Meyers coach Ron Swingle will not hide the fact that he doesn’t like losing. No one ever likes losing, especially since his team didn’t wrestle its best in last week’s District 2 Class 2A Duals semifinal loss to Hanover Area.
He won’t even say that it was good for his team to lose to the Hawkeyes, but knows it’s a learning tool.
“I hate to say it’s a good loss because no one likes to lose,” he said. “But if we can take something positive away from it and keep doing what we did (Saturday) then we sent the right message.”
The message the Mohawks sent on Saturday in the consolation rounds of the duals tournament was that they were the best team remaining in that portion of the event, and at their best could have been in the finals, and maybe even repeated as champions.
They rebounded from the loss to the Hawkeyes by dominating a pair of opponents, Valley View and Western Wayne by a combined score of 97-36.
“I think (Saturday) we proved that we let it slip away. We gave it away. We didn’t let anyone kick it away from us,” Swingle said. “Hopefully taking that loss did light a fire and we can take this right into districts now.”
The team portion of the schedule for the three-time defending Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champions isn’t over yet having matches remaining with Lackawanna League Division 1 champ Scranton on Saturday, and Division 1’s Tunkhannock and Coughlin next week to get ready for the individual district tournament, which will be held Feb. 26-27 at the Kingston Armory to start that portion of the postseason.
A WVC sweep
For the first time since 2008, the Wyoming Valley Conference will advance both D2 Duals champions to the PIAA Team Championships in Hershey.
Every year since Hazleton Area (Class 3A) and Berwick (Class 2A) capped off back-to-back titles starting in 2007, the Lackawanna League has won at least one of the titles, and twice the conference from the north won both classifications.
In 2008, the Bulldogs made WVC history when they became the first Class 2A team from the conference to win a dual at the event by defeating Towanda, 32-31 on the second criteria in the first round of consolations. That Berwick team still remains the only team from the conference to ever win a dual in the 2A portion of state duals.
Also that year, Hazleton Area came close to winning its second match, but lost by one point to Connellsville in a dual that came down to the last bout.
Six years later, Wyoming Valley West became the first WVC Class 3A team to win a match at state duals defeating Jersey Shore, 38-28 in 2014.
During the deciding 106-pound match of the District 2 Class 3A Duals final last week, Tunkhannock coach Bob Hegedty and assistant Cory Ray were debating what position they wanted David Gavek to pick to start the third period.
Then, freshman Tommy Traver gave his own opinion: have Gavek choose bottom. Well, that worked to perfection because Gavek got a reversal in the period then hung on for the win.
“We were going back and forth whether to put David neutral,” Hegedty said. “It was funny because Tommy Traver was overhearing the conversation and said ‘I think we should put him down.’ So we put him down and it worked out for us. So Tommy’s getting credit for that.”
After further review
When Tunkhannock’s Dalton Ray defeated Scranton’s Andrew Burgette in the Class 3A championship dual last weekend, the win was actually bigger than just Ray avenging a loss to the Knight from last season’s individual district tournament.
Turns out that Ray’s win was career victory No. 100. Ray’s father and assistant coach Cory Ray, had miscalculated after a small discrepancy and had Dalton at 99 wins after the Scranton dual.
Ray became the fourth member of the Tigers to hit the century mark this season joining Bill Manley (115 wins), Dakota Quick (114) and Jake Richards (106). Mike Manley is only six away from also reaching the milestone.
Reach Dave Rosengrant at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @tldrosengrant