CURWENSVILLE — A revenge win by Nate Wriglesworth and a stunning pin by Jason Koptchak were the keys as the Curwensville Area High School wrestling team defeated Cameron County 36-27 in its final Patton Hall match of the season Tuesday evening.
The Golden Tide had a different lineup than the one that eked out a 42-40 victory when the two District 9 Class AA squads met at the Coudersport Duals in early January, and coach Duane Wriglesworth wasn’t sure of a repeat, primarily because of injuries to three wrestlers who sport winning records.
Jake Lancaster (18-10 at 126 and 132), Zach Tibbens (9-6 at 160) and Brad Stubbs (11-4 at 285) were not available, and Lancaster and Tibbens accounted for a dozen points with falls in the first match.
“You put those three in the lineup, and that’s a whole different team,” Duane Wriglesworth said. “We told these guys, this truly is going to be a team effort if you really want this. You’re going to have to work together as a team and pull some upsets.”
His son answered with the biggest turnaround effort.
Nate Wriglesworth worked two counters for all his points in a 9-2 decision over Brandon Saline (17-5) at 170 pounds, giving the Golden Tide its first lead at 15-12.
“Nate got pinned by that kid up at Coudersport,” Duane Wriglesworth said. “We could have moved him away, but I wanted him to wrestle this kid again.”
Saline, who cradled the Golden Tide senior at 2:48 in their previous meeting, got in deep on a single-leg, but Nate Wriglesworth sat and came around for a leg ride to emerge with the takedown. He tilted Saline for two back points at the first period buzzer.
In the third period, Saline reversed and locked up a cradle, but Wriglesworth posted and turned in to catch the Red Raider on his back for a reversal with 17 seconds left and a near fall as time ran out to even his record at 12-12.
“He’s been improving, and that’s probably one of the best matches he’s wrestled this year,” Duane Wriglesworth said.
The meet, which began with the teams splitting pins in the first four bouts, remained close most of the way.
Red Raider Devin Mason reversed Austin Pollick three times and had to battle out of a tight headlock in the second period for a 10-6 win at 182 and there was no bout at 195.
Ricky Magnuson then put Curwensville (8-11) ahead again at 18-15 by shutting out Austin Smoker 5-0 at 220 with a reversal, a penalty point for interlocking and a two-point near fall in the third period.
The see-saw match continued with heavyweight Jack Karsten (22-4) reclaiming the lead for the third, and last, time for Cameron County (8-8) by pinning A.J. Bloom in 1:03.
Koptchak followed with what Duane Wriglesworth labeled the second pivotal match.
The Golden Tide freshman exploded off the bottom as Scott Cokely, ahead 2-0, was trying to turn him in the second period and caught the Red Raider soph on his back for a fall at 3:15 to restore the three-point advantage again, 24-21.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect that,” Wriglesworth said. “We knew that Cokely was tough. Jason got taken down in the first period, and I was worried when he got behind that he would lose some confidence. But he kept coming on.
“I was really happy with his match.”
After Sam Bressler picked up a forfeit win at 113, Tyler Mays held on for a 4-2 squeaker over Brandon Saline (11-4) at 120 to put Curwensville up 33-21 with two bouts remaining.
Mays hit a snapdown for the first two points just 11 seconds after the whistle and reversed with 33 seconds left in the middle period. Saline reversed midway through the final period.
“That was a big win for Tyler, because Saline is one of their better kids,” Wriglesworth said. “Brandon is real tough.”
Paul Etchepare chopped the deficit in half by pinning Ayran Shearer at 3:41 of the 126 for his 20th win of the season, but the Red Raiders needed a fall at 132 to tie the match, and the Brandon Sass wasn’t about to let that happen.
The Golden Tide senior took down Zach Cokely three times and surrendered only two escapes in a 6-2 victory.
“We basically wanted Sass to wrestle smart,” Wriglesworth said. “No throws, because he likes to go upper body. Play it safe. And he was able to do that.”
It was pin or no count in the early going.
Curwensville’s Trey McKenzie (145) and Dakota Royer (160) offset the falls by Cameron County’s Robert Setzer (138) and Tony Olivett (152).
After the opening bout ended with Robert Setzer picking up a fall with three seconds left in the first period over Pat Shearer, McKenzie hit a cement finisher on his third takedown against Casey Clingan for a 58-second deck job. The Golden Tide matman pinned Clingan in 48 seconds at Coudersport.
Jake Stiles appeared on his way to a big upset at 152 for the Golden Tide with a 6-0 lead in the third period, but Olivett hit a lateral drop for his fall at 4:49.
Royer built a 7-2 lead on Andrew Lathrop before muscling the Red Raider to his back and grapevining his legs to register a pin at 3:49.
“I’m really happy for the kids,” Duane Wriglesworth said. “Cameron County is a quality team. They’re very well balanced up through the lineup.”
The Golden Tide must go on a long bus ride Thursday to Shinglehouse in Potter County for its final dual meet against Oswayo Valley.
CURWENSVILLE 36, CAMERON COUNTY 27
138 – Robert Setzer, CC, pinned Pat Shearer, 1:57. (CC 6-0)
145 – Trey McKenzie, Cur, pinned Casey Clingan, :58. (6-6)
152 – Tony Olivett, CC, pinned Jake Stiles, 4:49. (CC 12-6)
160 – Dakota Royer, Cur, pinned Andrew Lathrop, 3:49. (12-12)
170 – Nate Wriglesworth, Cur, dec. Taylor Saline, 9-2. (Cur 15-12)
182 – Devin Mason, CC, dec. Austin Pollick, 10-6. (15-15)
195 – No match.
220 – Ricky Magnuson, Cur, dec. Austin Smoker, 5-0. (Cur 18-15)
285 – Jack Karsten, CC, pinned A.J. Bloom, 1:03. (CC 21-18)
106 – Jason Koptchak, Cur, pinned Scott Cokely, 3:15. (Cur 24-21)
113 – Sam Bressler, Cur, won by forfeit. (Cur 30-21)
120 – Tyler Mays, Cur, dec. Brandon Saline, 4-2. (Cur 33-21)
126 – Paul Etchepare, CC, pinned Ayran Shearer, 3:41. (Cur 33-27)
132 – Brandon Sass, Cur, dec. Zach Cokely, 6-2. (Cur 36-27)
Referee – Bob Colgan.
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|12/08||@ Mountaineer Tourney||6th||0 – 0|
|12/11||@ West Branch||13 – 64||0 – 1|
|12/13||BROCKWAY||48 – 32||1 – 1|
|01/03||@ Punxsutawney||30 – 49||1 – 2|
|01/05||@ Coudersport Duals|
|vs. Lewisburg||21 – 60||1 – 3|
|vs. Coudersport||51 – 26||2 – 3|
|vs. Maplewood||24 – 51||2 – 4|
|vs. Cameron County||42 – 40||3 – 4|
|vs. Sheffield||60 – 24||4 – 4|
|01/10||@ Redbank Valley||15 – 57||4 – 5|
|01/17||@ Ridgway||45 – 18||5 – 5|
|01/19||@ Clearfield Duals|
|vs. Port Allegany||13 – 63||5 – 6|
|vs. General McLane||0 – 70||5 – 7|
|vs. Peters Twp.||6 – 71||5 – 8|
|vs. Sharpsville||32 – 42||5 – 9|
|vs. Valley||39 – 34||6 – 9|
|01/24||BROOKVILLE||15 – 58||6 – 10|
|01/25,26||@ Fred Bell Tourney||11th||6 – 10|
|01/29||PHILIPSBURG-OSCEOLA||ppd.||6 – 10|
|01/31||Mo VALLEY||30 – 45||6 – 11|
|02/07||CLARION||52 – 24||7 – 11|
|02/12||CAMERON COUNTY||36 – 27||8 – 11|
|02/14||@ Oswayo Valley|
|02/22,23||Districts @ Clarion|
|03/01,02||Regionals @ Sharon|
|03/07-09||States @ Hershey|