Berlin Brothersvalley turned close matches into falls, which made sure that the Mountaineers’ WestPAC victory over North Star was never in doubt.
Berlin (5-0) recorded seven falls – including four in what had been tight matches – in a 55-13 rout of North Star (4-2).
“One thing we preach to the boys, we wrestle until the whistle,” Berlin coach Jason Cornell said. “They just kept digging in, digging in and believing in themselves. We don’t scream it in practice for nothing. We keep pushing them and they keep after things and just stay in the match as best they can.”
It started from the opening bout, where 195-pounder Stu Trulick was tied at 1 in the third period before scoring a takedown and pinning Tony Strasiser with 49 seconds remaining. At 220, Anthony Collins led 2-1 in the second period of his bout with Kevin Horner before coming up with a fall in 2:55.
One of the highlight matches came at 285 pounds, where Berlin’s Mitchell Walker avenged a WestPAC Tournament loss to Levi Albright with an 8-4 victory.
“Mitchell has hit another level again with wrestling,” Cornell said. “He keeps getting better every week. Albright is an outstanding kid. He’s been a surprise to everybody this year. He’s very tough. Not taking anything away from him. Mitchell wrestled a very smart match and pulled it out in the end. The third period, that’s where we won a lot of matches tonight.”
North Star’s first victory came at 106 pounds, as Lenny Beeman pinned Emil Kiesnowski in 16 seconds.
But the Mountaineers won the next four bouts – all by fall – to take a commanding 39-6 lead.
“They’re tough,” North Star coach Tim Rosa said. “They have a bunch of tough, scrappy kids. They came out and took care of business tonight and we didn’t, plain and simple. They picked it up when they needed to and we didn’t.”
Tommy DeArmitt started the Berlin run by pinning James Shaffer at 113. Joey Swank followed with another big fall for Berlin. He trailed North Star’s Tayte Mostoller 3-1 in the second period, but got a takedown and the pin in another anticipated matchup.
“Tayte is a tough wrestler,” Cornell said. “He’s extremely awkward to wrestle. Both Mostollers are extremely awkward to wrestle, which gives them a different style, that funky style. Joe had a tough time adjusting to it, but once we got to the mat, that’s where Joe’s tough. He attacks on top and, thank God, we pulled away from it.”
E.J. Custer pinned Colton Gennett at 126 pounds and Chris Miller pinned Michael Baker at 132 before North Star got its second victory.
That came at 138 pounds, as the Cougars finally won one of the big matches. Tevin Mostoller beat Braden Fochtman 11-7, thanks in large part to a four-point lateral drop in the second period.
“They’re both entertaining wrestlers,” Rosa said. “They both score some points. They’re fun to watch. Just glad to come out on the top end of that one.”
Berlin won the next three bouts, with Eric Darr edging Luke Lepley, 6-4, at 145 and Blake Miller rallying for a
13-10 victory over Cory Fritch in a wild match at 152. Bryce Fochtman’s 14-0 major decision of Jon Thomas at 160 made it 49-9.
North Star’s Austin Connor scored an 8-0 major decision over Trevor Moore at 170 before Berlin closed out the dual the way it started it: With a pin. Shane Pepper trailed Thomas Miller 2-1 in the second period before getting a reversal and a pin.
“We got on a roll and definitely started picking up some pins there,” Cornell said. “It’s nice to put some points up on the board against North Star.”