Chucks use team depth to defeat St. Marys

ST. MARYS — The Punxsy junior-high wrestling team lost its first two bouts by decision before winning 11 of the next 13 matches during a 55-15 victory over St. Marys Wednesday night on the road.

The Chucks improved to 13-2 on the season and have won 13 of their last 14 matches. Of Punxsy's six wins on the mat, two were by fall, one was by major decision and three were by decision.

"We got off to a bit of a slow start, but pretty much took control in the third match and on," Punxsy head coach Bill Burke said. "There were a lot less pins in this one. St. Marys didn't do much on the bottom. They pretty much just maintained their bases, so they were tough to turn."

Both Kaleb Young and Perry Arrington won their 25th matches of the season. Young (25-0) pinned Nick Taylor in 3:41 at 100 pounds to give the Chucks a 12-6 lead, and Punxsy was ahead 30-9 won Arrington (25-2) won by fall over Nate Straub in 1:17 at 130 pounds.

Punxsy's only major decision victory came from Troy Peace, who improved to 23-5 with an 11-0 win over Tyler Donachy.

Peace was ahead 2-0 after the first period and 9-0 entering the third.

Derek Conrad, Matt Burke and Keegan Fischer each won by decision. Conrad (9-4) bested Willie McGonnell, 15-6, Burke (14-6) beat Nolan Sorg, 10-3, and Fischer (18-7) shut out Tony Anders, 6-0.

Losing for Punxsy were Zoie Smith, Eli Lambiotte, Levi Campbell and Austin Covatch. The former three each lost by decision.

Cameron Winters handed Zoie Smith (13-13) a 5-0 defeat, Ray Dent bettered Lambiotte (20-6), 6-4, and Dylan Smith knocked off Campbell (5-8), 3-0.

St. Marys' final win of the night came from Ray Kline, whose second-period pin defeated Covatch (3-22) in 2:02.

Punxsy wrestled without Ryan Jones and Jaydon Grusky. Still, the Chucks received wins by forfeit from Andrew Bullers (12-11), Darin James (17-5), Logan Rend (16-10), Jeff Bottenhorn (13-12) and Travis Perry (19-7).

"I was surprised to see that St. Marys' numbers were down a bit," coach Burke said. "I believe they have a few more kids, but some were not able to wrestle for various reasons."

The Chucks return to the mat Tuesday when they visit Bradford for a 5:30 p.m. start. After that, Punxsy's season concludes at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday in DuBois.

Punxsy's regular season concludes next Thursday, but members from the team will then prepare for their postseason — Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling (PJWs).