LEWISTOWN - When the Huskies took to the mats against Chambersburg Thursday night, they might have remembered that one year ago they had given up five of their last seven bouts to lose 31-23 at the Trojans' home gym.
This year, redemption was the name of the game at Mifflin County High School.
Capped off by a second-period pin by 132-pounder Isaac Underhill, the Huskies dug in deep against the evenly matched Trojans to pull off the 35-29 Commonwealth Division victory and improve their record to 11-3.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Mifflin County’s Timmy Pearce pins Chambersburg’s David Helm during their 220-pound bout Thursday night in Lewistown. Mifflin County won the dual meet, 35-29. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
The dual meet featured four pins - three of which belonged to the Huskies - and in terms of timing, it was Underhill's that proved to be the most memorable. With the Huskies behind 29-23 and just one bout remaining after Underhill's, the junior came through to ultimately clinch the meet with a fall over Dawson Arnold early in the second period. The Trojans decided to forfeit to 138-pounder Hayden Hidlay, although someone had weighed in before the match, resulting in the final 35-29 score.
In the first period of Underhill's bout, the Husky had Arnold bound up in a cradle and so near the fall that a dollar bill but not much more could have been placed under the Trojan's shoulders. Time eventually expired with three points to Underhill for the near fall, but in the second period he cashed in for six team points with the pin.
"Second I took the bottom - I knew I had to get out right away. I got out, got my reversal, got on top and started looking to pin," Underhill said.
Other pins for Mifflin County came from Timmy Pearce (220) and Noah Myers (113), who recorded his crucial fall with just four seconds left in the third to bring Mifflin County back from a six-point deficit, 23-23. The Huskies also got a technical fall from Noah Stewart (152) in the second bout of the night.
"The pins in a match are always going to be critical, and we got pins especially at the end where we needed them," Mifflin County coach Kirby Martin said, although he also explained that early in the dual meet, the Huskies struggled with giving up too many bonus points.
"We were struggling as far as not giving up bonus points," he said. "Early on, there were several matches that we gave up major decisions and we got taken down in the third period to lose a match, so it wasn't a smooth start. But, the kids persevered; I give them credit. That's a good characteristic of a team."
Early in the dual meet, Isaac Habbershon (145) and Keith Corson (160) suffered these major decisions while Eli Habbershon (170) and Trey Hartsock (182) gave up regular decision to put Mifflin County in the hole, 14-5, after five bouts.
But if those early losses were detrimental to the Huskies, a few losses later in the bout proved to be just what they needed.
Senior Colton Craig - who has a 7-10 record in his first year of varsity wrestling - got what might be called a good loss when he went down to the final seconds with Cameron Kiger (18-8) for a 7-6 loss to prevent the Trojans from picking up any bonus points.
Later, 126-pounder Brandon Fultz (6-12) kept his bout with Garret Kyner (17-2) to a 9-3 regular decision, making it 29-23 in Chambersburg's favor, but also setting the stage for Underhill to tie the meet in the very next bout.
"Fultz's match was very very important to not give up bonus points. They needed a major decision or a tech fall or a pin there to really have a chance in the dual meet, and Brandon Fultz has been improving all season long, and he kept that match to a regular decision. Sometimes that's what you need your wrestler to do," Martin said.
In the junior high dual meet preceding the varsity meet, Mifflin County won, 63-28.
Mifflin County (11-3, 5-1) will host the Husky Duals Saturday. Six teams will attend the tournament, and wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m.
Note: Thursday was Mifflin County's senior night. Nathan Strausburg, Zane Williams, Craig, Tre Carter, Pearce and Kyle Kahley were all honored before the match began.