TYRONE - Matt Wilson was a freshman starting 103-pounder on the Huntingdon wrestling team that captured the District 6 Duals title in 2011.
Three years later, Wilson is a key starter on the for the powerhouse Bearcats at 126, and on Saturday night, he reached a milestone in helping his team win another title.
Wilson picked up his 100th career win with a 6-1 victory over West Branch's Hunter Parks. Wilson scored a takedown and two nearfall points in the first period. The victory was part of an eight-bout winning streak that carried the Bearcats to a 52-21 win in the District 6 Class AA title match at Tyrone High School.
"It feels really special to win it on the night we won districts and getting to states," Wilson said. "I feel this is more special to me [than his freshman year] because I'm a senior now, and I'm one of the leaders of the group."
For Wilson, the milestone wasn't something he had been expecting, and it was news to him when it was announced he had reached the milestone.
"It kind of surprised me. I wasn't expecting it," Wilson said. "Honestly, I didn't know where I was at with wins."
"It's a great accomplishment for Matt," Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut said. "He's a great kid, a hard worker, and it's a credit to him to get that 100th win."
The Bearcats (17-1) advanced to the PIAA Team Duals, where they'll open with District 4 runner-up Montoursville on Thursday at the Giant Center. West Branch wrestles at wrestle-in at District 3 runner-up Hamburg Monday.
Huntingdon rolled to a 61-8 win over Westmont Hilltop in the semifinals, while West Branch earned a 34-29 win over Mount Union. The Trojans pounded Westmont, 60-14, in the consolation.
Logan Fisher got the Bearcats off on the right foot with a 12-3 win over Connor Myers at 170, getting a takedown with 14 seconds left for the major decision.
A Robert Pearce hip toss off Matt Norris at the edge of the mat in the third period put the Warriors on the board with a 5-4 win at 182. In a topsy-turvy 195-pound bout, Huntingdon's Mitchell Lauer, leading Vince McDowell 5-4, put McDowell on his back and pinned him in 3:51.
The Warriors (23-2) then reeled off three straight pins as they hit the strength of their lineup to take a 21-10 lead. But the Warriors forfeited to the Mirror's top-ranked Collin Glorioso at 113, and top-ranked Tyler Scott rang up a 16-0 technical fall over Wyatt Sankey at 120 to tie the score, 21-21.
"We knew West Branch would battle hard, not give up and not roll over," Wilson said. "But, we expected to win it, and we came home with a win."
"I wasn't worried ," Glorioso said, "because I knew our team was stronger at those weight classes. I knew this was where we would make our run."
At 132, Devon Green put on a takedown clinic, charging out to a 14-7 lead on Jake Brown before headlocking Brown to his back and pinning him in 2:58. Nathan Russell, who was also part of the 2011 team, followed with a pin in 51 seconds to give the Bearcats a 36-21 lead.
"Green is slick on his feet," Mykut said, "and he just took care of business."
The Warriors forfeited to undefeated freshman Jacob Oliver to save injured starter Parker Bumbarger, which sealed Huntingdon's victory. Jon Wagner followed with a pin in 45 seconds over Kris Smeal at 152. Eric Lynn closed the meet with an 11-2 major decision over Clayton Green at 160.
"It feels awesome," Mykut said. "I can't say enough about these guys. They busted their tails all year long just to get to this point, and it was a great effort."
"They've got a good team," West Branch coach Jason Bainey said. "I think we got behind the 8-ball when some of our guys were winning and ended up getting pinned."
The Bearcats will now get ready for the PIAA Duals grind.
"I'm excited," Wilson said. "I've been waiting for this since my freshman year, and now I'm ready to go at it and hopefully come home with a title."
P-O loses in AAA semis
Philipsburg-Osceola was beaten by top-seeded Central Mountain, 41-27, in the Class AAA semifinals. It's the second time the Mounties have lost to the Wildcats, losing 38-18 in December. Central Mountain then edged defending champion Mifflin County, 26-25, when Demitri Probst won by technical fall in the last bout in the finals. Mifflin County reached the finals with a 42-29 win over Bellefonte.
"We wrestled a lot better," P-O coach Tim McCamley said. "There were a lot of good, competitive matches in that dual meet. I'm happy with the way we wrestled. We come up a couple wrestlers short, but it's a good showing."
P-O got a pin from Dallas Kephart at 152, a 2-1 Bub Lumadue decision over Isaac Porter at 182 and a 5-1 Nick Gray decision over Cameron Porter at 220 in the first half of the lineup. Gray notched a takedown in the first period over his old foe, and he added an escape and takedown in the second.
"I don't think Nick has ever beaten Porter in high school," McCamley said. "It was finally Nick's turn, I guess. He wrestled very well. Nick has had a great season."
P-O managed a Bryce Bennett 2-1 win over Geo Barzona at 106 and a Chris Thompson forfeit win at 113 to get within four, 25-21, but that was the closest the Mounties got. Dakota Weitoish won by forfeit at 138 to close the meet.
HUNTINGDON 61, WESTMONT HILLTOP 8
160-Lynn, H, dec. Barbera, 5-1; 170-Fisher, H, pinned Griffin, 1:36; 182-Barron, WH, tech. fall Gallagher, 15-0, 4:34; 195-Norris, H, pinned Buck, 2:23; 220-Lauer, H, pinned Imler, :28; 285-Morningstar, H, pinned Sheitan, :50; 106-Rosemaus, WH, dec. Kline, 5-0.
113-Glorioso, H, pinned Gilbert, 1:42; 120-Scott, H, dec. Blackburn, 1-0; 126-Wilson, H, dec. Dorian, 7-4; 132-Green, H, maj. dec. Yost, 14-1; 138-Russell, H, pinned Mical, 1:59; 145-Oliver, H, won by forfeit; 152-Wagner, H, won by forfeit.
Records: Huntingdon (16-1)
West Branch 34, Mount Union 29
HUNTINGDON 52, WEST BRANCH 21
170-Fisher, H, maj. dec. Myers, 12-3; 182-Pearce, WB, dec. Norris, 5-4; 195-Lauer, H, pinned McDowell, 3:51; 220-Maines, WB, pinned Kocik, 2:46; 285-Selepack. WB, pinned Morningstar, 2:34; 106-Couteret, WB, pinned Kline, 1:02; 113-Glorioso, H, won by forfeit.
120-Scott, H, tech. fall Sankey, 16-0, 5:09; 126-Wilson, H, dec. Parks, 6-1; 132-Green, H, pinned Brown, 2:58; 138-Russell, H, pinned Quick, :51; 145-Oliver, H, won by forfeit over Van Dyke; 152-Wagner, H, pinned Smeal, :45; 160-Lynn, H, maj. dec. Green, 11-2.
Records: Huntingdon (17-1); West Branch (23-2).
Consolation: Mount Union 60, Westmont Hilltop 14.
CENTRAL MTN. 41, PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA 27
145-Probst, CM, pinned Shively, 5:52; 152-D, Kephart, PO, pinned Turner, 1:40; 160-Reese, CM, maj. dec. Patrick, 9-1; 170-Caprio, CM, pinned Guy, :53; 182-Lumadue, PO, dec. I. Porter, 2-1; 195-Long, CM, dec. Pryde, 3-2; 220-Gray, PO, dec.C. Porter, 5-1.
285-Hanley, CM, pinned Day, 5:09; 106-Bennett, PO, dec. Barzona, 2-1; 113-Thompson, PO, won by forfeit; 120-Confer, CM, pinned Quick, 1:58; 126-Bottorf, CM, pinned Moore, 3:40; 132-Weaver, CM, maj. dec. Hughes, 10-2; 138-Weitoish, PO, won by forfeit.
Records: Philipsburg-Osceola (9-5)
Mifflin County 42, Central Mountain 29
Finals: Central Mountain 26, Mifflin County 25