BELLEFONTE - A little more than a week ago, the Altoona and Bellefonte wrestling teams met each other with the Raiders coming out on top of a 40-33 final score.
Tuesday night at the District 6?Class AAA Team Duals quarterfinals, the two squads locked horns again, and the result was the same as the Red Raiders won, 42-36.
"I don't think Bellefonte has ever had a district title and if we get everyone healthy there is no reason why we can't compete for a district title," Bellefonte coach Mike Maney said. "This is the playoffs now and anything can happen."
While the Raiders are headed for the semifinals Saturday at Tyrone, the Mountain Lions have their sights set on the District 6 Tournament now.
"Without a doubt, our ultimate goal is the District 6 individual tournament," Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said. "I think our guys are getting ready to go. They are getting down in weight so we are preparing for that next step. We'll be ready to go for that tournament."
Each team won seven weight classes, but a quick look at the score sheet showed that of Bellefonte's seven wins, all seven were six-pointers, while on the Altoona side of the ledger, five of the Mountain Lion wins were worth six points with a pair of regular decisions sprinkled in.
"Ever since the Central Mountain match we have been really focusing on getting bonus points," Maney said. "We know that is what it is going to come down to for our team to be successful."
As for the two meets with the Raiders, Gilbert felt they paralleled each other.
"That is the way it worked out," he said in reference to the Raiders getting bonus points in more weights then his squad did. "They had a guy out of the lineup [Garrett Poorman] and they had one out last week, also. We knew we had to stay off our backs, and we weren't' able to do that. They got more bonus points than we did, and that was the difference in the match."
Although the Mountain Lions came up short, their big guns still came through with falls. Included in that group were Jake Scheinberg, Austin Rosenberry, T. J. Brandt, D. J. Hollingshead and Mante Barnes.
"Those guys all went and wrestled hard and tough," said Gilbert. "They took it to their opponents and did all they could do to help out the team."
The meet started at 195, and that meant that Altoona had the edge in the first two bouts. Scheinberg and Rosenberry didn't disappoint their teammates with first-period falls.
However, with those two results turning the lineup over, that meant that some of the Raiders strengths were ready to hit the mats and Luke Leathers, Aaron Witherite, Zach Musser and Nate Rosenberger responded with falls. Trevor Corl was awarded a forfeit to round out the 30 big points.
"On Saturday against Greenville, it was Austin Phillips who got us a big win and tonight it was our lightweights that really came through," Maney said. "We have had guys out of the lineup for various reasons and usually it is one guy who steps up, but tonight it was the lightweights that went out and got the job done. That area [lightweights] is where we have consistently seen the most improvement. Luke Leathers got it started, and Aaron Witherite is doing a nice job. Trevor Corl got a forfeit, Zach Musser is back in the lineup and Nate Rosenberger did a nice job. As it turned out, those were all key pins for us tonight.""
As for the effect the starting point of 195 might have had on his squad, Maney felt it was just a matter of making some adjustments.
"We definitely had to make some moves in the upper weights," he said. "You hate to forfeit any time because any time you can send a guy on the mat you have a chance."
With the Mountain Lions still within striking distance, Nick Shawley took care of salting the win away for the Raiders at 170 with a fall before Nick McCarthy and Barnes closed out the meet for the Lions.
In the semifinals, Bellefonte (12-3) will face Mifflin County (14-4). The Huskies, the second-seeded team behind top seed Central Mountain, drew a bye in the quarterfinals.
220 J. Scheinberg, A, pinned Cain, 1:59. 285 Rosenberry, A, pinned Putnam, :29. 106 Leathers, B, pinned Bryan, 1:54. 113 Witherite, B, pinned Querry, 1:22. 120 Corl, B, won by forfeit. 126 Musser, B, pinned Hicks, 2:39. 132 - Rosenberger, B, pinned Bender, 3:27. 138 Brandt, A pinned Shirk, :53.
145 Hollingshead, A, pinned Ault, 1:05. 152 Kephart, B, pinned N. Scheinberg, :56. (36-24) 160 Knode, A, dec. Cable, 9-3. (36-27). 170 - Shawley, B, pinned Kephart, 3:24. 182 - McCarthy, A, dec. Phillips, 8-1. 195 - Barnes, A, pinned Benford, 3:55. (42-36).
Records: Altoona (5-9)