WILLIAMSPORT—While the Williamsport wrestling team didn’t get the victory it so badly wanted Thursday night against visiting Northern Garrett, at least the fans got more than their money’s worth.
The Huskies edged the previously unbeaten Wildcats 38-32 in a thriller.
“That was exciting. It was a great match — a bunch of matches that could have gone either way,” Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. “That’s what it’s all about. That’s why people love wrestling.
“Northern Garrett is a great team. We’re two very evenly matched teams. They just got the best of us tonight.”
The match came down to the last period of the night’s final bout at 215 pounds.
With his team trailing 33-32, Northern’s Anthony Cervi pinned Chauncey Baylor with 10 seconds left to give the Huskies (6-3) the win. Williamsport (16-1) then lost a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct after Baylor threw his headgear in disgust.
Their bout was tied 2-2 entering the final period.
“Aw, man, that was 50-50,” Cervi said. “That kid was good. It just came down to heart, who wanted it more.
“I did that for Ryan Doerr. He’s like a brother to me. Everyone on this team is a brother to me. I’d take a bullet for any of them.”
Doerr suffered a broken arm in the seventh bout of the night Thursday at 135, as Bobby Ardinger won by injury default to cut Williamsport’s deficit to 18-15. Ardinger had a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when the bout was stopped.
Matt Thomas then upped the Huskies’ lead to 21-15, scoring a third-period reversal to upset Wildcats superstar Kemper Baker 4-2 at 140.
If Williamsport received a wake-up call, that was it.
“When Kemper lost, I was just like, ‘I have to go out and get this win to keep everyone motivated,’” said Williamsport’s Eric Davis, who took the mat next at 145.
Davis tore into Kameron Kamp, building an 8-3 lead before decking him with two seconds left in the opening period to tie the match at 21-21. Kamp chucked his headgear, and it was 21-20 Williamsport.
“Eric Davis stepped up huge for us, getting momentum back for us,” Rechtorovic said.
Zach Shoemaker (152) and Reggie Russ (160) followed with pins to give the Wildcats their biggest lead of the night at 33-20.
But there were still three bouts left, and the Huskies won each of them by pin to knock Williamsport from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“This might help,” said Rechtorovic, whose team next faces powerhouse Southern Garrett (which recently defeated Northern 39-29). “This will add a little incentive to work harder.”
Also for Williamsport on Thursday, Bryan Davis (103) won by forfeit and Clinton Vance (112) won by decision.
Northern Garrett 38, Williamsport 32
285 — Platter (N) d. Pinkney, 2-1; 103 — B. Davis (W) fft.; 112 — Vance (W) d. Warrick, 2-1; 119 — Osselburn (N) p. Weyant, :43; 125 — Finzel (N) d. Ki. Baker, 4-1; 130 — Howard (N) p. G. Ardinger, 2:40; 135 — B. Ardinger (W) inj. def. Doerr; 140 — Thomas (N) d. Ke. Baker, 4-2; 145 — E. Davis (W) p. K. Kamp, 1:58; 152 — Shoemaker (W) p. S. Kamp, 1:40; 160 — Russ (W) p. T. Owens, 5:35; 171 — Opel (N) p. J. Cody, :25; 189 — N. Owens (N) p. Sibert, 2:52; 215 — Cervi (N) p. Baylor, 5:50.