It's not always if a wrestler wins or loses, but how a wrestler wins or loses that determines the outcome of championship matches.
That philosophy was profound on Saturday, as the Stroudsburg Mounties and the Pleasant Valley Bears once again faced off for the Mountain Valley Conference wrestling crown. Although the Bears won six of the first nine matches on the afternoon, they did not score enough points to withstand the Mounties' heavyweights.
Stroudsburg took the last five matches of the day and went on to win 36-25 to capture its second consecutive MVC title.
"It feels great this year because I can actually enjoy this one," said Stroudsburg head coach Matt Kleinle. "There is no controversy at the end like last year so it is kind of nice.
"The kids wrestled tough. (Matt) Valentin and (Eric) Howey coming through in the lightweights was huge for us. What was even bigger was (Eli) Angradi and (Aaron) Transue not giving up too many points. That's huge because it keeps Pleasant Valley's team score down. They were expecting major bonus points and we didn't give them up."
Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Getz agreed with Kleinel's assessment. The Bears were hoping for bonus points from Ernie Klingel (112), Jordan Toledo (140) and Jake Chamberlain (145), however only received a decision from all three.
"I thought Stroudsburg wrestled well down below," said Getz. "We didn't get any bonus points and I don't think we did anything to get bonus points. We didn't go after them and we weren't aggressive.
"We gave up bonus points up top, which we couldn't do. That's what it really came down to. We spoke about it and told the kids that they had to get the bonus points down below and we just did nothing to do that."
The contest started out with the two teams alternating wins for the first six matches. Though the teams were split, Pleasant Valley held a 16-10 advantage thanks to two technical falls from Sean Bianco and Mike Pokrinchak and a pin from Mike Dahlstrom.
After that the Bears won the next three matches, but only gained nine points from three decisions. The fact that the Bears could not muster any more points from those three matches turned out to be the difference in the match.
While the Mounties were down 25-10 at the time, they in fact had the Bears right where they wanted them.
"I felt great at that point," admitted Kleinel. "Those three wins that we had earlier in the match were great. I knew we were going to be fine. As soon as Tyler Lauchaire won, I pretty much knew that it was going to be our day."
From that point on Stroudsburg had all of its 'big guns' coming up and took the next five matches to end the day. Lauchaire started things off with a 6-2 decision, which was followed by a Jaboci Nordmark technical fall.
After that, the Mounties received two pins from John Brown and Chris Yocum and a forfeit to Matt Transue.
Before Stroudsburg won its first MVC title last year, Pleasant Valley had claimed six consecutive conference championships. Even though no coach likes losing a final match, Getz agreed that the growing rivalry between the two schools will only make them better.
"It's a pretty good rivalry," said Getz. "I think they were a lot better today and were well trained. Hopefully this is a rivalry that will last for a while. I think it makes both teams better. Both of us have been having good showings down in the Lehigh Valley and I think that is because we are making each other better."
Pleasant Valley 25
285 - Allen Marvin (S) dec. over Cameron Kromelbein, 10-6
103 - Sean Bianco (PV) tech. fall over Jeff Hernandez, 16-1
112 - Matt Valentin (S) dec. over Ernie Klingel, 8-6
119 - Mike Dahlstrom (PV) pinned Guesseppe Rea in 2:56
125 - Eric Howey (S) major dec. over Alex Yanovich, 9-0
130 - Mike Pokrinchak (PV) tech. fall over Jayson Borger, 15-0
135 - David Gehr (PV) dec. over Rich Joffe, 6-0
140 - Jordan Toledo (PV) dec. over Eli Angradi, 13-7
145 - Jake Chamberlain (PV) dec. over Aaron Transue, 7-4
152 - Tyler Lauchaire (S) dec. over Ryan Sokolowski, 6-2
160 - Jacobi Nordmark (S) tech. fall over Brett Gehrhart, 17-0
171 - John Brown (S) pinned Aaron Brewer in 2:25
189 - Chris Yocum (S) pinned Hunter Diehl in 1:29
215 - Matt Transue (S) won by forfeit