By Todd Irwin
HUNTINGDON - His was the most anticipated bout of the night, but Huntingdon 106-pounder Collin Glorioso found himself on his back in the first period against Philipsburg-Osceola's Chris Thompson.
Thompson, a junior ranked second in the Mirror rankings, was just inches away from a pin of the fourth-ranked Glorioso, but the Huntingdon freshman fought enough to avoid the pin.
"I was a little worried there," Glorioso said. "It was a little scary, but I thought 'I have to get off my back. My team needs this.'"
Glorioso started his comeback in the second period, taking Thompson down to his back for a five-point move. Tied in the third, Glorioso reversed with 1:21 left, rode Thompson the rest of the way and won, 7-5.
The win by the rising star was big for the third-ranked Bearcats, who recorded four pins, avoided major decisions in two bouts in a slugfest through the middle and beat the fourth-ranked Mounties, 36-23, Thursday night in a tough tuneup for Saturday's District 6 Class AA Duals.
"It felt good to get the win," Glorioso said. "It helped the team out. The team did an excellent job, and hopefully we can do it again."
"Good high school wrestling match," Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut said. "There were a lot of close bouts. The score is not indicative of how close that score really was."
"We wrestled better than the last time [a Huntingdon 36-29 win], but we didn't win any of the close matches," P-O coach Tim McCamley said. "We lost major decisions at the end and things like that."
The dual meet started with a bang. P-O's Brian Evans was leading Devon Green 7-2 at 126 when Green tossed Evans to his back. Green only got two back points, and Evans won, 7-6. The Bearcats protested Jim Rivello's call, but the scored stayed the same.
Nathan Russell reversed P-O's Scott Yarger in the period for the deciding points of a 4-2 win at 132. McCamley used a lineup shift in the next two weights and went 1-1 Huntingdon's Jon Wagner edged Dallas Kephart, 5-4, and, at 145, Caleb Shively earned an 8-2 win over Eric Lynn, who avoided the major with a reversal with 15 seconds left.
At 152, the Bearcats' Logan Fisher held off an Andrew Greenawalt takedown attempt in the finals seconds to lose by a 7-0 decision. P-O held a 9-6 lead after five bouts.
Three pins - by Huntingdon's Matt Norris (160) and Mitchell Lauer (195) and by P-O's Dennis Lumadue (182) - and a technical fall by P-O's Jay Prentice left the Mounties with a 20-18 lead going into 220.
P-O's Nick Gray trailed Tyler Wholaver 5-0 in the second period, but he rallied and took Wholaver down with 5 seconds left to tie the score, 5-5. Gray took Wholaver down with 11 seconds left in OT to win, 7-5.
"He showed a lot of heart," McCamley said. "It's hard to get those points up top, but he came through."
After Dalton Kocik's pin at 285, Glorioso used his own rally to win. It wasn't the first time Glorioso had done that against Thompson, rallying from a 6-0 deficit in offseason wrestling two years ago to win, 10-6.
"That's a big win for him," Mykut said. "The Thompson kid is a tough kid. Some guys might have cashed their chips in and said 'I'm done', but he kept plugging away, and he was able to pull off a very nice win over a very good kid."
Glorioso's win gave the Bearcats a 27-23 lead, and 113-pounder Jacob Dubbs cemented the win by rallying from 4-0 down to Chris Barnhart, taking a 9-6 lead and getting a pin in 4:21. Matt Wilson closed out the night with a 6-4 win over Bryan Descavish at 120.
The Bearcats can now look forward to Saturday's 10 a.m. semifinal against Mount Union, which won a 39-16 showdown on Jan. 15.
"I anticipate the matches Saturday to be just like this - high intensity type of matches," Mykut said. "We were able to keep our cool and just kept plugging away."
126-Evans, PO, dec. Green, 7-6; 132-Russell, H, dec. Yarger, 4-2; 138-Wagner, H, dec. D. Kephart, 5-4; 145-Shively, PO, dec. Lynn, 8-2; 152-Greenawalt, PO, dec. Fisher, 7-0; 160-M. Norris, H, pinned Shuey, 4:26; 170-Prentice, PO, tech. fall Rupert, 21-4, 4:00.
182-Lumadue, PO, pinned Gallagher, 1:49; 195-Lauer, H, pinned R.J. Kephart, 1:02; 220-Gray, PO, dec. Wholaver, 7-5 OT; 285-D. Kocik, H, pinned Pepperday, 3:05; 106-Glorioso, H, dec. Thompson, 7-5; 113-Dubbs, H, pinned Barnhart, 4:21; 120-Wilson, H, dec. Descavish, 6-4.
Records: Philipsburg-Osceola (7-6); Huntingdon (12-2).
JV winners: 126-Shaver, H; 152-Guy, PO
Referee: Jim Rivello