Mount Union stumbles early
MOUNT UNION — The Mount Union wrestling team needed to win the toss-up bouts and prevent giving up bonus points to have any chance of beating Huntingdon for county bragging rights Thursday night.
They couldn’t do it.
The Bearcats, seeded first in District 6 Class AA, took three of the four toss-up matches (195, 220, and 113 pounds), won nine bouts — scoring bonus points in seven of those — to roll to the 45-22 victory.
“We had it that it could have been five matches to five matches with four toss-ups. One of the ones we were counting on we lost with Jake (Ryan) and one of those we won with Tavin (McMickens),” Mount Union coach Corey Wertz said. “The bonus points were the difference. They won the toss and that gave them an advantage early on.”
Huntingdon (9-1) opened with three straight wins, including key bouts at 195 and 220, for a 12-0 lead. At 195, state-ranked Alex Mykut (17-5) defeated Levi Hockenberry (18-5) by a 2-1 score in the tiebreaker. After a scoreless first period, Hockenberry chose down and escaped to take a 1-0 lead. Mykut returned the favor in the third — sending the match to overtime. Mykut escaped in the first rideout for a 2-1 advantage and then rode out Hockenberry in the second for the win.
At 220, Landon Fisher and Ryan met in a battle of state-ranked wrestlers with Fisher coming out on top 11-6. Ryan (21-2) started things off with a takedown before Fisher (18-2) reversed to make it 2-2. A late escape by Ryan made it 3-2 after one.
In the second, Fisher chose defense and hit a picture-perfect switch for the reversal and a 4-3 advantage. Ryan escaped to end the middle frame tied at 4-4. Ryan ran out of gas in the third and Fisher made the most of it with two takedowns and a three-point nearfall for the victory.
Isiah Reed completed the three-match run for the Bearcats with a fall in 1:53 over Clayton Arnold at heavyweight.
“It’s a rivalry match. A lot of those matches could go either way. We started out fast at 195 and 220 and those matches could have gone either way, but we got the lead and some momentum early,” Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut said. “Our guys have been working hard with bonus points all year long and there was no difference tonight. We went out there looking to open it up and when we had a chance to get bonus points we went after it.”
The Trojans (12-5) stopped the bleeding momentarily by taking three of the next four bouts to even the score at 15-all. At 106, Bryce Beatty (18-5) majored Cody Bilger 10-2; Caleb Cramer (14-5) decked Nathan Kramer in 4:41 at 120, and Josh Boozel (20-2) used his double bar for numerous back points and an 18-2 technical fall over Brynen Kisiel that lasted exactly two periods.
At 113, Huntingdon captured another toss-up match when Roland Mills (13-5) defeated Kevin Morehouse (15-6) by a 6-2 decision. The Bearcats made it 27-15, winning at 132 and 138 with Izac Benson (16-4) pinning Trevor Skopic in 1:10 and Jacob Wagner flattening Seth Jaymes in 3:43.
At 145, Tavin McMickens scored four takedowns and held off Myles Bainey for the 10-8 win, cutting the deficit to 27-18. The Bearcats clinched the dual when Joey Bailey pinned Dawson Low in 1:10 at 152 and Braeden Knode clamped Caleb Morgan in 1:40 of their 160-pound bout.
Mount Union collected its final win of the night when Andrew Todaro (20-2) majored Andrew Finkle 10-0 at 170.
“We tried to match up Caleb (Morgan) and Andrew (Todaro) where we wanted them and that didn’t work out either. It is what it is. We have to learn from it and move on,” Wertz said. “We have to learn from this and move on. We have another tough match coming with West Branch next week. These kind of matches are what get you ready for the postseason.”
Huntingdon won the final bout of the evening when Ryder Kocik (12-3) pinned Tucker Helfrick in 1:20 at 182.
“These guys know each other. They have been wrestling each other since they were kids. Mount Union is great team and they are well-coached,” Mykut said. “The team that wins the close matches is going to win the dual meet and fortunately, we did that tonight. We have a lot of work to do. I know it’s a cliche but we are focused on one match a time, one meet at a time. We wanted to get through this week unscathed with Clearfield and Mount Union, two tough teams, and we were able to do that.”
Mount Union won the takedown battle 16-12. The Trojans travel to West Branch for an Inter-County Conference clash on Jan. 18.
Huntingdon Area Hs (HAH) 45.00 Mount Union Area Hs (MUAH) 22.00
195: Alex Mykut (HAH) over Levi Hockenberry (MUAH) (TB-1 2-1) 220: Landon Fisher (HAH) over Jake Ryan (MUAH) (Dec 11-7) 285: Isiah Reed (HAH) over Clayton Arnold (MUAH) (Fall 1:53) 106: Bryce Beatty (MUAH) over Cody Bilger (HAH) (MD 10-2) 113: Roland Mills (HAH) over Kevin Morehouse (MUAH) (Dec 6-2) 120: Caleb Cramer (MUAH) over Nathan Kramer (HAH) (Fall 4:41) 126: Josh Boozel (MUAH) over Brynen Kisiel (HAH) (TF 18-2 4:00) 132: Izac Benson (HAH) over Trevor Skopic (MUAH) (Fall 1:10) 138: Jacob Wagner (HAH) over Seth Jaymes (MUAH) (Fall 3:43) 145: Tavin McMickens (MUAH) over Myles Baney (HAH) (Dec 10-8) 152: Joseph Bailey (HAH) over Dawson Low (MUAH) (Fall 1:10) 160: Braeden Knode (HAH) over Caleb Morgan (MUAH) (Fall 1:40) 170: Andrew Todaro (MUAH) over Andrew Finkle (HAH) (MD 10-0) 182: Ryder Kocik (HAH) over Tucker Helfrick (MUAH) (Fall 1:20)