Bishop McCort hammers Bald Eagle Area to take District 6-2A dual title

Feb. 4—WINGATE, Pa. — When the varsity wrestling season began this year, the District 6 Class 2A landscape changed drastically with the lifting of Bishop McCort's suspension from the postseason.

When the district bracket was released, Bald Eagle Area was the No. 1-seed and the Crimson Crushers were No. 2. It was as if both schools were set up for an on-the-mat collision for the title Saturday.

It came to fruition, with both teams advancing in the postseason. But, first, in the semifinals, the Eagles beat county rival and No. 5 seed Penns Valley 43-18, while Bishop McCort routed No. 3 seed Huntingdon 54-18.

The finals saw the Crimson Crushers take care of the Eagles 58-15, but it wasn't Bald Eagle Area's typical full lineup — since the losing team would have to face Huntingdon afterward to determine the true district runner-up.

"We did what we thought was best for the team, and what was best for our chance to make the state duals," Eagles coach Ron Guenot said. "They are some of the best kids in the world there. It is hard to compete with. It's a tough decision to make. McCort is an exceptionally tough team. You are not going to see very many tough teams like that in the season."

Added Crimson Crushers coach Howard Forrest: "Coaches do what they need to do for their team's best (interest) in each match. We understand that, and that's what they did. There's nothing wrong with that. We do different moves at different times too. It was cool. They're one of the better teams. If they come out as the second-best team here, they'll represent the district well at states."

Bishop McCort set the tone early by winning the first eight bouts, all with bonus points, thanks to six first-period pins and a pair of forfeits.

Lincoln Sledzianowski received a forfeit at 121 pounds to get things underway. Devin Magro (172 pounds) received the other forfeit. Jax Forrest (127), Mason Gibson (133), Bo Bassett (139), Sam Herring (145), Josh Spontak (152) and Melvin Miller (160) were the pinners.

The Crimson Crushers also picked up more bonus points later in the match.

Marquez Gordon (215) racked up a 14-1 major decision. Jordan Butler followed him by earning a pin in 1 minute, 21 seconds.

"It was cool to come out here. We haven't obviously been in a district tournament before, so it was nice to come out and see some of the teams that we don't see as often," Howard Forrest said. "We usually do more of a national schedule, so we're kind of going all around and stuff, but it was a fun environment. They did a good job putting on the tournament here with the four teams."

Caleb Close (189), Tanner Guenot (107) and Caden Judice (114) were the lone winners for the Eagles. Guenot and Judice each received forfeits since the dual was in hand.

Close snapped off six takedowns on Owen McMullen to secure a 13-6 victory.

Bishop McCort shifts its focus toward the PIAA dual championships.

The Crimson Crushers will face the winner of West Perry and Saucon Valley, who will wrestle on Monday in a preliminary round match, in the first round Thursday morning inside the Giant Center in Hershey.

"It was good to be in (the district tournament) and be able to experience it. Our goals are bigger than winning a district title. We feel we're one of the best teams in the country and the state," Howard Forrest said. "We're trying to go do that and prove it. It's kind of the step in that right direction where we're trying to go and get as a program."