PHILIPSBURG – Before Tuesday night’s dual meet with Philipsburg, head coach Jeff Aveni said he wanted falls from his wrestlers. His team came through with seven in the first nine bouts, as the Bison pinned the Mounties, 52-15.
With five of the seven coming in the first period, the Bison wrestlers got on and off the mat quickly. Aveni said he always preaches at his wrestlers to do so, but it has also been a weak spot for the team.
“(Getting on and off the mat) is something that I’ve always believed in. But something that this team has been weakest at is going out there, taking the guy down and taking care of business,” he said.
“(I tell those guys) to go out there, take the guy down and pin him. Don’t mess around. Get out there, score some points, build a lead and break the guy down. It was nice to see the team take care of business that way tonight.”
The dual meet got under way at 145 pounds. Bison Shane Harper found himself down 5-1 in the early goings.
Philipsburg’s Levi McCord notched a takedown and three backs for an early lead. Harper earned one after a McCord interlocking call.
Starting down to begin the second, the Bison used a McCord penalty point and a reversal to cut the deficit to one before turning McCord for the fall at the three minute mark.
Aveni, who got on his wrestlers about being more aggressive following the weekend’s Tool City Invitational, said that he thought Harper might have been too aggressive early on.
“But he rolled through about twice and got settled down. He picked up a pin there that got things rolling for us,” he said, adding that it was a bigger win more so for Harper.
He said they’re still working on his sophomore’s confidence and getting him to believe in himself.
“It’s one of those deals, where he goes out, wrestles too hard, gets careless and put on his back. He has to find a happy medium between being aggressive and doing things right and not being overly aggressive and putting himself in trouble,” Aveni said.
At 152, Derek Danver scored a takedown and two backs, building a four-point favor over Mounties’ Brady Woods after the opening stanza.
Danver went back to work in the second, reversing Woods for the pin in 3:31.
After surrendering a 14-8 decision at 160, Bison senior Shawn Hall extended the Clearfield advantage to 18-3 with a fall of his own at 171 pounds.
Hall pulled a cement mixer from his arsenal of moves, as the end came in 42 seconds for Philipsburg’s Matthew Randolph.
“(Shawn) has about eight different ways that he can throw that. It’s go out and hit it. He knew what he wanted to do and got on and off the mat,” Aveni said.
“He has a lot of matches this week. If you have a lot of matches, you don’t want to be out there for six or seven minutes in a brawl. You want to go out, take care of business and get off the mat.”
But the Mounties would get those six points back in the next bout.
Following a scoreless first period, Philipsburg’s Andrew Mann escaped in the second period. He later followed with a take down and caught Bison Cliff Hill on his back. Mann earned the fall in 3:19.
“We were in a tough bout at 189. He ends up getting caught on his back, and that’s kind of a shame, because I thought we had that. We were right there in that match and had the opportunity to do something good there,” Aveni said.
“But he’s young. Those are two young guys, and they’re going to see each other again. We were right there, so hopefully that’ll pan out better for us later.”
Clearfield, then, put up four consecutive falls and did so fast, as each came in the first period for the 42-9 advantage.
Bison Andre Buck needed only 59 seconds to deck Todd Matthews, while Sean Owen pinned Coltyn Wrye in two minutes at heavyweight.
Owen used two take downs and three backs for a 7-1 lead before getting the fall at the buzzer.
Both Shane Peters (0:35) and Kodie Lowder (1:36) followed suit for Clearfield, sticking Tommy Miller and Josh Barnhart at 103 and 112 pounds respectively.
Aveni said his team started in a nice spot that opened up some options for him in the lighter weight classes.
“It worked out for us and gave us the option to let it play out the way that I wanted to see it play out. We got the matches that we wanted,” he said.
“We had some good matches, and we had some tough ones that we lost there.”
Bison Andrew Spicer found himself in a hard fought battle with Philipsburg’s Nick Gurol at 119 pounds.
After a scoreless first, Spicer escaped to go up 1-0 in the following period. Gurol tied the bout up with one of his own in the third.
Gurol, then, managed to score a takedown before giving up an escape to set the 3-2 final.
“Spicer is so close. He’s so close with those guys. He just can’t find the go-to move that will pull the match out for him,” Aveni said, noting it was among the match-ups that he wanted in the light weights.
“We wanted to see that match-up now. He’s got to get it in his head that it’s a match-up he can win, because it’s a big match-up in the post-season. I think he did well enough that he should believe he can win that match.”
Aveni said that Gurol is probably the best kid on the Philipsburg team and is a real solid wrestler. He said the Mounties’ 119-pounder only suffered a 3-1 loss a couple weeks ago to Bellefonte’s Mitchell Port, who is currently ranked second in the state in the PA Power Rankings.
“He’s the real deal. We used that as a marking gauge to see where we’re at right now. We’re real close but just got to take it to the next level.”
Mounties’ Kenny Myers scored a 6-0 decision win over Bison Max VonGunden at 125 pounds, but Andrew Hill would get Clearfield back on the board.
Up 2-0, Hill upped his favor by reversing Mounties’ Derek Diehl in the second. Diehl, however, posted a reversal of his own to cut the Bison lead in half.
Hill managed an escape for a 5-2 advantage after two. But starting from the down position, Diehl would tack on another reversal to come within one.
Diehl surrendered an escape in hopes of tying up the score with a takedown. Hill made shot attempt of his own, as time ticked down but didn’t covert, hanging on for a 6-4 decision win.
At 135, Bison Troy Danver took down Philipsburg’s Drew Bryan before adding another and two back points in the second.
Danver notched a reversal in the final period for the 8-0 major decision. The win marked the first of his varsity career.
Looking for competition for his senior, Aveni bumped Bison Holden Lowe up to 140 pounds. Lowe gave up about 10 pounds to Mounties’ Logan Walstrom.
Going scoreless in the first, Lowe scored on an escape in the second. Walstrom followed with a takedown, but Lowe evened the bout with another escape. In the third, Lowe picked up a takedown for the win.
“They had a couple starters out around his weight,” Aveni said. “. . . We saw that Logan Walstrom was back, and he’s a solid kid. I’ve watched him in Junior Olympics. It gave Holden an opportunity.
“And, he had to wear the guy down. It wasn’t like he could just go out there, start taking him down and tilting him up. He had to wear him down and get a win in the third period. It was a good solid win for Holden.”
Overall, Aveni said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We wrestled hard, and that is key. You’re not going to be upset, when you’ve wrestled hard,” he said. “I think we’re looking good. We just have to keep plugging away.”
Clearfield returns to action Thursday night at State College.
Clearfield 52 – Philipsburg-Osceola 15
145 – Shane Harper WBF Levi McCord, 3:00 (6-0)
152 – Derek Danver WBF Brady Woods, 3:31 (12-0)
160 – Wil Beauseigneur LBD Ethan Greenawalt, 8-14 (12-3)
171 – Shawn Hall WBF Matthew Randolph, 0:42 (18-3)
189 – Cliff Hill LBF Andrew Mann, 3:19 (18-9)
215 – Andre Buck WBF Todd Mathews, 0:59 (24-9)
285 – Sean Owen WBF Coltyn Wrye, 2:00 (30-9)
103 – Shane Peters WBF Tommy Miller, 0:35 (36-9)
112 – Kodie Lowder WBF Josh Barnhart, 1:36 (42-9)
119 – Andrew Spicer LBD Nick Gurol, 2-3 (42-12)
125 – Max VonGunden LBD Kenny Myers, 0-6 (42-15)
130 – Andrew Hill WBD Derek Diehl, 6-4 (45-15)
135 – Troy Danver WBMD Drew Bryan, 8-0 (49-15)
140 – Holden Lowe WBD Logan Walstrom, 4-2 (52-15)