HERSHEY Kenny Yanovich was cursed at, taunted and got a couple hard knocks to the face in his consolation round bout against Twin Valley's Daniel Grant at the PIAA championships Thursday evening.
But when the final buzzer sounded, Pleasant Valley's Yanovich shook Grant's hand with a big smile and a weight lifted off his shoulders as he kept his medal hopes in Hershey alive.
Yanovich scored takedowns in the first and seconds periods to build a 4-0 advantage en route to a 6-3 win over Grant.
It was quite the contrast to how Yanovich opened his 113-pound weight class at the Giant Center, as he was pinned in the preliminaries by Derek Gulotta of Owen J. Roberts in 1:36.
"I have no idea what happened in my first bout," Yanovich said. "I went out there and just didn't feel right. Everything just went wrong. I never felt that way in a match before."
Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Getz couldn't explain Yanovich's shell-shocked state in his opening bout, but was glad to see him come back with an aggressive stance in his consolation bout.
Yanovich admitted that he was "mentally destroyed" after losing to Gulotta, but Getz and company helped to get him refocused.
"The first match he just didn't show up," said Getz. "We had a long talk with him and we told him it takes a lot of character to come back and that was the Kenny Yanovich we know in that last match. I was glad to see him wrestle the way he did."
Yanovich scored early against Grant, which always puts the odds in your favor during the reduced time the consolations afford.
He built a 6-3 lead in the third period with his third takedown before relinquishing a reversal midway through the final period.
With Yanovich in charge and taking a cautious, but defensive approach, Grant got frustrated, whispered some sweet nothings in his ear and took some rough cross faces as time ran out.
None of that mattered to the PV junior, who saw his tournament advance one more day, where he'll get either Parkland's Ethan Lizak or Chambersburg's Tanner Shoap.
"Yeah, that kid [Grant] was cursing at me and told me I was stalling," said Yanovich. "I gave him the biggest smile because it doesn't matter what he says to me. I'm the one that's moving on."