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Lions vexed by Bearcats

Photo for the Mirror by Chuck Meyers Altoona’s Josh Keirn lifts Huntingdon’s Zack Peck in the 195-pound match. Peck ended up pinning Keirn.

When it comes to high school wrestling, the Huntingdon Bearcats remain a mystery to the Altoona Mountain Lions.

At least that’s the way Altoona coach Joel Gilbert sees it.

“I’m not sure if it’s a mystery like the Bermuda Triangle,” Gilbert said, with a chuckle, “but we can’t figure it out. It’s been about the same score for about five or six years.”

Huntingdon outscored Altoona, 43-24, Thursday at the AAHS Fieldhouse to spoil the Mountain Lions’ senior night.

“For some odd reason, they win every close match,” Gilbert noted, “or, if we’re ahead, we get pinned.”

Like Thursday’s opening bout where Huntingdon 120-pounder Eden Wagner pinned Altoona’s Caleb Fasick. The Altoona freshman built a 9-1 lead in the first period, but the Huntingdon sophomore scored a second-period takedown and headlocked Fasick into a fall at 3:47.

“We’re ahead 9-1, get headlocked and pinned,” Gilbert said, “but he (Fasick) is a freshman. We also were winning at 195 and got pinned. That’s two different bouts where we have to capitalize on opportunities.

“I don’t think we’re always aware we’re in trouble a lot of time and that comes with experience,” Gilbert continued. “We’re not always aware of the situation and what our opponent can do to us.

“To me, that was the difference tonight.”

Huntingdon’s Jon Mykut, who is closing in on 300 wins in his 19th year as coach of the Bearcats, called it “a good, hard-fought match.”

Besides Wagner (120), Huntingdon also got falls from Briar Deline (160), Myles Baney (170), Zack Peck (195) and Brandon Dunsmore (106). Roland Mills (126), Caden Reamer (132), Morgan McDivitt (138), and Gage Peters (182) won by decisions.

“We probably won a couple matches that could have gone either way — 182 and maybe 195,” Mykut said. “We’re pretty balanced from top to bottom.”

Mykut said Wagner’s come-from-behind fall over Fasick in the night’s first bout was a shot in the arm for the Bearcats.

“That was a good start,” Mykut offered. “We work on that stuff in practice, and they know they’ve got to get some five-pointers.

“He got the headlock and that was big. It got us some momentum at the beginning of the match.”

Altoona was trailing 16-0 before Matt Sarbo (145 pounds) got the Lions on the scoreboard. Sarbo built a 8-3 lead before pinning Thomas McDivitt in 1:16. Adam Zerbee followed with a 8-5 decision over Chandler Lauer at 145.

“Adam Zerbee looked good,” Gilbert said. “That kid (Lauer) was 16-5. Zerbee has been coming around the last couple weeks and I expect big things out of him. I was real happy with his performance.”

Altoona’s other wins were by Ray Boose, who needed just 1:45 to pin Gunner Singleton (220), and Trevor Manley, who was awarded a forfeit at 285.

“We had our opportunities,” Gilbert offered. “But, until I figure it out, I guess the (Huntingdon) score will stay about the same.”

There’s no rest for either the Mountain Lions or the Bearcats.

Altoona competes in the 35-team West Branch Tournament today and Saturday. The Lions go to Westmont Hilltop on Monday and visit Mifflin County next Wednesday.

“When the going gets tough, the tough have to get going,” Gilbert said. “We’ve got to get in there and scrap little bit.”

Huntingdon competes in the Thomas Chevrolet Tournament in Bedford today and Saturday before hosting the first round of district duals next Tuesday.

120: Eden Wagner (H) over Caleb Fasick (A) (Fall 3:47) 126: Roland Mills (H) over Damion Finnegan (A) (MD 8-0) 132: Caden Reamer (H) over George Boutiller (A) (Dec 10-5) 138: Morgan McDivitt (H) over William Young (A) (Dec 9-6) 145: Matthew Sarbo (A) over Thomas McDivitt (H) (Fall 1:16) 152: Adam Zerbee (A) over Chandler Lauer (H) (Dec 8-5) 160: Briar Deline (H) over Andrew Beach (A) (Fall 3:00).

170: Myles Baney (H) over Alex Yost (A) (Fall 1:30) 182: Gage Peters (H) over Connor Reimer (A) (Dec 11-5) 195: Zack Peck (H) over Josh Keirn (A) (Fall 3:54) 220: Raymond Boose (A) over Gunner Singleton (H) (Fall 1:45) 285: Trevor Manley (A) over (H) (For.) 106: Landon Dunsmore (H) over Eli Wisor (A) (Fall 1:39) 113: Jordan Carlucci (A) over Devin Grubb (H) (Dec 4-1).

Official: Dan Fogel.

Records: Huntingdon (11-3); Altoona (5-9).

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