While it was not their best effort of the season, Pleasant Valley coach Mark Getz was pleased with the result of his team's performance.
With the aid of key bonus points and holes in Lehighton's lineup, the Bear grapplers put themselves in position to vie for the Mountain Valley Conference title with a 52-15 win over the Indians last night.
Even though each team has two matches remaining, Wednesday night's showdown with Stroudsburg could very well be the one to crown this year's league champion.
"I think that is what we've been doing all year," Getz said of the bonus points. "We've worked at that. I think pretty refreshing going into the Stroudsburg match.
Starting at 103, Kenny Yanovich set the tone with his match. Solid work on his feet netted three first period takedowns of Jacob Hoats. Two more takedowns and an escape in the final frames gave his team the four-point major decision with the 11-3 win.
"Yanovich did really well to start us off," Getz said. "Hoats has been around and he's a pretty solid kid."
The next six bouts mixed three quick pins by Earnest Klingel, Mike Dahlstrom, and Alex Yanovich, and three forfeits. The early rush on bonus points gave the Bears a 40-0 lead before they reached strength of Lehighton's lineup.
"It's usually a rough start in their lineup from 103 to about 135," Lehighton coach Danny Williams admitted. "We got out worked in the lower weight classes."
At 145, Lehighton's Anthony Farole found Nick Martucci a tough competitor, scrambling to win 10-4 and give the Indians their first points of the night.
That win for the Indians began a string of five straight wins in matches wrestled. In fact, the five wins was one more than Pleasant Valley. The difference was the bonus points earned. The Farole match highlighted the Indian's struggle on the night.
At 152, Zach Coleman was able to reverse Pleasant Valley's Albert Linares to his back for his only opportunity to score back points. Coleman scored a take down in the third period to push the score to 9-2, falling one point short of the major decision.
Despite being outmatched, the Bears Aaron Brewer battled Lehighton's Mike Balliet to the end. An Escape and a lateral throw by Balliet to start the second period gave the Indian grappler a 10-3 lead. Balliet's two take downs in the third period pushed the lead to eight points, but Brewer's escape with less than 15 seconds left eliminated yet another Lehighton bonus point.
"We wrestled really well down low as we have done all season," "Coming in we knew their top kids were Farole and Balliet and we stepped up and didn't let them get bonus [points]. That was key, especially against those tough kids."
Williams was not disappointed with the outcome.
"It's nice that the guys that I expected wins from did what they needed to do," Williams said. "They are picking the right time of the season to really pick it up."
A bizarre event in the final bout of the evening proved to be costly for Getz's big man. The Bear's Mike Benner started the match without a needed mouth piece. A point was awarded to Lehighton's Colton Davidson that proved to be the difference.
With the injury clock running, a frantic search went on to find the mouth guard. After finding it in a bag in the stands, Benner stepped on the mat once again just as his injury time ran out, averting catastrophe.
Davidson held on to that 1-0 lead into the third period when Benner's reversal gave the Bear-big man the lead. Davidson's reversal in the final minute brought the home crowd alive.
To the delight of the home crowd, Davidson held on for the 3-2 win.
"It was great for Colton," Williams said of Davidson's third win in his first season wrestling. "It was the first match where he went all six minutes and got the win by wrestling."
The mishap was proof that there are things for Pleasant Valley to perfect before the key MVC matchup.
"Now we're really geared to Wednesday," Getz said. "We have practice tomorrow and we get chance to work on a couple things. I think could step up just a little bit more Wednesday."
Pleasant Vy. 52 Lehighton 15
103 - Kenny Yanovich (PV) major dec. Jacob Hoats, 11-3.
112 - Sean Bianco (PV) won by forfeit.
119 - James Felipe (PV) won by forfeit.
125 - Earnest Klingel (PV) pinned Jason McEvoy in 1:22.
130 - Mike Dahlstrom (PV) pinned Jeremy Gornick in 3:48.
135 - Alex Yanovich (PV) pinned Dave Magyar in 0:21.
140 - Dave Gehr (PV) won by forfeit.
145 - Anthony Farole (L) dec. Nick Martucci, 10-4.
152 - Zach Coleman (L) dec. Albert Linares, 9-2.
160 - Mitch Moyer (L) dec. Darquise Harper, 5-0.
171 - Mike Balliet (L) dec. Aaron Brewer, 14-7.
189 - Hunter Deihl (PV) won by forfeit.
215 - Rich Hargrove (PV) won by forfeit.
275 - Colton Davidson (L) dec. Mike Benner, 3-2.