In order to beat Lehighton, Pleasant Valley wrestling coach Justin Micklos knew his team would need to make the most out of every single match.
The Bears did just that, winning nine of 14 bouts to claim a well-earned 43-22 Mountain Valley Conference win over the Indians.
"The bonus points were huge tonight and I think all the kids that needed to get bonus points got them," Micklos said. "The kids came out ready to wrestle and they wrestled very well, including those that didn't win. They wrestled to the best of their potential and that's all I could ask of them."
Pleasant Valley (5-9) gave up two forfeits, but limited the damage by holding Lehighton to minimal points throughout the contest, surrendering only two decision victories to Tyler Cann (160) and Zachary Kemmerer (113), and a major decision to Connor Frey (195).
The Indians (8-8) had chances throughout the night, but were simply unable to capitalize on the opportunities, which is something coach Dan Williams has been working on with his squad.
"Getting bonus points is what I preach to our guys," the coach said. "We've been having a problem lately giving them up and not getting them. That's something we're working on in the room everyday in practice, because it means everything, especially if you're in a tight match.
"You can kind of see how things are shaping up and you know where you need to get them and where you can't give them up. We go through that with our guys, unfortunately it didn't work out for us tonight. We just have to work harder to wrestle a complete six minute match."
Pleasant Valley got strong performances throughout its lineup, as Garrett Gouger (145), Codie Moeck (152), Brody Keefe (170), Matt Robinson (182) and Ahmad Curtis (285) all picked up wins by fall for the Bears while Anthony McCue (132) earned a convincing major decision win over Kurtis Brownmiller.
"Our team started out a little slow this year, but we really wanted to take this match. We knew we could win it," said Pleasant Valley captain Kenny Yanovich. "It was a great night. Everyone worked hard, not giving up any pins. And we got a lot of big wins where we weren't sure if we would get them."
Yanovich (17-2) bumped up to 126 pounds for the first time this season, where he earned a narrow 6-4 decision win over Lehighton sophomore Tegan Durishin.
The Bears' senior suffered an apparent leg injury at the beginning of the third period and held off a furious rally by Durishin, who trailed 6-1 after the second.
"It was really a bright spot for us tonight to see him go out and battle like that," Williams said of Durishin's performance. "You know who kids are, and you know that he (Yanovich) is a really, really talented wrestler,
which is why he's earned all of those accolades over the years.
"Hopefully, that gives him some confidence. By the end of the match, I could see a change (in him) where he realized he could win. That's the kind of confidence you need, especially this time of year."
In a sport where fortunes can change in an instant, a win over a very competitive Lehighton team shows that the Bears will still be a force heading into the latter part of the season
"This gives us a lot of momentum moving forward, and I think now we'll see where our team's at" Yanovich said. "We may have lost four or five matches in a row (earlier in the season), but there's no reason we can't win four or five in a row now."
Pleasant Valley 43, Lehighton 22
*106 - Ezra Neff (L) won by forfeit
113 - Zachary Kemmerer (L) dec. Jason Jacobi, 8-5
120 - Jonathan Klein (PV) dec. Antonio Lorenzo, 9-4
126 - Kenny Yanovich (PV) dec. Tegan Durishin, 6-4
132 - Anthony McCue (PV) maj. dec. Kurtis Brownmiller, 14-2
138 - Joshua Gornick (L) won by forfeit
145 - Garrett Gouger (PV) pinned Anthony Farano in 2:41
152 - Codie Moeck (PV) pinned Dustin Koons in 5:05
160 - Tyler Cann (L) dec. Trevor Dorn, 13-6
170 - Brody Keefe (PV) pinned Domink Mystkowski in 3:12
182 - Matt Robinson (PV) pinned Logan Berger in 1:37
195 - Connor Frey (L) maj. dec. Trent Thomas, 8-0
220 - Nicholas Ammirato (PV) dec. Perry Didyoung, 3-2
285 - Ahmad Curtis (PV) pinned Alexander Smith in 0:17
* - Match started at 106 pounds.