PC dominates Bedford

CRESSON — Penn Cambria coach Todd Niebauer and Bedford coach Brian Creps came to an agreement on the Panthers’ senior night that all five of the PC seniors would get to wrestle.

With Bedford missing starters Greg Edwards and Matt Emerick at 106 and 126, respectively, and the Bisons forfeiting four weights, that kind of agreement could be done.

Kick-started by decisions by seniors Bryce Niebauer at 145 and Brock Talko at 152, the 10-4 Panthers went 3-2 in bouts involving their seniors, including a technical fall by Jarred Stoy at 182, and cruised to a 51-13 win.

“Coach Creps is a class guy,” Coach Niebauer said. “I know they’re down. We talked before the match and said ‘Let’s get the matchups the fans would like to see. I appreciate Coach Creps. It’s a great program, great family.”

“They have a lot of good wrestlers coming up through there,” Creps said of Penn Cambria, “and a lot of solid kids to fill out some of the other spots. We were giving up so many forfeits, and we were just looking for matchups tonight. We’ve been struggling all year.”

Not too long after the pre-match senior night ceremony ended, Todd Niebauer’s son, Bryce, earned a 7-4 decision over George Lang, who moved up from 138. Niebauer took a 4-3 lead into the third period, where he escaped and gained a cushion by scoring a takedown at the edge of the mat with 54 seconds left.

“Bryce is a kid that has worked and worked,” Todd Niebauer said. “He wasn’t the most talented guy out of the gate when he started, but he’s in the room with pretty good kids like (Chase Proudfit), (Gavin) Link, Talko and (J.C.) Smychynsky, so he didn’t have a choice but to improve some. I’m very proud of him.”

Talko and Bedford’s Nathan Gabriel both moved up to 152, and Talko left the mat with a 9-3 win. Talko was up 2-1 in the second, when he escaped and took Gabriel down twice for a 7-2 lead. He added a takedown with 2 seconds left.

With PC senior Garrett Rager in the lineup for the first time this season at 160, Bedford’s David Hartman recorded a 47-second pin.

The Panthers then reeled off eight straight wins.

Smychynsky was losing 2-0 to Chance Dull in the first period at 170, but he reversed Dull to his back and pinned him in 1:33.

“J.C. is long and tall, he’s going to give guys fits,” Niebauer said.

Continuing the PC weight shift, Stoy, a returning state qualifier, rang up five takedowns against Owen Biddle for a 13-4 lead after two periods. Stoy scored six nearfall points in the third to get the technical fall.

After forfeit wins by Derek Brown and Marcus Wirfel at 195 and 220, respectively, Penn Cambria 285-pounder Caleb Hurley pulled out a 3-1 win with a last-second takedown of Noah Lynch. In fact, referee Jim Weston had to confer with the timer that the takedown came before the buzzer.

“He’s 4-0 in his last four matches,” Niebauer said of Hurley.

Forfeit wins by Bryce Proudfit at 106 and Jestin Poruban at 113 gave the Panthers a 44-6 lead.

At 120, Joey Dignan built on that lead by rolling up a 13-0 major decision over Layne Houck. Dignan amassed nine nearfall points and two takedowns in the win.

Bedford’s Gavin Habinyak stopped the PC run with an 11-1 major decision over Reed Niebauer at 126. Habinyak had four takedowns, two nearfall points and an escape for the bonus-point win.

“He’s really getting better,” Creps said.

At 132, PC’s Chase Proudfit took a 1-0 lead over Riley Steinbuch into the third period, where he tilted Steinbuch twice for five nearfall points en route to a 6-0 win.

Bedford’s Brayden Koontz made a first-period takedown, second-period escape and a tough ride in the third period stand in a 3-2 win over Link, a senior, at 138 to close the night.

“Koontz is tough,” Niebauer said. “Gavin just didn’t open up as much as he can. He’s been wrestling really well lately, but it just wasn’t his A-game tonight. That’s unfortunate that it happened on senior night.”

145–B. Niebauer, PC, dec. Lang, 7-4; 152–Talko, PC, dec. Gabriel, 9-3; 160–Hartman, B, pinned Rager, :47; 170–Smychynsky, PC, pinned Dull, 1:33; 182–Stoy, PC, tech. fall Biddle, 19-4, 5:28; 195–Brown, PC, won by forfeit; 220–Wirfel, PC, won by forfeit.

285–Hurley, PC, dec. Lynch, 3-1; 106–B. Proudfit, PC, won by forfeit; 113–Poruban, PC, won by forfeit; 120–Dignan, PC, maj. dec. Houck, 13-0; 126–Habinyak, B, maj. dec. R. Niebauer, 11-1; 132–C. Proudfit, PC, dec. Steinbuch, 6-0; 138–Koontz, B, dec. Link, 3-2.

Records: Bedford (2-7), Penn Cambria (10-4)

Referee: Jim Weston.