PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy junior-high wrestling team surrendered four forfeits Monday, but overcame the deficit and earned an impressive 57-45 victory over Altoona at home.
"We were pretty pleased with our performance on the mats. Obviously, to win this one after giving up a total of four forfeits is a big win," Punxsy head coach Bill Burke said. "Not that we still don't have room for improvement in many areas, but we're definitely happy with the final outcome, and we saw a lot of nice things out there. We looked rather aggressive and ready to wrestling."
Punxsy's Jaydon Grusky kicked things off in style by pinning Altoona's Joseph Hazlett in 52 seconds at 122 pounds.
"Jaydon has been looking pretty good, and he's getting better every day," Burke said.
Perry Arrington kept things rolling with another pin for Punxsy, this time over Kyler Bender at 2:19 at 130 pounds before Altoona's Tyler Kessler pinned Logan Rend at 138 pounds to make it 12-6 in favor of Punxsy.
Punxsy answered in a big way with three consecutive wins by pin fall, including Jeff Bottenhorn over Nathan Scheinberg (2:51, 145 pounds), Keegan Fischer over Steven Minnoia (1:09, 155 pounds) and Travis Perry over Nathaniel Buckrop (4:00, 165 pounds.
"Jeff Bottenhorn scares me sometimes, but he got the job done today," Burke said. "We have to slow him down a little and work on finishes and staying in control. This was a nice win for him."
After Altoona's Jacob Scheinberg pinned the Chucks' Austin Covatch in 15 seconds at 185 pounds, Punxsy bounced back when Troy Peace pinned Jacob Turner at 210 pounds to keep Punxsy's lead at 36-12.
Altoona's Nathaneal Farlow won by forfeit at 250 pounds before Altoona's Jeffrey Bryan picked up a 7-4 decision over Zoie Smith at 75 pounds to cut the lead to 36-21 in favor of Punxsy.
"After giving up a five-point move right off the bat, Zoie Smith did a nice job fighting off her back and ended up making it a tight bout," Burke said. "She kept moving and never quit. She later had him in a tight headlock, but her opponent tapped out to get out of deep trouble. If he had not done that, she may have picked up another six for us."
Altoona picked up victories in the next two matches when Trevor Bonsell (80 pounds) and Cole Manley (85 pounds) both won by forfeit.
Punxsy's Eli Lambiotte picked up a technical fall over Joseph Iannoo at 90 pounds, 15-0, to keep Punxsy's lead at 41-33.
Ryan Jones followed with a pin over Altoona's Mark Ferry at 1:17 to earn the victory at 95 pounds.
Another win by forfeit by Altoona at 100 pounds was followed by a Kaleb Young pin over Altoona's Trent Boutiller at 105 pounds in 23 seconds to put the score at 53-39.
Punxsy's Stephanie Smith earned a major decision victory over Kyle Miller, 14-5, at 110 pounds before Altoona's DJ Hollingshead pinned Matt Burke at 1:04 to end the night.
Last week's Wrestlers of the Week honors went to Lambiotte and Fischer based on their impressive wins at Marion Center, as well as their hard work in the practice room.
The Chucks return to the mat today when they travel to Clearfield.