Penns Valley turns Tyrone strength into weakness in win over Eagles on the mat

All season long, getting bonus points in wins and avoiding them in losses has been Tyrone wrestlers major strategy. The Eagles’ bread and butter has been the pins they have scored and the bonus points wrestlers who lose haven’t given up. Before Thursday night’s home finale against Penns Valley, Tyrone wrestlers had recorded 132 pins, while getting pinned just 23 times in dual meets. The light middle weight classes which includeded Dane McCloskey at 119, Thad Westley at 125, Brett Harris at 130, David Miller at 135 and Brice Mertiff at 145, have combined for a total of 78 pins and 275-pounder Terry Tate adds 15 more.
On Senior Recognition Night, Penns Valley turned the tables on the Eagles outpinning the Eagles six-to-zero in a stunning 48-22 victory. Perhaps stunning is too strong a word if you look at facts. For starters, Terry Tate has been fighting the flu, missed several days of school and wasn’t in the lineup.
“Penns Valley finished third in the Team Duals and we finished second, so they had something to prove after the lower finish,” explained Tyrone coach Blair Packer. “We will have to put this behind us and get ready for the Districts in two weeks. Then it will be our turn to have something to prove.”
Tyrone did get a pair of technical falls from Robert Waite at 103, and Thad Westley at 125, to go along with a pin by Dane McCloskey at 119. However Penns Valley was able to win two of three close matches with Preston Shawver coming up with a takedown in overtime to down David Miller 10-8 at 135, and Mike Wise picking up a reversal at 145, with 14 seconds left to edge Brice Mertiff 8-7. In a tossup considered by many before the dual began worth the price of a ticket all by itself, once beaten Brent Gephart ended the match with Brett Harris at 130, with a pin in 1:46.
The match began at 275. Without Tate (27-5) in the lineup, coach Packer moved Justin Clark up from 215 to wrestle Ram heavyweight Colby Stover. The Ram junior was too much for Clark (7-19), scoring a pair of first-period takedowns and adding a third before registering Penns Valley’s first pin of the evening in 3:03.
Robert Waite (17-13), who has won seven of his last nine matches used two takedowns, a reversal and four sets of nearfalls to tech fall Jesse Marlett 15-0, in 5:40, to bring Tyrone’s deficit to just 6-5.
After Greg Myers pinned Andrew Hiller (2-8) at 112, Dane McCloskey got the Eagles’ lone fall getting Ben McNitt in 1:46. McCloskey (22-10) took the Ram sophomore down early and worked McNitt into a pinning combination.
At 125, Thad Westley notched the Eagles’ second tech fall of the evening beating Judson Brooker 17-2 in 2:46 to push Tyrone into a 16-12 team lead, the last time the Golden Eagles would hold the advantage. In winning by tech fall for the sixth time this season, Westley (31-6) scored four takedowns and three 3-pt. nearfalls, while allowing two harmless escapes.
In the match of the night, Gephart took Harris (25-10) and muscled him over for the first-period fall in 1:46 to make quick work of the Tyrone senior.
David Miller and Preston Shawver went at each other with no quarter asked and none given. The Ram sophomore took Miller down and turned him for three nearfall points, then Miller (27-9) reversed Shawver and put him on his back first for two points and then again for two more and a 6-5 lead at the end of one period. Shawver’s reversal was the only scoring of the second stanza to take a 7-6 lead. The Tyrone sophomore reversed Shawver in the third, but Shawver escaped to take the match at 135 into overtime. With just over half of the one-minute OT gone, Shawver went in deep for a takedown to win 10-8 and push the Rams lead to 21-15.
At 140, Bob Thompson jumped out to a 4-1 lead on two first-period takedowns, then pinned Adam Swayne (12-16) in 2:28. Brice Mertiff and Mike Wise met at 145, in the second of the three toss-up matches. Mertiff fell behind 4-1 after one period, but rallied to take a 7-6 lead with a second-period nearfall and reversal and two back points in the third period. Wise managed a reversal with 0:14 left for an 8-7 win that gave Penns Valley a 30-16 lead.
J. D. Shaw, nursing a shoulder injury that kept the Tyrone senior from being able to practice all week, hung on to win the third close match, besting Jeremy Ridenour 1-0. Shaw (10-17) escaped in the middle period for all the scoring in the match at 152, and did a good job riding Ridenour the entire third period to get the win.
At 160, with time rapidly running out for the Eagles, Alex McNitt took Tyrone junior Chris Tremmel (7-15) down and worked for the first-period fall to build the Penns Valley lead to 36-19. Tyrone would have had to get three pins to pull out a 37-36 win, but the Eagles were forfeiting a weight, so the Rams had the dual all wrapped up.
Blake Cowfer was called for an illegal slam at the end of the opening period by referee Wade Williams, younger brother of three-time state champ Terry Williams from BEN. David Korman wasn’t hurt, and Cowfer (12-16) methodically went after him for four takedowns and a nearfall over the next two periods in a 13-6 win at 171.
With the dual out of reach, Tyrone forfeited to the Rams’ Kendall Ridenour at 189, and moved Max Soellner up to 215, to face Derek Auman. Auman proved to be too heavy for Soellner. After the Ram 215-pounder took a 5-0 lead, Soellner cut the lead to 6-4 at the end of the first period with a reversal and two back points. Soellner (2-4) gave up a takedown to begin the second stanza, but actually took a lead 9-8 with a reversal and nearfall, only to have Auman escape, take him down and get the pin at the 3:17 mark to close out the match.
“Penns valley came to wrestle and just plain stuck it to us,” was how coach packer described the dual. “It would have been nice to have Terry Tate in the lineup. We started at heavyweight and momentum can be a huge factor in high school wrestling. It can make all the difference in the world. I can’t say enough about our seniors. J. D. Shaw and Blake Cowfer won tonight and Brett Harris just ran into a buzzsaw, wrestling against one of the best in the state.”
Tyrone falls to 10-5, while Penns Valley added another victory to their best season in school history, now 17-5.
Tyrone defeated the Penns Valley junior high 57-30 in the preliminary match. Brandon Oswalt (250), Shayne Tate (95) and Matthew Lauder (145) won by pin, Johnny Miller (165), Chris Miller (80), Anthony Romano (85) and T. J. Albright (100) collected forfeits and Heath Walk (185), Jacob Smerekar (110), Josh Hunter (115), James Updike (138) and Tyler Updike (155) won regular decisions.
Penns Valley 48 Tyrone 22
275 – Colby Stover (PV) pinned Justin Clark 3:03
103 – Robert Waite (T) won by tech fall Jesse Marlett 15-0, 5:40
112 – Greg Myers (PV) pinned Andrew Hiller 3:21
119 – Dane McCloskey (T) pinned Ben McNitt 1:46
125 – Thad Westley (T) won by tech fall Judson Brooker 17-2, 2:46
130 – Brent Gephart (PV) pinned Brett Harris 1:42
135 – Preston Shawver (PV) dec. David Miller 10-8 OT
140 – Bob Thompson (PV) pinned Adam Swayne 2:28
145 – Mike Wise (PV) dec. Brice Mertiff 8-7
152 – J. D. Shaw (T) dec. Jeremy Ridenour 1-0
160 – Alex McNitt (PV) pinned Chris Tremmel 1:34
171 – Blake Cowfer (T) dec. David Korman 13-6
189 – Kendall Ridenour (PV) won by forfeit
215 – Derek Auman (PV) pinned Max Soellner 3:17.
Junior High
Tyrone 57 Penns Valley 30
165 – Johnny Miller (T) won by forfeit
185 – Heath Walk (T) dec. Kane Bjalme 4-0
210 – Eric Herrold (PV) pinned Jeff Miller 1:55
250 – Brandon Oswalt (250) pinned Matt Johnson 3:49
75 – Matt Myers (PV) pinned William Shauf 0:337
80 – Chris Miller (T) won by forfeit
85 – Anthony Romano (T) won by forfeit
90 – Kelly Strouse (PV) won by maj. dec. Shane Emigh 8-0
95 – Shayne Tate (T) pinned Philip Wise 2:34
100 – T. J. Albright (T) won by forfeit
105 – Tyler Myers (PV) pinned Justin Schopp 4:00
110 – Jacob Smerekar (T) dec. Lucas Stover 7-0
115 – Josh Hunter (T) Ty Corl 6-5
122 – Luke Burkey (PV) pinned J. P. Gaines
130 – Devin Alterio (PV) won by maj. dec. Sam McCloskey 12-4
138 – James Updike (T) dec. Trevor Benner 2-1
145 – Matthew Lauder (T) pinned Brent Turner 1:56
155 – Tyler Updike (T) dec. Nathan Andrews 9-3.