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Golden Eagle wrestlers slip by Lewistown by a single point

Tyrone wrestling coach Blair Packer couldn’t help but be happy with the outcome of the Golden Eagles 35-34 win over Lewistown on Thursday night. It was a long trip to Lewistown and the snow was falling outside. Tyrone picked up the win to improve to 2-1 with a long, tough Blair County/Huntingdon County Tournament up next on Saturday.
You always read about the coach telling the interviewer that everybody contributed to the win. In a case like the Eagles one-point triumph, if you subtract the efforts of anyone, the net result would have been a loss.
“This was a great match for the fans,” emphasized coach Packer, “but it was a nightmare for the coaches. The match rocked back and forth, the score see-sawed a little. But there were some great-great matches tonight. This was great for both programs, to see those kids fighting. I don’t think either of us had any matches sewed up. We thought we would win at heavyweight and Altieri took it to Tate. That just gives us fuel to go back and work on that. We got a couple wins right from the get-go. Blake Cowfer getting his fall at 171 was a key thing to get us going.”
The dual began at the 171-pound weight class and Tyrone senior Blake Cowfer (4-5) gave his teammates a 6-0 lead by decking Adam Shirk midway through the second period. Cowfer showed superiority on his feet prior to the fall with four takedowns an escape and a three-point nearfall for 12-2 lead when he turned Shirk for the pin in 3:06.
The roof fell in after that however and the Eagles found themselves behind in the team score 15-6 after the 275-pound match. Mike Rowe (10-2) made quick work of Tyrone junior Justin Clark (0-7) working for the fall in 1:39, Tyrone forfeited to Lewistown’s Tristan Lawson at 215, and Panther heavyweight Keith Altieri (8-2) upset Tyrone’s Terry Tate 10-7.
Rowe, with Lewistown’s best record, allowed Clark just a pair of escapes in taking a 6-2 lead at the time of the pin. Altieri went right after Tate (9-2) with a first-period takedown and escape to counter a reversal by the Eagle sophomore for 3-2 lead at the end of one period. When Tate opened the scoring with a reversal in the second period, Altieri rolled Tate on his back for five points with a reversal and back points. Tate got loose for an escape and the Panther senior took him down for a 10-5 advantage, that Tate cut to 10-7 with his third reversal of the match. After all the action in the first two periods, it quieted down in the final two minutes with neither wrestler scoring a point as Tate dropped his first dual loss of the season. His only other loss was in the finals of the Comet Classic at Penn Manor.
Robert Waite (4-5) stopped the Lewistown surge at 103, by pinning John Dietz in 2:27. Waite, just a freshman, opened the match with a takedown and then put Dietz on his back at the end of the first period, just beating the buzzer for three nearfall points and a 5-0 lead.
Lewistown came right back to ruin Andrew Hiller’s varsity debut at 112. John Vance (5-1) pinned Hiller (0-1) at the 0:35 mark of the opening period to move back into a 21-12 team lead.
The Eagles then owned the middle of the lineup with four straight wins to jump into the lead and the remainder did what they had to to hold on to the win.
“From 119, on, I think our kids really came through,” said Packer. “They have been doing it for us all year. They picked it up a little tonight and wrestled a really good match all the way through. We got some good wins from those kids from ‘19 all the way up to 160. The last two matches, J.D. did a nice job at 152 in getting a major. Chris did a good job in not getting teched. That was one of his objectives. It would have been nice seeing him go out there without that pressure on his shoulders, but the kids all wrestled a real good match tonight.”
Few teams have the luxury of trotting out four wrestlers with Regional tournament experience in situations where winning is crucial. Tyrone has Dane McCloskey who was just a single win away last year at 119, Thad Westley at 125, and David Miller at 135, who were just a win away from moving on to States at Regionals last year and Brett Harris at 130, who wrestled at Regionals as a sophomore in 2001.
McCloskey (7-4) cut the team lead to 21-16 with a 9-1 major decision over Kyle Swineford, that included a a pair of takedowns and five back points. Westley (10-3) led 9-2 on three takedowns and a nearfall when he pinned Jeremy Hamler in 2:52 to give the Eagles a 22-21 lead they would never relinquish. Harris (7-5) took just 0:44 to show Tim Aumiller the lights for his fifth pin of the season as Tyrone added to the lead. Miller (10-5) needed to score on a reversal and three nearfall points to come-from-behind and then hold on to a wild 12-10 win over Josh Hower for a 31-21 team lead.
Lewistown cut that to 31-30 with two weights left to wrestle. Phil Stimely won his first match by pinning Tyrone sophomore Adam Swayne (4-6) at 140, and Drew Walker (6-2) used a reversal and takedown in the middle period to post a 5-4 decision over Brice Mertiff (6-5).
At 152, J. D. Shaw (4-5) won a very-timely 13-3 major decision over Panther Derek Swineford to stretch the Tyrone margin to 35-30. Shaw led just 6-2 at the end of two periods, but earned a bonus point with three nearfalls worth seven extra points for the major decision.
All Chris Tremmel had to do in the final match of the night at 160 was not get pinned. With the pressure on, Tremmel (1-3) lost by an 8-0 major decision to Adam Piper (8-4), but avoided a five-or six-point victory by Piper to win the match for the Eagles.
Tyrone will wrestle all day Saturday at the Altoona Field House in the first combined Blair/Huntingdon County Tournament.
Lewistown won the preliminary junior high dual 68-21.
Tyrone winners were Anthony Romano (80) and Justin Schopp (105) by fall and Jacob Smerekar (110), Sam McCloskey (122) and Heath Walk (165) by regular decision.
In exhibition, Byron Sullins, Ryan Lauder and Matthew Lauder all won by fall.
Tyrone 35 Lewistown 34
171 – Blake Cowfer (T) pinned Adam Shirk 3:06
189 – Mike Rowe (L) pinned Justin Clark 1:39
215 – Tristan Lawson (L) won by forfeit
275 – Keith Altieri (L) dec. Terry Tate 10-7
103 – Robert Waite (T) pinned John Dietz 2:27
112 – John Vance (L) pinned Andrew Hiller 0:35
119 – Dane McCloskey maj. dec. Kyle Swineford 9-1
125 – Thad Westley (T) pinned Jeremy Hamler 2:52
130 – Brett Harris (T) pined Tim Aumiller 0:44
135 – David Miller (T) dec. Josh Hower 12-10
140 – Phil Stimely (L) pinned Adam Swayne 3:46
145 – Drew Walker (L) dec. Brice Mertiff 5-4
152 – J. D. Shaw (T) maj. dec. Derek Swineford 13-3
160 – Adam Piper (L) maj. dec. Chris Tremmel 8-0
Junior High
Lewistown 68 Tyrone 21
250 – Jeff Yohn (L) pinned Brandon Oswalt 0:14
75 – Dustin Lauver (L) pinned William Shauf 0:48
80 – Anthony Romano (T) pinned Travis Fink 1:17
85 – Derrick Bolger (L) won by tech fall Shane Emigh 15-0, 3:13
90 – Devin Bolger (L) won by tech fall Chris Miller 15-0 3:30
95 – Matt Bonsell (L) pinned T. J. Albright 3:46
100 – Shane Wilson (L) dec. Shayne Tate 7-5
105 – Justin Schopp (T) pinned Matt Snyder 3:40
110 – Jacob Smerekar (T) dec. Chris Griffith 6-3
115 – Chad Curry (L) dec. Josh Hunter 4-1
122 – Sam McCloskey (T) dec, Cody Johns 11-8
130 – Mike Robinson (L) maj. dec. James Updike 13-5
138 – Matt Greg (L) pinned Donnie Conrad 3:51
145 – Craig Yoder (L) pinned Chris Bradigan 1:55
155 – Chris Vance (L) pinned Tyler Updike 2:32
165 – Heath Walk (T) dec. Adam Stout 2-0
185 – Devin Zimmerman (L) pinned Johnny Miller 1:18
210 – Thad Gearhart (L) pinned Jeff Miller 1:23
Exhibition
Byron Sullins (T) pinned Terry Degrass
Justin Meiner (L) pinned J. P. Gaines
Ryan Lauder (T) pinned Darren Mentzer
Matthew Lauder (T) pinned Preston Taylor
Frank Taylor (L) pinned Brad Oswalt