PLYMOUTH – In recent years, the biggest Wyoming Valley Conference wrestling meets have been held in late January.
While there will be very important duals to come next month, perhaps the top match of the 2012-13 season came on Saturday afternoon with last season's Division I co-champions Coughlin and Wyoming Valley West squaring off in the division opener for both squads.
The Spartans, whose only loss last season in the division came to the Crusaders at the beginning of the campaign, jumped out to a 31-point lead then had to hold off a rally by Coughlin for a 36-33 victory. The Spartans piled up bonus points at the beginning of the match, which turned out to be the difference.
We're very confident. We feel like the middle of our lineup can hang with anybody in the state dual meet-wise, said Spartan coach Drew Feldman. This is a match we wanted to win. We had this one circled on our calendar. We felt we had to win this to have the season we want to have.
After the Spartans (1-0 Division I) started the dual with six straight wins in the middle weights to open a 31-0 lead, Coughlin went on a run pulling out four straight to get within 31-21. A key win for the Crusaders (0-1 Division) occurred at 170-pounds as a relatively unknown Rico Colon was losing to Alan Sakosky by four points in the second period before turning things around for a fall.
He's been working hard in the room after not starting last year and he's making a difference, Coughlin coach Steve Stahl said about Colon, a senior. It's the time that he's putting in the room everyday and that's the result you get. I'm proud of him.
Then WVW got a huge win from 220-pounder Ian Moran, who pulled out an 8-3 win over Jordan Phillips to stop Coughlin's streak. Moran, who bumped up from 195, trailed 2-1 after the second period, but netted a reversal, three back points and two points in a last-second attempt at a takedown by Phillips to seal the win and gave Valley West a 13-point cushion at 34-21 with three matches left.
There was some pressure, but I thought I could take him with conditioning, Moran said. I like wrestling the heavier kids, but it's hard to wrestle without the extra weight.
Coughlin's returning state qualifier Brad Emerick had no problems at 285 registering a fall in 40 seconds to trim the score to 34-27. Again, the Spartans answered with a decision. This time a win from James Wright at 106 put the score out of reach at 37-27. A team point was subtracted from Valley West's score for unsportsmanlike conduct on Wright. Bobby Hawkins knocked a pin at 113 for the Crusaders to close out the meet.
For Coughlin to repeat as division champs, it will have to win five in a row the rest of the way and hope the Spartans lose. Both teams will have to face top competition in Berwick, Crestwood, Dallas, Hazleton Area and Pittston Area so anything can happen.
Wyoming Valley West 36, Coughlin 33
106 – James Wright (WVW) dec. Nick Yankowski 6-0 *(one team point deducted for unsportsmanlike conduct); 113 – Bobby Hawkins (Cou) pinned Alex Tirko 1:20; 120 – John Lagoski (WVW) maj dec Mike Brown 13-2; 126 – Kyle Krasavage (WVW) maj dec Billy Poray 14-6; 132 – Travis Roper (WVW) pinned Eddie Ciprich 4:41; 138 – Nate Cheek (WVW) pinned Alex Schuerman 3:24; 145 – Derrick Simms (WVW) tech fall Josh Tarnalicki 15-0, 1:34; 152 – Cody Cordes (WVW) pinned Dave Sterba 3:53; 160 – Brandon Butry (Cou) dec. Juan Rojo 5-2; 170 – Rico Colon (Cou) pinned Alan Sakosky 1:47; 182 – Adam Giovanelli (Cou) won by forfeit; 195 – Paul Cole (Cou) won by forfeit; 220 – Ian Moran (WVW) dec Jordan Phillips 8-3; 285 – Brad Emerick (Cou) pinned Matt Dubaskas :40
Note: Match started at 120 pounds.
The Tigers picked up their first divisional win since the 2009-10 season, snapping a 12-match losing streak as they piled up five pins. Their falls came from Dalton Ray (152), Colton Coolbaugh (170), Andrew Muckin (195), Alex Berlew (220) and Stefan Lawson (285).
Saturday afternoon's match was the first dual in Division II for Tunkhannock since winning back-to-back division titles in 2007 and 2008.
Meyers got falls from Kashif Alston at 132 and Samuel Blankenship at 182.
106 – Tom Bachman (Tun) dec Daniel Semanek 9-2; 113 – Jake Richards (Tun) won by forfeit; 120 – Bill Manley (Tun) won by forfeit; 126 – Dakota Quick (Tun) won by forfeit; 132 – Kashif Alston (Mey) pinned Mike Manley 1:14; 138 – Justin Elick (Mey) maj dec Chris Packer 13-3; 145 – Gino Setta (Mey) dec Zack Appleby 7-0; 152 – Dalton Ray (Tun) pinned Johntae Nelson 3:47; 160 – Ben Siegel (Tun) dec Tracey Cistrunk 5-2; 170 – Colton Coolbaugh (Tun) pinned Edwin Vergara :56; 182 – Samuel Blankenship (Mey) pinned Stefan Schlachter 2:51; 195 – Andrew Muckin (Tun) pinned Yakeem Adams :45; 220 – Alex Berlew (Tun) pinned John Mendoza 1:19; 285 – Stefan Lawson (Tun) pinned Kyle Krepich 3:53
Kyle Holmgren (106), Anthony Eck (160), Matt Monahan (170) and Kaine Rimmer (220) all picked up wins via fall to catapult the Hawkeyes to the victory.
Wyoming Area was led by pins from Andy Schutz (132) and Jeffrey Skursky (285).
106 – Kyle Holmgren (HAN) pinned Shaun Vazquez, 0:26; 113 – Brad Glazenski (HAN) dec. Patrick Heck, 4-2; 120 – Zack Meckes (HAN) won by forfeit; 126 – Carmen Mauriello (WA) dec. Shane Elick, 5-4; 132 – Andy Schutz (WA) pinned Matt Izen, 0:29; 138 – Nicholas Heck (WA) won by forfeit; 145 – Chris Jones (HAN) dec. Gabriel Valdez, 6-2; 152 – Nathan Somers (WA) won by forfeit; 160 – Anthony Eck (HAN) pinned Damian Vanderlick, 0:44; 170 – Matt Monahan (HAN) pinned Zachary Briggs, 5:50; 182 – Jude Polit-Moran (WA) won by forfeit; 195 – Matthew Balon (HAN) won by forfeit; 220 – Kaine Rimmer (HAN), pinned Shawn Whiting, 4:43; 285 – Jeffrey Skursky (WA) pinned Trevor Ahouse, 1:35