Towanda avenges earlier loss, earns trip to Milton
TOWANDA - Since the start of the District 4 Duals, Towanda and Wyalusing were the only two teams who had qualified for the quarterfinals in Milton every year.
For Wyalusing that streak ended with a loss to Hughesville and if Towanda wanted to keep their streak alive they knew they'd have to avenge a 36-34 loss to Montoursville earlier this season.
In that earlier match to the Warriors the Black Knights gave up four pins and Montoursville controlled the heavyweight matches.
Towanda reversed things on Wednesday, giving up just two falls and winning three of the four matches from 195 on as the Black Knights advanced to the District 4 Duals quarterfinals with a 32-27 victory.
"We stressed that this week," Towanda coach Bill Sexton said of not giving up falls. "We were really emphasizing that our last match and in practice this week. The last match we gave up four falls and that was the difference and we couldn't let that happen again.
"It was absolutely crucial to not give up the falls."
The 220 and 285 pound matchups on Wednesday were the same ones as the previous matchup between the two teams with Towanda's Logan Terry taking on Connor Bassett at 220 and Towanda's Talon Curry wrestling Ben Cerney of Montoursville at 285.
The first time the teams met Montoursville got pins at both weights, on Wednesday Terry dropped a 6-4 decision at 220 and Curry got an 8-4 victory at 285 to seal the victory.
"The first time I wrestled him he pinned me with six seconds to go," Curry said. "I knew I had to win, no matter what. I was able to get the outcome I wanted and I'm so proud of myself."
Sexton was happy with the way both of his upperweights wrestled.
"We got pinned at 220 and 285 the last time with the same matchups," Sexton said. "Logan wrestled a really solid match, a smart match. That was huge for Talon, he had to win. We lose the dual meet if he loses that match."
Curry knows how important it was for the entire lineup to keep things close and not give up bonus points.
"That was big, that really was a big help," he said. "The last time out we lost to them 36-34 and we gave up a lot of pins. This time we only gave up one or two."
Towanda's other big win at the higher weights came at 195 where Jeremy Sheets, wrestling his second varsity match of the year after moving up from JV, came away with a 4-2 win over a 20-match winner in Lucas Shaheen.
"Jeremy has battled all year, and has challenged and has just not gotten into the varsity lineup," Sexton said. "He got his opportunity and I thought he wrestled a fine match Saturday against Dylan Otis and he wrestled a good match tonight."
Sheets is happy to finally get his chance to wrestle at the varsity level.
"It felt really good," he said of his win on Wednesday. "It's good to get the opportunity. I've always been on JV and just missed in the challenges."
Sheets knows that match against Otis helped him out.
"To go out and wrestle Dylan Otis, who is a regional qualifier, and I thought I wrestled well against him," Sheets said. "I just felt really good today. I felt like I was right there all season and couldn't get it done in the challenge."
For most of the year Jeremy was watching his twin brother Justin wrestle on varsity.
On Wednesday Justin wrestled one of Montoursville's top wrestlers in Garrett Hoffman, who entered with a 22-6 mark.
While Justin didn't win his match, he wrestled tight, falling 3-2.
"It felt really good watching him wrestle," Jeremy said of his time on JV. "But, it made me really nervous. It's nice to get my chance now."
Justin was happy with his effort in the loss.
"The kid is good, I knew I had to go out and wrestle hard," Justin said. "I'm happy wit the way I wrestled. I will see him at districts, hopefully."
Both brothers are enjoying the chance to be on the varsity team together.
"Not many twin brothers get a chance to wrestle varsity together," Jeremy said. "It's good that we get to show what we can do."
The match started at 120 where Towanda's Clay Mosier won by forfeit and at 126 Montoursville got a win as Keith Batkowski won 7-1 over Nick Secules.
"Nick has really been coming on," Sexton said. "I thought Nick battled hard all match."
At 132, Steven Yates was leading Montoursville's Jeffrey McKeag, but it was looking like the Black Knights might settle for a decision, until Yates got a pin late in the third period to put Towanda up 12-3.
"Yates pinned his kid the first time and the kid was wrestling to not get pinned," Sexton said.
At 138, Towanda's Matt Bartholomew won 6-3 over Jacob Stanford and at 145 Justin Sheets dropped the 3-2 match to Hoffman.
At 152, Towanda's Dayton Wickwire won by technical fall 19-3 in 5:20 over Michael Forny to put Towanda up 20-6.
Montorusville cut into the deficit with a couple of double overtime victories, wrapped around a pin.
At 160, Triston Choate won 4-2 in the second tie-breaker over Justin Hunsinger and at 170, Garrett Evans of Montoursville pinned Cole Sexton in 3:28.
Ethan Jones of Montoursville won 4-2 in the second tie-breaker over Dakoatah Manning at 182, as the Warriors cut the deficit to 20-18.
Jeremy Sheets' win at 195 put Towanda up 23-18, before the win by Bassett over Terry made it 23-21.
Knowing Montoursville would forfeit 113, the Black Knights knew a win at 285 would seal the victory and Curry's victory put Towanda up 26-21 and wrapped up the win.
Montoursville's Jacob Strassner won by fall in 5:19 over Kyle Blascak at 106 to put Montoursville up 27-26, but the forfeit win by Jared Lines at 113 concluded Towanda's win.
For Towanda's wrestlers getting a chance to head back to Milton for the quarterfinals is special.
"It's awesome, we have so many seniors on the team and this is our last effort to make it down there," Curry said.
Sexton is happy to make the trip back down to Milton.
"It feels good, we have been there every year," Sexton said. "Every time you get there it's great. I assume we will wrestle Central Columbia and we didn't get a chance to wrestle them in our dual meet tournament. Central has a solid lineup and we will put our best lineup out there and see what happens."
The Black Knights will take on top seeded Central Columbia at 11 a.m. in the quarterfinals on Saturday.