B-A beats rival Tyrone in wrestling

TYRONE – With the Tyrone holding a two-point lead and with the dual meet in the balance, Bellwood-Antis’ Caleb Knisely kind of had low expectations entering the last bout against Jacob Damon.

“I thought I was going to get stuck [pinned] going out there,” Knisely said.

Knisely actually surprised himself and delighted his team, though, by hip-tossing Damon twice, avoided getting pinned in one hairy situation and won, 15-8, to give the Blue Devils a 39-38 win on Thursday night in a 37-minute meet in which there were only seven bouts wrestled.

“It was a close match, but my team helped me out a lot,” Knisely said. “It feels great to win by one point.”

“He’s coming along nicely,” B-A coach Ron Wilson said after his team improved to 6-9. “This is his first year starting for us, and that was a big win for him at the end of the match to pull that out for us.”

It was B-A’s third win in the last four years over Tyrone, which dropped to 0-7 in its closest meet of the season.

“You look at so many places where you try to find one point,” Tyrone coach Blair Packer said. “It’s always tough losing by one.”

Knisely came in with a 6-12 record, while Damon was 4-10. Knisely hip-tossed Damon for four points in the first period, and he did it again in the second for five points for a 12-2 lead. Damon reversed Knisely to his back for four points in the third period, but Knisely escaped and took Damon down. Damon reversed with 22 seconds left for the final points.

“He’s a powerful kid,” Wilson said. “Sometimes that goes against him, but today it worked in his favor. He managed to get in control of a couple situations. If he just keeps improving, I think he’ll be okay.”

“He’s a pretty strong kid,” Knisely said. “I just have to work on technique.”

“Jacob’s overaggressiveness sometimes gets him caught. When you’re down 4-0, that’s tough to come back from. But, he stayed in there and gave us a good 6 minutes.”

Caleb’s brother, Bruce, a senior, came up big also at 195 after the meet started with forfeit wins for B-A’s Mike Decker (170) and Nick Torsell (182).

Bruce Knisely (9-6) notched a takedown of Darren Reese in the first and second period for a 4-0 lead. Knisely then put Reese on his back and pinned him in 2:53.

“He’s a physical kid also,” Wilson said, “and if those kids keep improving wrestling-wise, hopefully they can surprise a few people at the district tournament.”

After Tyrone’s Jared Beckwith (17-1) moved up to 220 and pinned Ethan Hunter in 48 seconds, there were five straight forfeits (three by B-A and two by Tyrone), giving B-A a 30-24 lead. Tyrone’s Corey Hunter (106), Brian Gunter (113) and Parker Alley (120) won by forfeit, as did B-A’s Cameron Nagle (285) and Geoff Allen (126).

At 132, Tyrone’s Aleic Hunter broke open a 5-3 bout with Josh Wilson when Hunter took him down to his back for five points and a 10-3 decision win.

Ty Snyder gave the Golden Eagles a 33-30 lead at 138 when he put Jonathan Waite on his back and pinned him in 2:56.

Jason Schopp (15-4) moved up to 145, built a 7-0 lead on Nate Claar after the first period and finished with a 17-2 technical fall in 4 minutes. It was Schopp’s third technical fall of the season.

“I was looking for Jason to get a pin,” Packer said. “He went out to get a pin, and I thought the Bellwood kid did a nice job of staying off of his back.”

Jeremy Wilson (16-2) got the Blue Devils within two points by pinning Phoenix Farias in 15 seconds for his 10th fall, setting up Caleb Knisely’s heroics.

“With us both giving up multiple forfeits, it was important to get a couple bonus points along the way,” Wilson said, “because we needed them.”

170-Decker, BA, won by forfeit; 182-Torsell, BA, won by forfeit; 195-B. Knisely, BA, pinned Reese, 2:53; 220-Beckwith, T, pinned Hunter, :48; 285-Nagle, BA, won by forfeit; 106-C. Hunter, T, won by forfeit; 113-Gunter, T, won by forfeit.

120-Alley, T, won by forfeit; 126-Allen, BA, won by forfeit; 132-A. Hunter, T, dec. Jo. Wilson, 10-3; 138-Snyder, T, pinned Waite, 2:56; 145-Schopp, T, tech. fall Claar, 17-2, 4:00; 152-Je. Wilson, BA, pinned Farias, :15; 160-C. Knisely, BA, dec. Damon, 15-8.

Records: Bellwood-Antis (6-9); Tyrone (0-7).