Bearcats take down Mtn. Lions

HUNTINGDON — The dual meet between Altoona and Huntingdon started at the best possible position for the Mountain Lions — at 106 pounds.

Altoona’s talented lightweights figured to give the Lions a nice lead going into the last half of the lineup. That’s exactly what they did, winning five of the first six weights, with the only hiccup being Roland Mills’ 5-3 overtime win over Damion Finnegan at 120.

But that’s when the Bearcats’ middle and upper weights took over. Unbeaten Huntingdon, ranked second by the Mirror, won seven of the next weight bouts, including five by fall, to beat the fifth-ranked Mountain Lions, 43-22, on Tuesday night.

“I thought we wrestled very well,” Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut said. “Altoona has a lot of solid kids sprinkled throughout their lineup. We started in a spot that was beneficial to them. They’re really good down below. Looking at the lineup, I thought we had some decent shots from 138 to the top.”

“We have some nice lightweights. Our lightweights are pretty tough kids,” Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said. “But they outwrestled us. There’s no doubt about it. Coach Mykut always does a great job down there. I thought the match should have been a little closer.”

Altoona 106-pounder Jordan Carlucci began with a 4-2 win over Eden Wagner, scoring a reversal with 37 seconds left in the bout and riding the rest of the way for the win.

Altoona freshman Luke Hileman, the area’s top-ranked 113-pounder, earned an 8-2 decision over Caden Reamer. Hileman was up 8-1 when he released Reamer with 25 seconds left to go for the major decision, and he nearly got a takedown in the final seconds, but he won, 8-2.

“That’s the difference between us and Huntingdon right now,” Gilbert said. “When we’re a little bit better at a weight class, we get decisions. And when they’re better at a weight class, they get falls.”

Mills has been on fire lately, and he continued his roll against Finnegan, ranked No. 1 in the initial rankings. Finnegan, though, took him down with 3 seconds left in the bout to send into overtime. The third-ranked Mills came out of a flurry with a takedown with 17 seconds left in overtime to win.

“Mills is wrestling awesome,” Mykut said. “He had a great weekend (at the Juniata Duals). He was the OW of our team down there. He’s wrestled some really, really good matches recently, and he we expect big things from that kid. It was a good match with two good kids, and he just kept at it.”

“I have to give all of the kudos to Roland Mills,” Gilbert said. “Finnegan is a good wrestler, but Roland wrestled his match. He just out-toughed us this evening.”

Returning state placer Matt Sarbo and Jordan Wagner scored 20 points, respectively, in back-to-back technical falls at 126 and 132, giving the Lions a 16-3 lead.

Jacob Wagner started the ball rolling for the Bearcats with a 6-0 win over Corey McClellan at 138. Wagner took McClellan down to his back for four points in the first period and got a late takedown.

Pins by Briar Deline at 145, Draven Zook at 152 and Andrew Finkle at 160 gave the Bearcats a 24-16 lead.

“That’s the meat of our lineup,” Mykut said, “and they have been showing some leadership by leading by example.”

At 170, Huntingdon’s Myles Baney rolled to a 12-0 major decision over Adam Zerbee. Baney scored eight points in the second period, notching six nearfall points.

After Ryder Kocik’s pin with 3 seconds left in the first period at 182, Gage Peters earned a 6-2 win over Altoona’s Josh Keirn at 195. Peters was up 3-2 in the third period when he scored three back points after coming out on top in a flurry.

“We preach keep wrestling from whistle to whistle, and Gage was able to do that,” Mykut said. “He has that knack to come out on top in a lot of those situations.”

Altoona’s Nate Simmers stopped the Bearcats’ run with a pin in 56 seconds at 220. And it looked like promising Lion sophomore Trevor Manley would pick up a win against Izzy Reed, who trailed, 6-3, in the third period. Reed, though, escaped and took Manley down to his back and pinned him in 5:25.

“You know what, you have to wrestle six minutes in varsity wrestling,” Gilbert said. “Izzy Reed is a good wrestler. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it. Manley is a good wrestler too, but you can’t take a break.”

106–Carlucci, A, dec. E. Wagner, 4-2; 113–Hileman, A, dec. Reamer, 8-2; 120–Mills, H, dec. Finnegan, 5-3 OT; 126–Sarbo, A, tech. fall Kisiel, 20-4, 4:20; 132–J. Wagner, A, tech. fall Lauer, 20-3, 5:27; 138–J. Wagner, H, dec. McClellan, 6-0; 145–Deline, H, pinned Schmidhamer, 1:40

152–Zook, H, pinned G. Wagner, 2:40; 160–Finkle, H, pinned Beach, 1:23; 170–Baney, H, maj. dec. Zerbee, 12-0; 182–Kocik, H, pinned Brandt, 1:57; 195–Peters, H, dec. Keirn, 6-2; 220–Simmers, A, pinned Peck, :56; 285–Reed, H, pinned Manley, 5:25.

Records: Altoona (4-4), Huntingdon (10-0)

Exhibition winners: McDivitt, H, Rhone, H, Dial, H, Morder, H, Boutiller, A, Wilson, H

Referee: Nick Shope