Johnsonburg Downs Curwensville Matmen in 36-30 Thriller

CURWENSVILLE — An exciting scholastic wrestling dual meet of pin or get pinned turned on a one-point, come-from-behind decision by Johnsonburg 119-pounder Preston Mahoney as the Rams denied Curwensville\’s upset bid 36-30 in front of a large Patton Hall crowd Friday night.
\”I knew it was going to be an uphill for us,\” coach Duane Wriglesworth II said after the Golden Tide fell to 1-2. \”I knew they had very good wrestlers all the way through the lineup, and I expected our kids to really have a lot of tough matches. I expected it to be close. I figured we could pull it out with a little luck.\”
However, Johnsonburg escaped with its sixth win in eight matches by virtue of a 5-4 edge in falls.
\”I didn\’t expect to see as many falls as we did, but when you\’re wrestling to win and you know you need a little luck, you\’re going to have to wrestle for a pin,\” Wriglesworth said.
The Rams grabbed a quick 12-0 lead when 160-pounder Dylan Nelson (10-2) fashioned a 5-2 lead through two periods and then cradled Jarrett Sloppy for a fall at the 4:49 mark and 171-pounder Mike Cherry (8-4) followed by pinning Brandon Padgett with a double arm bar in 1:18.
Unbeaten Nick Sipes ignited a five-bout sweep by Curwensville with his seventh win at 189, clamping a tight half nelson and bar on Jim Cherry for a 28-second fall. At 215, Nathan Russell had an 8-0 lead when he headlocked Chad Whippo for a pin in 3:35 to tie the score.
Then, Joe Hawkins moved up to heavyweight after weighing in at 215 and came through with an impressive win in just his second bout. Jack Schreiber, who was 9-1, got the takedown, but the Golden Tide senior reversed and stepped over to catch the Ram on his back for two points. Two escapes by Schreiber made it 4-4 going to the third period, when Hawkins reversed again with 1:22 left and rode the rest of the way. He gave up a penalty point with 59 seconds remaining but held on for a 6-5 decision.
\”That, we didn\’t expect,\” Wriglesworth said. \”Joe worked really well keeping his hips up whenever he was riding Schreiber, and it really worked out well for him. He had won the spot this week in eliminations.\”
When freshmen Derek Brothers (7-1) and Brett Sutika (3-0) posted falls, the Golden Tide appeared in great shape with a 27-12 lead and a possible forfeit coming at 145. Brothers switched from a guillotine to a headlock to pin Quinton O\’Rourke in 1:08 at 103 and Sutika caught Zach Wolfe in a front headlock for a fall in 2:55 at 112.
\”Brothers looked really sharp, and Sutika, I was really happy with his performance,\” Wriglesworth said.
In the pivotal bout at 119, Curwensville soph Tyler Peters dominated for five minutes, countering a Mahoney shot for the initial takedown and lateral dropping the Ram freshman for two-and-two and a 6-1 lead after one period. He rode Mahoney the middle two minutes and a minute into the final period. Then, Mahoney exploded off the bottom to reverse Peters to his back, tying the match with 40 seconds left. Peters escaped 17 seconds later, but Mahoney kept the pressure on and turned a single-leg shot into the winning takedown with just three seconds left. The 8-7 verdict completely shifted the momentum for the Rams, who took four of the last five bouts.
\”That should have been our match,\” Wriglesworth said of the 119 bout. \”Petey\’s a good wrestler and we always count on him. He just had some bad luck. It was a tough loss, something he\’ll get over and make up for later.\”
At 125, Chase Gardner chopped Johnsonburg\’s deficit to 27-21 by pinning Kyle Wescott in 1:06 with a front headlock and press.
Jeff Thomas beat Ian Breakey 10-3 at 130 for Curwensville\’s final points and a 30-21 lead. He lost a major decision when Breakey fought out of a pin combo with 26 seconds left and then escaped with 14 seconds remaining.
Back-to-back falls by 135-pounder Brandon Rimer against Duane Wriglesworth III in 2:50 and 140-pounder Josh Woodford (10-1) against Justin Smith in 2:23 put Johnsonburg back in front 33-30 and forced the Curwensville coaching staff to forgo a forfeit for Brett McCracken at 145 and, instead, move him up to 152 in hopes of bonus win that would swing the meet.
Waiting was Judd Zilcosky, who was the outstanding wrestler in the Eisenhower Kickoff Tournament. He improved his record to 9-1 and locked up the Rams\’ victory with a 9-4 decision. Zilcosky engineered three takedowns against McCracken (6-2), who led briefly 3-2 with a reversal in the second period but could add only two escapes.
McCracken\’s effort didn\’t disappoint coach Wriglesworth, who said, \”He was just giving up too much weight. He (Zilcosky) is state-ranked and very strong.\”
Curwensville will compete in the Redbank Valley Holiday Tournament next week.   
Johnsonburg 36, Curwensville 30
160 — Dylan Nelson, J, pinned Jarrett Sloppy, 4:49. (6-0)
171 — Mike Cherry, J, pinned Brandon Padgett, 1:18. (12-0)
189 — Nick Sipes, C, pinned Jim Cherry, :28. (12-6)
215 — Nathan Russell, C, pinned Chad Whippo, 3:35. (12-12)
285 — Joe Hawkins, C, dec. Jack Schreiber, 6-5. (12-15)
103 — Derek Brothers, C, pinned Quinton O\’Rourke, 1:08. (12-21)
112 — Brett Sutika, C, pinned Zach Wolfe, 2:55. (12-27)
119 — Preston Mahoney, J, dec. Tyler Peters, 8-7. (15-27)
125 — Chase Gardner, J, pinned Kyle Wescott, 1:06. (21-27)
130 — Jeff Thomas, C, dec. Ian Breakey, 10-3. (21-30)
135 — Brandon Rimer, J, pinned Duane Wriglesworth III, 2:50. (27-30)
140 — Josh Woodford, J, pinned Justin Smith, 2:23. (33-30)
145 — No match
152 — Judd Zilcosky, J, dec. Brett McCracken, 9-4. (36-30)

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