CURWENSVILLE — Brookville couldn’t have popped up on the Curwensville Area High School wrestlers’ schedule at a more inopportune time than Tuesday night.
The Raiders, No. 2 in Off The Mat’s latest state Class AA rankings, were coming off their first loss in 47 meets, and they were all business in a 64-9 win over the Golden Tide on the Patton Hall mat.
A hard-earned decision by heavyweight Steven McClure and a forfeit for lightweight Blake Passarelli were the only Curwensville points.
McClure secured the Golden Tide’s lone win in a tougher-than-expected 6-5 squeaker over Tanner LaBenne. An early takedown and a near fall with a headlock gave the once-beaten junior a 5-0 lead, but the Raider sophomore closed the gap with a Peterson Roll for four points midway through the second period.
McClure, who OTM has ranked No. 8 at 285, was up 6-4 going to the final period, when he surrendered a penalty point for interlocking and than had to ride LaBenne the final 1:24 to secure his ninth victory.
Brookville had racked up bonus points in 10 of the 11 previous bouts. There was no match at 152.
“Everyone knows Brookville’s good,” Golden Tide coach Dean Swatsworth said. “There’s a reason they’re returning state champs and are ranked second right now. They‘ve got good talent and they‘ve got some great kids.
“I just told our kids to go out there and wrestle hard, wrestle physical.”
After Passarelli received his forfeit at 113 pounds to offset the one that went to Parker Fleming at 106, the Brookville (18-1) juggernaut got rolling with three consecutive first-period falls, two by returning PIAA place winners.
Keelan Kunselman, ranked No. 4 at 113, cradled Golden Tide newcomer Mason Gasper at the 1:03 mark at 120.
Gavin Park, No. 5 at 120 and the 14th member of Brookville’s Century Win Club, stacked Dylan Myers in 43 seconds with a bar and half-nelson at 126.
And Kai Sorbin, No. 11 at 126, hooked up a crossface cradle to pin Ethan Collins in one minute at 132.
Kunselman (19-7) placed fifth at 106 and Park (22-3) finished seventh at 113 at the 2016 state tourney.
The Raiders continued to build on that 24-6 lead with pins by Tyler Park (11-3) at 170 and Noah Cieleski (18-4) at 182, a major decision by Jacob Cable at 145 and forfeits to Dontae Constable at 138, Caleb Hetrick (23-3) at 160, Xavier Molnar (20-5) at 195 and Tyler Cook (22-3) at 220.
Hetrick was eighth in the state at 152 last year and currently is ranked third at that weight, while Molnar is eighth and Cook is third at their weights.
Tyler Park owned an 8-1 advantage when he pulled Mason Lancaster to his back and kept him there for a 3:10 fall, and the ninth-ranked Cieleski was ahead 4-0 when he cradled Kaleb Witherite for a pin a 3:05.
Cable took down Cole Bressler in each period and turned him twice with 2-on-1 tilts in a 12-0 victory.
“We matched kids up as best we could to wrestle,” said Swatsworth, who noted Bressler and Lancaster were bumped up a weight. “Coach (Dave) Klepfer and I were talking and thought those would be better match-ups for the whole dual meet.
“I thought maybe we could have got a couple wins there, but it is what it is. A couple kids weren’t here, so our lineup had more holes than usual.”
Swatsworth was somewhat disappointed with the Golden Tide’s lack of confidence.
“It just seemed they were beat before the match,” he said. “We didn’t have the attitude we did last week against Johnsonburg, and I think we took a little step backwards.
“I don’t want to beat my kids up, because they did wrestle a great team, but we know where we need to get to be. We can see the gap.”
The Golden Tide will face another stern test Thursday when they host Moshannon Valley.
BROOKVILLE 64, CURWENSVILLE 9
106 – Parker Fleming, B, won by forfeit. (6-0)
113 – Blake Passarelli, C, won by forfeit. (6-6)
120 – Keelan Kunselman, B, pinned Mason Gasper, 1:03. (6-12)
126 – Gavin Park, B, pinned Dylan Myers, :43. (6-18)
132 – Kai Sorbin, B, pinned Ethan Collins, 1:00. (6-24)
138 – Dontae Constable, B, won by forfeit. (6-30)
145 – Jacob Cable, B, major dec. Cole Bressler, 12-0. (6-34)
152 – No match.
160 – Caleb Hetrick, B, won by forfeit. (6-40)
170 – Tyler Park, B, pinned Mason Lancaster, 3:10. (6-46)
182 – Noah Cieleski, B, pinned Kaleb Witherite, 3:05. (6-52)
195 – Xavier Molnar, B, won by forfeit. (6-58)
220 – Tyler Cook, B, won by forfeit. (6-64)
285 – Steven McClure, C, dec. Tanner LaBenne, 6-5. (9-64)
Referee – Nick Sipes.
Golden Tide Scoreboard:
|12/10||Mountaineer Tourney @ PO||77 pts.||8th place|
|12/13||@ Redbank Valley||27 – 54||0 – 1|
|12/17||@ Redbank Valley Duals||ppd.||0 – 1|
|12/22||@ Ridgway||27 – 53||0 – 2|
|01/04||@ Punxsutawney||48 – 36||1 – 2|
|01/07||@ Indiana Tourney||90.5 pts.||8th place|
|01/12||@ West Branch||28 – 51||1 – 3|
|01/19||JOHNSONBURG||42 – 30||2 – 3|
|01/24||BROOKVILLE||9 – 64||2 – 4|
|01/27 & 28||Fred Bell Tourney @ Grove City|
|02/04||@ Juniata Valley Tourney|
|02/24 & 25||District 9 AA Champs @Clfd HS|
|03/03 & 04||Northwest Regionals @ Sharon|
|03/09-11||PIAA States @ Hershey|