Colonial League wrestling powerhouse Saucon Valley invaded the second annual Anthracite Duals, a wrestling tournament held at Panther Valley High School on Saturday, and easily unseated defending champion Lehighton.
The Panthers met the Indians in the championship final of the tourney that involved 10 teams.
Saucon won 11 of the 14 bouts seven of them by pins and one by a forfeit to beat the Indians by a 58-18 margin.
Saucon jumped out to a 34-0 lead after the first seven bouts before David Lucykanish of Lehighton, who was undefeated in five bouts in the tournament, put the smackdown on Richard York in the 152 pound matchup. Lucykanish went to work quickly, scoring with a quick takedown before turning his opponent into a type of guillotine to put away York after just 1:29 of the first period.
SV gained three more individual victories before Nate Black, wrestling at 215 pounds, quickly disposed of Todd Pfeiffer in just 17 seconds with a roll-up and press. Black was 4-1 in the tournament.
The only other win against the Panthers for the Indians was at 285 pounds where Briar Stern won by forfeit. Stern was 5-0 in the tournament, but never got the chance to wrestle. All his wins were by forfeit.
This was Saucon's first year in the tourney, which was divided into two pools. The Panthers were in a pool with Pius X of Roseto, Fleetwood, Williams Valley, and North Star.
Sharing the same pool as Lehighton were host Panther Valley, Palmerton, Pottsville, and Tri-Valley.
Finishing in second place made the Tribe's head coach Floyd Brown pretty happy.
"Second place. We're pleased with that," Brown said.
He noted that Lehighton entered the Anthracite pairings with an 0-2 record. They put away all four of their opposing teams before facing Saucon.
"We started with four wins (in the tournament)," Brown said. "We beat a real good team in Tri-Valley."
Brown gave praise to Black and Lucykanish, noting it was Black who came through for the team in the Tri-Valley match. "He wrestled well in the whole tournament," said Brown. His only loss was to Panther Valley's John Schaeffer who pinned him in the first period.
Schaeffer went 5-0 for the day.
"Lucykanish was 5-0 for us," said Brown. "He's tough."
The coach continued that before the tourney, "We lost to Stroudsburg and Pocono Mountain East although Pocono Mountain got away from us. We came back today and battled."
For the tournament champions, four wrestlers were undefeated during the day. One of them was Ray O'Donnell, who wrestled at both 152 and 160 during the day. His coach evaded a matchup against Lucykanish by moving him to 160 during the championship meet.
The Panthers made it to the championship finals be defeating Pius X (42-27), North Star (51-19), Fleetwood (54-24), and Williams Valley (75-12).
The Indians got to the tourney finale with wins over Panther Valley (42-37), Tri Valley (36-33), Pottsville (43-20), and Palmerton (46-27).
In the match against Tri Valley, the Indians were trialing 33-26 after 12 bouts.
Matt Dorward of Lehighton, the 189 pound senior who went 3-2 in the tournament, kept the hopes alive for the Indians with a pin fall over Lyle Troutman. In the final bout, Black put forth a tremendous effort, gaining a 13-0 major decision over Nathan Helm to give the local squad the 36-33 victory.
For Panther Valley, Schaeffer won one of his bouts in the 285 pound class and the other four at 215. Nick O'Donnell, who was the 103 pound competitor for the Panthers, was 4-0. Also undefeated was Mike Weaver at 171 pounds, going 3-0.
Palmerton was 1-4 in the Anthracites. Dan Costenbader, the 145 pounder for the Bombers, was 5-0 which included three pins and two forfeits.