HYDE – The Bison Wrestling team opened its dual meet season in the “perfect spot” before pinning a 45-19 loss to the visiting Punxsutawney Chucks Tuesday night at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium.
“We started at a great spot and got two falls. We had our seasoned veterans get it going for us. It was the perfect place to get the match going,” nine-year head coach Jeff Aveni said.
However, Aveni said sophomore Andrew Hill’s 10-4 decision was the biggest win of the night.
“Hill went out and changed the momentum for us. It was probably the biggest win of the match. It was one of those matches that both sides really considered a toss up. When he got that win, it was huge for us,” he said.
The sophomore met Punxsutawney senior James Bullers at 130 pounds. Hill used a first period takedown and a second period reversal for a 4-0 lead.
In the third, Bullers pulled within two with a reversal. Hill, then, escaped and followed with a takedown. After being reversed, the Bison escaped and scored his second takedown of the period for the win.
“His win changed the match and was key for us. And, it wasn’t a one-point win. He separated himself, and it was a six-point win over a pretty good kid,” Aveni said.
“We finally got a good win. When he got that win, I thought ‘this is it. This is the match that I’ve been waiting for out of Andrew Hill for the past two years.’ Those are the kind of wins that he needs to get to the next level.”
Bison Andre Buck got the match started at 215 pounds and found himself down by five to Punxsutawney’s Tyler Burkett to start the opening period.
The junior was finishing a shot, when Burkett earned a take down and three near fall points. Buck used a reversal and two backs to pull within one.
Starting down in the second, Buck reversed Burkett and scored the fall in 2:35.
“Andre has been out for about a week with illness. I think it was just a little rustiness there early on his part. I told him, ‘it was a six-minute match, and it’s only five points. You’ll get your points,’” Aveni said.
“He kept wrestling and stayed composed, and that’s what experience does for you. You maintain composure and take care of business.”
Bison Sean Owen needed only 1:13 to pin Punxsutawney’s Jake Long at heavyweight. Peters’ forfeit gave the Bison an 18-0 advantage, with Lowder up at 112 pounds.
Up 2-1 over Seth Spack, Lowder used two takedowns and an escape to build a 7-2 advantage over the Chuck freshman.
Lowder continued his takedown clinic in the third, scoring three to extend his lead to 13-5. He, then, turned Spack for three near fall points for the 16-5 major decision.
Up 22-0, Clearfield gave up a pair of decisions at 119 and 125 pounds, respectively.
Bison Max VonGunden fell by a 5-0 score to Neko Capella. Teammate Andrew Spicer was on the losing end of an 11-4 battle against regional fourth placewinner Kody Young. The Chuck sophomore finished last season 36-2 and is currently 10-0 on the year.
Young scored a take down and added back points to start the bout. But Spicer notched a reversal that was followed by a Young escape, making the score 5-2 at the end of one.
Young used an escape for a 6-2 advantage heading into the third period. He turned Spicer for three but the Bison senior fought off the fall. The two swapped reversals to set the final.
“I thought that we could have wrestled better at 119 pounds, but we came back and fought hard at 125,” Aveni said.
Aveni said that Spicer can compete with wrestlers at the talent level of Young.
“Young got beat by (Erik) Galloway, of State College, at Regionals last year. Spicer had him (Galloway) beat right here but got taken down with two seconds to go,” he said.
“Spicer just needs to believe that he is as good as these kids and can get a win over them. I thought that match could have been closer. Kody is a great wrestler, but Andrew is a great wrestler, too.”
The Punxsutawney win streak was short lived; the Bison got back on the board with Hill’s 10-4 win at 130. Senior Holden Lowe followed up with a major to push his team out in front 29-6 after the 135-pound bout.
Up 2-1, Lowe turned Chuck senior Ty Albright for two near fall and a 4-1 lead entering the final period.
Lowe went back to work adding an escape, takedown and another set of back points for the 9-1 major.
“He’s been sick and banged up. I told him to just go out and be Holden. Just go out, be Holden Lowe and take care of business. He wrestled more like Holden, and he took care of business out there,” Aveni said.
Punxsutawney picked up a 6-2 decision and a fall at 140 and 145 pounds, respectively, but Derek Danver put together what Aveni described as an “outstanding performance” at 152 pounds.
Danver strung together two takedowns and three near fall points to end the first stanza with a 7-1 advantage.
The sophomore added a reversal and two backs, extending his lead to 11-2 over the returning District 9 champion.
Danver set the final with another take down and three near fall to win 16-4.
“It was an outstanding match against a returning district champ. I don’t think that kid expected that at all. Derek just dominated that match. He took it to that kid for six minutes. It was just an outstanding performance for Derek Danver,” Aveni said.
After giving up a 14-2 major at 160, the Bison finished the night with a Shawn Hall forfeit win at 171 and a Cliff Hill fall at 189 pounds.
(Cliff) Hill took a 2-1 lead into the second, where Chuck Kirk Girosky evened the score with an escape. Hill, however, notched a take down for the two-point favor entering the final period.
Hill started from the down position and reversed Girosky to his back. The Bison sophomore got his first varsity win, when the end came at 4:40.
“It was great for him to get that win. I wanted to see him get his first win. He has been working hard. We got him a junior varsity win and built his confidence a lot. He went out and did it at the varsity level, so that was great for him,” Aveni said.
Overall, Aveni said his team wrestled well but still needs some work. But, without a doubt, he said the Bison must show up and be ready to wrestle Thursday night at Bald Eagle Area.
“It’s going to be a tough scrap. They’re going to come out and wrestle. We have to go down there and come out ready. So, we better be ready to wrestle with our headgear strapped tight,” he said.
215 – Andre Buck (C) WBF Tyler Burkett (P), 2:35 (6-0)
285 – Sean Owen (C) WBF Jake Long (P), 1:13 (12-0)
103 – Shane Peters (C) WBFF (18-0)
112 – Kodie Lowder (C)WBMD Seth Spack (P) 16-5 (22-0)
119 – Max VonGunden (C) LBD Neko Capella (P), 0-5 (22-3)
125 – Andrew Spicer (C) LBD Kody Young (P), 4-11 (22-6)
130 – Andrew Hill (C) WBD James Bullers (P), 10-4 (25-6)
135 – Holden Lowe (C) WBMD Ty Albright (P), 9-1 (29-6)
140 – Shane Harper (C) LBD Derek Burkett (P), 2-6 (29-9)
145 – Curtis Owens (C) LBF Dustin Brewer (P), 3:44 (29-15)
152 – Derek Danver (C) WBMD James Shirley (P), 16-4 (33-15)
160 – Wil Beauseigneur (C) LBMD Pat Mahan (P), 2-14 (33-19)
171 – Shawn Hall (C) WBFF (39-19)
189 – Cliff Hill (C) WBF Kirk Girosky (P), 4:40 (45-19)