HERSHEY - Craemer Hedash was not a happy camper.
The Northern Lehigh senior 152 pounder, who placed eighth at States a year ago, dropped his Class AA preliminary round bout Thursday at the PIAA Wrestling Championships.
The 8-5 loss to Warrior Run's Tyler Hain was like a burr under the saddle for Craemer, who took his aggression out on the next wrestler to cross his path.
That turned out to be Schuylkill Valley junior Guliano Caloiero, who Craemer defeated 7-3 last weekend during the semifinals of the Southeast AA Regional.
This time, Craemer put the pedal to the metal, racking up a 16-7 lead before finally sticking Caloiero (36-12) on his back for a fall at the buzzer.
Craemer was one of three No. Lehigh grapplers to bounce back from opening losses to stay alive in the consolation round at the Giant Center.
Junior Colin Hedash, Craemer's brother, rebounded with a win at 171, and junior 135 pounder Nikko Stevens also made amends during the wrestlebacks.
The Bulldogs' trip led a 5-2 effort by TIMES NEWS area matmen in the first round of consolations. Northwestern senior Dylan Long (112) and Jim Thorpe senior Dillon Smith (145) were also wrestleback winners.
Tamaqua junior Kolby Mashack (130) and Lehighton senior Briar Stern (285) were eliminated after sustaining their second losses of the tournament.
Craemer Hedash, now 30-8, found that his desire to keep wrestling outweighed his frustration at his opening loss.
"It's about mental toughness," said Craemer. "I've said before that I feel wrestling is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical and training.
"My first match didn't go as planned, so I just needed to take that anger and use it against my opponent," he added.
At press time this morning, Craemer was scheduled to face the loser of the quarterfinal bout between Kyle Flohr of Fairfield and Travis McKillip of Burrell in the second round of consolations.
Colin Hedash (33-4), a State fourth place medalist last year at 160, lost his opener 10-3 to Burrell's Dakota DeLauriers but, like Craemer, took it out on Portage junior David Kephart.
Colin pressed the action against Kephart (36-6) scoring three takedowns en route to a 7-3 decision.
Next on Colin's card is the loser of the bout between York Surburban's Ricardo Plummer, who knocked off Colin 5-3 at Regionals, and Lake-Lehman's Shane Stark.
Stevens (31-8) took to his feet in his consolation bout with Blairsville's Noah Tarr (32-14), taking down Tarr three times on the way to a 7-4 victory.
"The first match (a 3-2 loss to Travis Kushner of Westmont-Hilltop), I didn't do a good job on my feet," said Stevens. "I had to open it up for me to stay in it."
Next up for Stevens is the loser of the quarterfinal bout bout between Nick Hodgkins of Wyomissing, a defending State AA champion, and Shamokin's Josh Lahr.
Long goes OT
Northwestern's Long (30-6), who placed seventh at States last year, had one of the more dramatic wins of the day, scoring the tying reversal against Milton Hershey's Nick Lamoreaux (31-5) with 15 seconds to force overtime, then spinning Lamoreaux to the mat in the sudden victory period for a 6-4 victory.
"He (Lamoreaux) beat me 8-6 at Regionals, so I knew it was going to be a tight match," related Long. "I watched the match on video and tried to counter how he wrestled me last week.
"I was shooting at him with my head on the inside, but coach (James Moll) told me to try and shoot with my head to the outside. Once I did, I was sure I had the takedown."
Long will next face the loser of the 112 quarterfinal between Jamie Welsh of Pen Arygl and Colt Cotten of Benton.
Thorpe's Smith (35-11) fell to Portage's once-beaten Shawn Perich (38-1) in a 5-1 decision in the prelims, but regrouped to avenge a Regional loss to Schuylkill Valley's Noah Horst (39-13).
Trailing 1-0 heading into the third period, Smith escaped off the bottom for a 1-0 lead, then hauled Horst to the mat with a single leg takedown with 35 seconds left for the deciding move in a 3-2 triumph.
"It's a bit of a relief," said Smith of his first State victory in three tries. "I thought it would come earlier, but I just had to keep wrestling.
"Last week he beat me by two points and he hit me with the same takedown twice, but this time I stayed away from it and got my own takedown."
Next on the agenda for Smith is the loser of the quarterfinal between South Fayette's Nick Carr and Muncy's unbeaten Aaron Fry (41-0).
A pair of two-time TN area State qualifiers were sent packing after the first round of consis.
Tamaqua's Mashack, who lost his opener to Shady Side Academy's Frank Martellotti 9-7, wasn't able to get off the bottom in his consolation bout with Burrell's Jeremy Landowski (23-10), giving up a reversal and three nearfall points on a third period cradle in a 5-0 loss. Mashack wrapped up his season with a 35-7 mark.
Lehighton's Stern sustained a pair of falls in his two bouts, first against Beth-Center junior Jeff Tarley (36-1) in the prelims, which was stopped at 3:44, and also in his consolation match with Wyalusing senior Peter Champluvier (32-8).
Stern actually took a 2-0 lead against Champluvier on a second period reversal, but Champluvier returned the favor and reversed Stern (25-14) on his back for a mat slap at 1:47.