HOLLIDAYSBURG - Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut has been stressing the importance of maintaining aggressiveness and tenacity for the entire match to his wrestlers.
Hollidaysburg coach Mike Moore said that's a lesson that many of his wrestlers still need to learn.
Huntingdon was strong from start to finish Thursday night, registering seven falls and a technical fall en route to a 62-16 win over the Golden Tigers in a dual meet held at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School gymnasium.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Huntingdon’s Jon Wagner works on a pin of Hollidaysburg’s Luciano Toscano.
"We've been preaching in the practice room to come out and wrestle aggressively, and the guys came out and did that tonight,'' Mykut said. "We got off to a real good start.''
Huntingdon built a 30-0 lead after the first five bouts and never looked back. Junior Nathan Russell got the ball rolling for the Bearcats (3-1) by using a cradle to record a 32-second fall over Colton Walls in the first bout of the night at 132. Freshman Jon Wagner followed with another cradle-fall over Luciano Toscano in 3:03 at 138, and junior Eric Lynn took a forfeit victory at 145 to give Huntingdon an 18-0 lead.
Freshman Logan Fisher pinned Caleb Walls in 3:13 at 152, and sophomore Matt Norris shook off surrendering an opening takedown at 160 to rack up an 8-2 lead before pinning Jacob Wolk 42 seconds into the third period for the 30-0 Huntingdon advantage.
"Norris kept his composure, and picked it up,'' Mykut said. "He didn't let the match get away from him. We're young, with four freshmen and two sophomores in the lineup. Each time we step on the mat, it's a learning experience. We've just got to keep getting better.''
Hollidaysburg dropped to 1-2 despite a 69-second fall from senior 285-pounder Matt Barton and a 42-second fall from junior Damian Huff at 113. Huff (now 10-1 this season) was a PIAA Class AAA state tournament qualifier last March, and Barton (10-2 this year) came within one win of qualifying for the state tournament.
Hollidaysburg's only other win Thursday was a 9-0 major decision by senior Ian Bilofsky over Ian Kidd at 170.
"Barton and Huff are experienced wrestlers,'' said Hollidaysburg coach Mike Moore, whose team dropped to 1-2 in dual meets. "They've been in the big tournaments, and we're counting on them to lead the rest of our team. Hopefully, they can influence some of our other wrestlers to fight through some situations in some of their matches.''
According to Moore, that lack of fight has been a troubling sticking point for many of Hollidaysburg's wrestlers this season.
"We've just got to get tougher in some of the gray areas of matches,'' Moore said. "We're not there yet.''
It hasn't been a question of effort, Moore stressed. It's been a matter of sustaining fight - something that Huntingdon did quite well Thursday.
"There's no question that the effort has been there,'' Moore said. "All of our wrestlers work hard in practice, and they focus. They know all about proper wrestling technique. It's just been a matter that, when some of our kids get into those gray areas that take a little bit of toughness to come out on top, we don't battle through those spots.''
After Bilofsky's major decision got Hollidaysburg on the scoreboard, Huntingdon got falls from senior Hunter Ruppert (182), junior Mitchell Lauer (195), and freshman Collin Glorioso (106), along with a technical fall from junior Devon Green to finish the match at 126.
Senior Tyler Wholaver took a forfeit victory at 220 for Huntingdon, while Bearcats' junior Matt Wilson carved out a 7-2 decision over Mark Kociola at 120.
Huntingdon will participate in the Juniata duals this Saturday at Juniata High School.
"All of our guys wrestled well tonight,'' Mykut said. "We were solid from top to bottom, and we'll have to keep up that level of intensity Saturday, when we will wrestle five matches at the Juniata duals.''
Meet notes: Huntingdon also controlled the takedown count, 20-6 ... Hollidaysburg is idle until next Tuesday night, when the Golden Tigers host Jersey Shore in a match that will be held at the Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School gymnasium.
132-Russell, HUN, pinned Colton Walls, :32. 138-Wagner, HUN, pinned Toscano, 3:03. 145-Lynn, HUN, won by forfeit. 152-Fisher, HUN, pinned Caleb Walls, 3:13. 160-Norris, HUN, pinned Wolk, 4:42. 170-Bilofsky, HOL, maj. dec. Kidd, 9-0. 182-Ruppert, HUN, pinned Lanzendorfer, 1:05.
195-Lauer, HUN, pinned Pulcine, :19. 220-Wholaver, HUN, won by forfeit. 285-Barton, HOL, pinned Clites, 1:09. 106-Glorioso, HUN, pinned Bowser, 4:50. 113-Huff, HOL, pinned Dubbs, :42. 120-Wilson, HUN, dec. Kociola, 7-2. 126-Green, HUN, tech. fall Hagg, 18-3, 5:02.
Official: Jarrett Musselman.
Records: Hollidaysburg (1-2); Huntingdon (3-1).