State-ranked Montoursville too much for Mifflinburg

Jan. 11—MIFFLINBURG — Mifflinburg coach Derek Reber doesn't mind when his team is an underdog.

During Thursday night's dual meet against Heartland Athletic Conference-Division II foe Montoursville, that was certainly the case. The Warriors returned four state qualifiers from last year, and they came into the meet ranked No. 23 in the state's Class 2A rankings.

The Wildcats posted a few favorable results, but the visiting Warriors were too much for them in a 42-21 win at Mifflinburg Intermediate School. Montoursville registered four pins and three major decisions in the victory.

"When we know we have a good team I just tell the guys, 'We got nothing to lose'," Reber said. "'We're the underdogs, go out, let it all hang out.' We knew they were ranked in the state as a team. Just go out and let it all hang out. We got nothing to prove, so I kind of like going in as the underdog better."

At first, things were moving in a positive direction for Mifflinburg as the match started at 145 pounds. In that match, Gradyn Shuck earned an early two-point advantage when he recorded a takedown in the first period. Shuck then doubled his lead when Gee received a pair of penalties. Shuck won a 4-0 decision to give Mifflinburg a 3-0 lead.

After Shuck's win, Montoursville opened the floodgates by claiming the next seven matches. During their run, the Warriors earned four pins and two major decisions. Gage Wentzel (152 pounds), Owen Kleinman (172) and Cole Yonkin (215) and Landon Morehart (285) all gave Montoursville bonus points with pins. Three of the Warriors' pins came during the first period.

Aristotel Bobotas (107) and Hayden Harvey (160) each gave the Warriors major decisions during the run. The Warriors received another six points as a result of a forfeit at 189.

After the match at 107, Montoursville led 38-3. The Wildcats then stopped the bleeding when they received a forfeit at 114. At 121, Mifflinburg freshman Bradley Wagner dominated his way to a win against Ryan Aguirre. Wagner led 20-7 before pinning Aguirre late in the third period to trim the team score to 38-15.

"Bradley's a freshman, but he's, in my opinion, one of the top kids in the state," Reber said. "He has two losses on the year, and they're both to quality kids. Him getting that and keeping us alive, the team aspect of it is huge as well."

The closest and most thrilling match of the night came next at 127 where Ben Straub took on David Kennedy. After the first two periods, Montoursville's Kennedy held a 4-2 edge. Then in the third period, each wrestler scored two points on reversals. Down 6-4 late in the period, Straub registered a near fall for three points as he edged Kennedy 7-6. After winning match, Straub was emotional and the home crowd roared with cheers. Kennedy came into the match as the third-ranked wrestler in 2A at 127 while Straub clocked in at No. 19.

"He just kept wrestling," Reber said. "Kept pushing the kid and made him gassed."

After Straub's win, each team picked up a win to close the match. At 133, Blaize Vogel earned a 10-2 major decision over Lane Kenamond to make the Warriors' lead 42-18. Then at 139, Mifflinburg ended things on a high note when Wesley Smith picked up a 6-1 decision against Karter Stone.

"It shows us we're right there," Reber said. "We have a young team. We have two junior starters, one (Cyrus Douty) wasn't here tonight, but the other is a second-year wrestler (Greg Maxfield). So we get everybody back the next two years pretty much it's definitely a positive."



145: Gradyn Shuck (Miff) dec. Hunter Gee, 4-0; 152: Gage Wentzel (Mont) pinned Bryan Reeder, 3:54; 160: Hayden Harvey (Mont) maj. dec. Oliver Patte, 14-0; 172: Owen Kleinman (Mont) pinned Landon Moser, 1:34; 189: Evan Bloom (Mont) won by forfeit; 215: Cole Yonkin (Mont) pinned Greg Maxfield, 1:44; 285: Landon Morehart (Mont) pinned Cadyn Huffman, 1:12; 107: Aristotel Bobotas (Mont) maj. dec. Jack Gramly, 12-1; 114: Coltyn Wagner (Miff) won by forfeit; 121: Bradley Wagner (Miff) pinned Ryan Aguirre, 4:54; 127: Ben Straub (Miff) dec. David Kennedy, 7-6; 133: Blaize Vogel (Mont) maj. dec. Lane Kenamond, 10-2; 139: Wesley Smith (Miff) dec. Karter Stone, 6-1.