HERSHEY - Bedford ran into a buzzsaw in Fort LeBoeuf in the consolation semifinals of the PIAA Class AA Team Championships Saturday morning at the Giant Center.
Fort LeBoeuf, which was knocked into the consolations by eventual champion Bethlehem Catholic, won eight straight bouts from 126 to 182, forfeited the last four weights to rest its starters and beat Bedford, 37-30.
LeBoeuf (18-3), who are also the Bisons, dropped into the consolations with a 32-18 loss to BC in the quarterfinals. LeBoeuf went on to beat Brookville, 30-28, in the third-place finals to go 3-0 on Saturday. FL reached the consolation semis with a 31-27 win over Wyalusing.
Photo for the Mirror by Jim Butler
Bedford’s Ryan Easter works against Fort LeBoeuf’s George McGuire.
"It looked like we were half asleep," Bedford coach Brian Creps said. "[Fort LeBoeuf] wrestled in a big match earlier, and we weren't ready to go. They're pretty tough though. They're a very phyical team at every weight, and they're not flashy. They don't make mistakes and they wrestled good match against us. It just came down to the fact they were better than us."
Bethlehem Catholic hammered Boiling Springs, 52-15, in the Class AA finals to repeat as Duals champion. Canon McMillan won the Class AAA title with a 35-20 win over McDowell. Boiling Springs knocked Bedford into the consolations with a 40-24 win Friday night in the semifinals.
Bedford (17-2) won the first two bouts. Ryan Easter earned a 2-0 overtime win over George McGuire at 113 pounds, and Garrett Thomas shut out Adam Borgia, 3-0, at 120.
"It was nice to get those two wins," Creps said, "and then it felt like a slow death march after that."
It was all LeBoeuf after that. Brandon Puckly beat Toby Brett, 6-0, at 126. Brad Malinowski majored Caleb Grimes, 8-0, at 132. LeBoeuf then put together three straight pins from 138 to 152.
Bedford wrestled without 145-pounder Tanner Williams, who broke his hand in a win against Boiling Spring. Creps said Williams (22-7) is done for the season.
"That hurts," Creps said. "He's one of the kids who truly loves to wrestle. He always wants to wrestle extra afterward. I feel so bad for him. His big goal was to wrestle well and make it to regionals."
Taylor Harrington earned a 10-4 win over Josiah Koontz at 160, and Taylor Fox beat Cody Yingling, 7-2, at 170. After Craig Cihon pinned Dylan Evans at 182, FL chose to forfeit to Michael Brett (195), Jacob Krupa (220), Justin Easter (285) and Jake Warren (106).
"To finish in the top six is a good experience for all involved," Creps said.
The Bisons, who were making their fifth straight appearance in the PIAA Duals, have one more dual meets on their schedule - Latrobe at home on Wednesday - before getting ready for the District 5 Tournament.
"Latrobe is a tough team," Creps said. "We see them at the King of the Mountain Tournament, and it hurts us not having Tanner. We'll get things together after that and get ready for the postseason."
Fort LeBoeuf 37, Bedford 30
113-R. Easter, B, dec. McGuire, 2-0 OT; 120-Thomas, B, dec. Borgia, 3-0; 126-Puckly, FL, dec. T. Brett, 6-0; 132-Malinowski, FL, maj. dec. Grimes, 8-0; 138-Smith, FL, pinned Dudek, 2:45; 145-Middleton, FL, pinned Martin, 1:50; 152-Pace, FL, pinned Clark, 2:16.
160-Harrington, FL, dec. Koontz, 10-4; 170-Fox, FL, dec. Yingling, 7-2; 182-Cihon, FL, pinned Evans, :22; 195-M. Brett, B, won by forfeit; 220-Krupa, B, won by forfeit; 285-J. Easter, B, won by forfeit; 106-Warren, B, won by forfeit.
Records: Fort LeBoeuf (18-3); Bedford (17-2)