WILKES-BARRE – Pittston Area sophomore Dave Deleo didn't place at last weekend's Wyoming Valley Conference Tournament. Coughlin freshman Mike Brown took fourth at the event.
Seemed like when they met on Wednesday night in their team's rivalry dual Brown would be a lock right?
Wrong. Deleo had another idea.
After trailing by two points after the first period, the Patriot's 126-pounder not only turned the deficit into a victory, but a fall. The nine-point swing helped Pittston Area knock off the defending Wyoming Valley Conference Division I co-champions with a 38-30 victory.
With the win, the Patriots move to 3-0 in the division and will now face the other defending co-champion Wyoming Valley West (2-0) on Saturday afternoon. Coughlin, meanwhile, fell to 0-2 in the stiff division.
We didn't know who was going to win that match and (Deleo) was losing and getting rode out the whole match and came back and got the pin, Pittston Area coach James Woodall said. That Brown kid's a pretty good wrestler, but Dave came through.
At the time, the 126-pound result didn't appear to be too important because it gave Pittston Area a 12-10 lead. Coughlin followed with three consecutive victories to retake the lead at 21-12. But that was heading into the part of Pittston Area's lineup that is the strongest. The Patriots answered with bonus-point wins at 152 by Kevin Wesolowski (pin), 160 by Justin Wilk (tech fall) and 170 by Angelo Lussi (pin) to reclaim the lead at 29-21 with four bouts remaining.
Paul Cole stopped the bleeding for the moment notching a decision at 182 defeating Sam Falcone, 7-1 to trim the lead to 29-24. That left the next match to be the most important.
And Patriot senior John Minich stepped up. He pinned Jalel Monroe last weekend and answered with another fall on Wednesday to help secure the victory in 3:31 in what could've been a trap match. The win gave his team a 35-24 advantage. It also gave Minich a little more retribution after last year's two losses to the Crusaders.
After last year they were acting cocky and I wanted payback from last year, Minich said. Last year at district duals I had a kid stalling on me and I get the bad calls and stuff.
The Crusaders needed two falls in the final two bouts to win.
Jake Vaxmonsky, a WVC champion from Pittston Area, followed Minich with a double overtime victory over Jordan Phillips working a takedown late in the extra session for a 4-2 win.
Coughlin's 285-pounder Brad Emerick pushed his pinning streak this season to 13 as he remained unbeaten with a 13-0 mark winning via fall in 26 seconds to end the meet. All 13 of Emerick's falls have come in the first period.
Coughlin's first two meets of the divisional schedule didn't go as planned, but in what's expected to be an even last three weeks of the dual meet season, the Crusaders are far from out of the race.
I think the flu beat us more than anything tonight. We got some guys that are really sick, Crusaders coach Steve Stahl said. In this league, everybody's pretty competitive up the top. I think the top four teams could win any night. It's just how you get the flip or you don't get the flip. Don't get the matchups, that's how it's going to be.
Pittston Area 38, Coughlin 30
106 – Nick Yankoski (Cou) maj dec Chris Starinsky 14-1; 113 – Bobby Hawkins (Cou) pinned Braulio Garcia 1:48; 120 – Tyler Lutecki (PA) won by forfeit; 126 – Dave Deleo (PA) pinned Mike Brown 3:41; 132 – Billy Poray (Cou) maj dec Donny Parham 9-1; 138 – Eddie Ciprich (Cou) dec Brad Rush 7-2; 145 – Brandon Butry (Cou) maj dec Danny Gambini 11-3; 152 – Kevin Wesolowski (PA) pinned Josh Tarnalicki 3:39; 160 – Justin Wilk (PA) tech fall Dave Sterba 17-2, 3:55; 170 – Angelo Lussi (PA) pinned Rico Colon 1:10; 182 – Paul Cole (Cou) dec Sam Falcone 7-1; 195 – John Minich (PA) pinned Jalel Monroe 3:31; 220 – Jake Vaxmonsky (PA) dec Jordan Phillips 4-2, 3OT; 285 – Brad Emerick (Cou) pinned Brian Moldzienski :26
Note: Match started at 106 pounds.