TURBOTVILLE - Wayne Smythe used an interesting word to describe Warrior Run's two recent dual-meet losses: exposed.
It's not as if the 39-18 setback to District 4 favorite Central Columbia on Thursday night proved the Defenders weren't worthy of the recent hype they've received as a district-wide contender. But coupled with a lopsided loss to Benton two weeks ago, Smythe said he's seen many areas Warrior Run must improve before the end of the season.
"They're the kind of team that will show your flaws, and we've certainly been exposed," Smythe said. "It's a benefit to know what to work on."
Last night the Defenders struggled mightily on their feet, recording just six takedowns in 14 contested bouts - and four of those were by Zack LeBarron at 106 pounds. Central Columbia also recorded an escape seven of the nine times it chose the down position to start a period.
And most importantly, the Blue Jays picked up bonus points in more than half their bout victories. It all added up to a stellar bounce-back win for Central Columbia, which suffered its first loss in the Bob Rohm Tournament final on Saturday to Central Mountain.
"They're frustrating losses, but I'm confident we can have a good team by (the end of the year). I'm confident we can have a good team by Saturday," Smythe said. "Things can turn around in a hurry. Our guys are working. Some things are outside of our control, some things are in our control. The things we can control we have to do better with."
After splitting the first two bouts last night, Central Columbia won four consecutive bouts - three with bonus points - to take a 23-3 lead before Nick Rohm scored a fall of his own to end the skid. But where Central capitalized on opportunities for bonus points through their run with technical falls from Jesse Shannon and Tyler Johnson, Warrior Run won three consecutive bouts through the heart of its lineup's strength, and had just one bonus-point win.
Dan Breech, ranked 14th in the state, won just 3-1 at 170 pounds against sectional fourth-place finisher Jake Coombe. Garrett Moser, a district qualifier a year ago, beat Cyler Wedge, who was 6-9 entering the bout, just 3-0.
And when Matt Hackenberg pulled out a 4-2, sudden victory win at 195 pound for the Blue Jays, the writing was on he wall for the Defenders. Add in Alex Shiber's 3-2, rideout win at 285 pounds in a stellar bout with Austin Fiedler, and Warrior Run just couldn't seem to find the big win it needed last night.
"We need to get better all around," Smythe said. "We need to get bonus points and we have to stay away from giving them up. We have to get takedowns. We have to get off bottom. There's not many areas that we don't need to work on. That doesn't mean we're terrible in all those areas, but obviously (Thursday) we weren't good enough to win."
Central Columbia appeared to be the aggressor offensively last night, scoring the first points in 23 of the 14 points. Brian LeBarron, who picked up a surprising win over Lewis Williams, and Zack LeBarron were aggressive offensively for the Defenders, and combined they recorded five of Warrior Run's six takedowns. The other came from Breech.
In the 12 bouts in which Central scored the first points, nine of them came on takedowns.
"I think we scrambled well," said Central Columbia coach Todd Cummings, who earned his 300th career win during he Bob Rohm Tournament. "WE got into some of the funk situations and came out on top and that worked well for us."
"You always want to do better on your feet than that," Smythe said. "If we only had six takedowns, that's certainly not good enough and we need to work on it."
106: Zack LeBarron, WR, maj. dec. Evan Campbell, 3-1.; 113: Taylor Johnson, CC, dec. Eric Hunt, 4-3.; 120: Steve Shannon, CC, maj. dec. Tyler Hornberger, 8-0.; 126: Brian LeBarron, WR, dec. Lewis Williams, 5-4.; 132: Jesse Shannon, CC, tech. fall Brandon Giannantonio, 16-0, 5:18. 138: Tyler Johnson, CC, tech. fall Andrew Walker, 15-0, 6:00. 145: Aaron Johnson, CC, dec. Masen Wagner, 5-1. 152: Austin Miknich, CC, pinned Jonathan LeBarron, 2:38. 160: Nick Rohm, WR, pinned Nick Fester, 4:53. 170: Dan Breech, WR, dec. Jake Coombe, 3-1. 182: Garrett Moser, WR, dec. Cyler Wedge, 3-0. 195: Matt Hackenberg, CC, dec. Hunter Stroup, 4-2, sv. 220: Eric McCracken, CC, pinned Matt Kilgus, 2:58. 285: Alex Shiber, CC, dec. Austin Fiedler, 3-2, RO.
*Match started at 120 pounds.
Takedowns: Central Columbia 17, Warrior Run 6.
Records: Central Columbia (13-1); Warrior Run (2-2).