Palmerton took advantage of Lehighton's four forfeits en route to a 40-36 non-league win in what was the last dual meet of the year for both teams.
The contest started with the Indians (4-14) ceding four of the first six bouts at 195, 220, 285, and 120, respectively, giving the Bombers (14-6) an early advantage. The action started to heat up in the seventh match of the evening at 126, as Lehighton's Anthony Farano earned a pin over the Bombers' Damien Fink to begin what would become a back-and-and forth battle for most of the contest.
The Bombers looked to be in good position with the heart of their order coming up in hopes of offsetting Fink's loss. Zack Christman (22-8) did his part at 132 by earning a 16-4 major decision over the Indians' Josh Gornick.
The surprise came in the next match at 138, where Lehighton's Dustin Koons (5-14) pinned Dillon Masington (20-6) in the second period, much to the delight of Indians' coach Dan Williams.
"It was nice and Dustin out-wrestled him the whole match, he really did," Williams said. "He stayed after it and squeaked one out at the end and pinned him.
"It was a real nice win for Dustin and you like to see freshman get wins like that."
The Bombers answered quickly, though, and thwarted the rally with Joe Bubble and Zach Graver picking up crucial pins in the next two matches at 145 and 152, respectively, to essentially seal the win and put the match out of reach. Lehighton didn't go away quietly, as Connor Frey, Dylan Flexer and Marques Spencer won the last three matches of the contest at 160, 170 and 182, respectively.
Palmerton coach David Lavin was pleased with the victory, but knows his team has work to do before individual districts begin in just over a week.
"I'm more concerned, at this point of the season, since it is the last dual meet, we need to be looking at districts and individuals, and that's not a good sign for us at this point," Lavin said. "We have a lot of work to do.
"You can't make any mistakes at districts and regionals and states, even if it's just two points and not a pin. That could be the difference between moving on and not."
Still, Lavin saw many positives in his team's win.
"There were some individuals that did well," said Lavin. "Joey Bubble did a nice job after Dillon got pinned, rebounding and getting bonus points.
"That's what we wanted from him there and that made the difference in the match. It would have been a lot closer if he would have not gotten the pin and just won that match."
Lehighton coach Dan Williams was pleased with his team's effort and resiliency to come back from an early deficit.
"It's tough when you start off with three forfeits in a row actually four in a row since they forfeited to Tegan (Durishin) at 106, juggling their lineup around a little bit," Williams said. "So you start out a little flat.
"I was happy with the way my guys wrestled in the bouts we contested. Just continuing to improve as we get closer to districts and now that individual season is here."
Palmerton 40, Lehighton 36
106 - Tegan Durishin (L) won by forfeit
113 - Zach Kemmerer (L) pinned Brandon Traugher in 0:38
120 Daniel Russo (P) won by forfeit
126 - Anthony Farano (L) pinned Damien Fink in 3:29
132 - Zack Christman (P) maj. dec. Josh Gornick, 16-4
138 - Dustin Koons (L) pinned Dillon Masington in 3:11
145 - Joe Bubble (P) pinned Tyler Cann in 5:36
152 - Zach Graver (P) pinned Dominik Mystkowski in 0:28
160 - Connor Frey (L) pinned Shane Grohotolski in 0:26
170 - Dylan Flexer (L) dec. Matt Wolfe, 6-5
182 - Marques Spencer (L) dec. Jake Christman, 5-2
* 195 - Raifream Washington (P) won by forfeit
220 - Skyler Rosenberry (P) won by forfeit
285 - Andrew Strauss (P) won by forfeit
* - Match started at 195 pounds.