Chucks handle Curwensville at home, 66-38

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy junior-high wrestling team earned six points during each of its 12 victories Thursday night while knocking off Curwensville, 66-38.

Of the Chucks' 12 wins, eight were by fall and four were by forfeit. The eight falls helped Punxsy win easily, as those accounted for 48 of the team's 66 points.

After Punxsy (4-1) fell behind 11-0, Eli Lambiotte (6-3) started the team's winning ways by pinning Sam Bressler in 2:57. Ryan Jones (5-5) followed with a loss by fall, helping the Golden Tide bump their advantage back up to 11 at 17-6.

"Eli Lambiotte's pin was a big one, especially since Ryan Jones was unexpectedly pinned in the following match," Punxsy head coach Bill Burke said. "Bressler would be their second best wrestler, and Eli suffered a significant loss to him at the Clarion tournament. We started him on top in the second period in hopes of him locking up his killer cradle, and that's exactly what he did."

Burke said that Jones would surely like a do-over for his bout, which was a loss by fall in 1:22.

"He went out with great intensity, got a nice takedown, then just got a little too anxious," Burke said. "He ended up getting sucked under and put to his back and was just unable to fight off. We just need to try to slow him down a little bit so he stays in control."

Punxsy's pinning parade ensued, with Kaleb Young (10-0), Darin James (5-1) and Matt Burke (7-2) each winning by fall. After Jaydon Grusky (8-0) won by forfeit, the Chucks' Perry Arrington (9-1) and Logan Rend (5-5) picked up easy pins to put Punxsy ahead 42-17.

"Kaleb, Darin, Matt and Perry all did what they were supposed to do," Burke said. "Logan, who continues to improve, pulled out a nice pin after falling behind rather quickly."

The 145-pound bout was high-scoring, with the Tide's Dakota Royer besting Jeff Bottenhorn (3-7), 16-11.

"Jeff wrestled a really nice match despite losing. His was a real barn-burner for the most part," Burke said. "He kept moving and did some of the things we've been working on with him."

Keegan Fischer (9-1) was taken down early in his bout with Ben Junod before taking a 9-2 advantage that carried into a fall in 3:20. After three-straight forfeits — awarded to Punxsy's Travis Perry (6-3) and Austin Covatch (2-9) and Curwensville's Ricky Magnuson — Punxsy's 210-pound Troy Peace (9-2) piled up a 4-0 advantage before pinning Seth Connors in 2:19 at 250 pounds.

"Troy has come a long way since last year, both on the mat and as far as maturity goes," Burke said. "He wanted to be bumped up for a tougher match, so that's what we did, and he got the job done."

Curwensville's Jason Koptchak ended the night with a fall over Zoie Smith (5-5) in 1:23. Smith hit a nice shot early in the bout, but didn't have the strength to complete it.

"Zoie was just out-strengthed a bit," Burke said. "She's a light 75 pounder, so battling with those boys sometimes is a bit much for her."

Early in the match, Curwensville went ahead 11-0 when Shae Bloom tallied a 15-0 technical fall over Andrew Bullers (4-5).

"Bloom was definitely their best wrestler," Burke said. "We knew that going in, so Andrew did a good job avoiding the extra bonus point there."

Punxsy will compete for the fourth time in five days at 8:30 a.m. today during the second day of the Brookville tournament. The Chucks beat Hollidaysburg Tuesday and Curwensville Thursday and began the Brookville tournament Friday.

"There should be some good competition and a lot of wrestling. Some of our guys may see as many as 10 matches this weekend," Burke said prior to heading to Brookville Friday. "That's what we want though. It would be nice to come out of there in the top three."