old days."
Walstrom (29-1) is only the fifth Mountie to reach 100 wins and the first since Jeremy Weller (107) in 2000. Nate Rupp (117), Corey Bainey (108) and Jason Bainey (105) also reached the milestone.
The Mounties trailed 15-3 after the first four weights. The only win came from 106-pounder Chris Thompson, who rallied from 6-3 down to beat Nate Rosenberger, 8-6, with a reversal, two nearfall points and a stalling point.
Millard started the P-O comeback by notching three takedowns of Zach Musser, who was one of the wrestlers Maney shifted up a weight, en route to a 6-3 win.
Maney forfeited to Andrew Greenawalt at 138 and moved Fetterolf up to face Walstrom. Walstrom's pin gave P-O an 18-15 lead, and Jared Smith extended the lead by pinning Austin Cable in 49 seconds at 152.
Minarchick forfeited to Leo Wortman at 160 and moved Jeffrey Thompson up to 170, where he decked Tanner Day in 1:16.
"I'm kind of surprised they didn't send out Wortman against Smith," Minarchick said. "That would have been an excellent match."
After Bellefonte's Nick Shawley pinned Dennis Lumadue in 3:10 to get the Raiders to within three, 30-27, P-O's Brad Anstine picked up a forfeit as Toby Cain moved up to face Gray.
With P-O Holding a 36-27 lead and Raider 285-pound star Garrett Poorman waiting, media types started figuring out tiebreaker criteria. Criteria wasn't needed as Gray clinched the win with a 9-0 win over Cain.
"I knew he could do it as soon as he went out there," Walstrom said. "I could tell he was ready to go."
106-C. Thompson, PO, dec. Rosenberger, 8-6; 113-Leathers, B, pinned Descavish, 5:18; 120-Corl, B, dec. Evans, 8-1; 126-Traxler, B, pinned Shively, 4:06; 132-Millard, PO, dec. Musser, 6-3; 138-Greenawalt, PO, won by forfeit; 145-Walstrom, PO, pinned Fetterolf, 1:21.
152-Smith, PO, pinned Cable, :49; 160-Wortman, B, won by forfeit; 170-J. Thompson, PO, pinned Day, 1:16; 182-Shawley, B, pinned Lumadue, 3:10; 195-Anstine, PO, won by forfeit; 220-Gray, PO, maj. dec. Cain, 9-0; 285-Poorman, B, pinned Dombroski, 1:32.
Records: Bellefonte (8-5); Philipsburg-Osceola (10-2).