Wrestling: Port Allegany 43, Smethport 27

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
February 12, 2009

“We’ve still got three more matches we have to get through … we can’t overlook anybody,” Port Allegany coach Sean Lathrop reminded a reporter last Wednesday night. But shortly before he reiterated his “one match at a time” credo, his wrestlers had taken a giant step toward clinching their seventh consecutive Allegheny Mountain League championship with an emphatic 43-27 victory in front of a packed gym on Senior Night in Smethport.

“They outwrestled us tonight. This is a very good team,” Hubbers coach Terry Schwab said afterward. “Port Allegany’s definitely better – they beat us twice.”

With the match starting at 189 pounds, the Gators couldn’t have asked for a much better draw. Damen Brodhun’s decision over Derek Kreitzer put the visitors on the scoreboard first, and Zach Manning and Dylan Major pinned their opponents to quickly open up a double-digit lead.

“We came out big. That was nice, to come out and get up 15-0,” Lathrop said.

Hubs 103-pounder Nate Schwab’s first-period pin briefly stopped the momentum, but Ryan Kio got four of those points back with a major decision in the next bout. And both coaches agreed that Brandon Goodreau’s pin against Kyle Lightner at 119 pounds was critical, giving the Gators a 25-6 lead and forcing coach Schwab to bump returning state qualifier Tim Hubbard away from a potential showdown with Port’s Chet Tanner.

“At 119, that was a nine-point swing from Saturday. That was huge for them,” the veteran Hubbers mentor admitted.

“We got beat by that kid 10-4 at the district duals – and Goodreau fought off his back twice to make it 10-4 – and then to come out and totally dominate him … “ Lathrop said, before adding with a grin, “He actually listened to what the coaches had to say this time.”

After Tanner picked up a forfeit at 130, Hubbard got his pin at 135, and with it the school’s all-time win record. But Koty Milford’s 5-0 decision gave the Gators a 34-18 lead with just four matches remaining, and the sizable Port contingent in the bleachers sensed the end was near even though Big 30 All-Star Jon-Marc Burdick was the next wrestler due up for Smethport. Sophomore Brad Goodreau didn’t make it easy for the Hubbers’ star, battling into the third period before Burdick finally earned a technical fall.

“That was a moral victory for Brad, who’s been injured all year,” Lathrop said.

Cody Freer’s win at 152 closed the gap to 34-27 going into the final two weight classes, but Adam Greenman ended any lingering doubt about the outcome, decking Smethport’s Matt Rusciolelli midway through the second period to give the Gators an insurmountable lead. Fellow captain Zigmund Reichenbach added the finishing touch with a down-to-the-wire 5-4 decision over Kyle Nobles, avenging the previous weekend’s overtime loss, while the remaining Hubbers fans began filing quietly into the snowy February night.

“After Saturday (a 32-30 Port win in the district semis), we thought this was going to be a tight match, but they came over here and put it to us,” coach Schwab said as he motioned toward the celebration at the other end of the mat. “They showed up; we didn’t. They earned it.”

The Gators complete their league schedule this week, traveling to Oswayo Valley on Thursday before making up postponed home dates against Sheffield and Kane on Friday. The Sheffield match will begin at 6 p.m., with the bout against Kane immediately following.

Port Allegany 43, Smethport 27
103: Schwab (S) 1:27 Caden; 112: Kio (PA) 8-0 Kreckel; 119: Brandon Goodreau (PA) 4:11 Lightner; 125: K. Freer (S) 1:16 Lacher; 130: Tanner (PA) forfeit; 135: Hubbard (S) 3:04 Lewis; 140: Milford (PA) 5-0 Hoy; 145: Burdick (S) TF 15-0 Brad Goodreau, 4:01; 152: C. Freer (S) 12-3 Baxter; 160: Greenman (PA) 3:16 Rusciolelli; 171: Reichenbach (PA) 5-4 Nobles; 189: Brodhun (PA) 7-4 Kreitzer; 215: Manning (PA) 5:38 Neatrour; 285: Major (PA) 3:06 Isadore.

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