TURBOTVILLE - Steve Budman doesn't yell much when Houston Bryant is on the mat. He says it doesn't do much good.
It has nothing to do with Bryant's coachability or his willingness to listen to instruction. As Budman says, the Hughesville junior just kind of freelances when he's on the mat.
Thursday night Bryant's freelancing translated into one big win which helped the Spartans come back for a 36-24 win over Warrior Run in a packed Warrior Run Middle School gymnasium.
Hughesville’s Houston Bryant, facing, scores back points against Warrior Run’s Masen Wagner during their match at 152 pounds on Thursday night at Warrior Run. Bryant defeated Wagner, 10-6. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com
Bryant gave up a takedown with 25 seconds to go in his 152-pound bout with Warrior Run's Masen Wagner last night, surrendering the one-point lead he was holding. But he hit his second peterson of the match with 10 seconds to go for five points to top Wagner, 10-6.
Budman spent Bryant's first two years on the varsity team teaching the wrestler the basics of the sport. But that has changed as Bryant has found his style on the mat. His style is one of constant movement and an abundance of energy.
Budman's harnessed the style and is optimizing the chances for Bryant to score points.
"I teach him more about concepts now because he's out there just rolling around," Budman said. "He knows standing arm and leg rolls, and he's good when he gets in that position and that's how he hit both of those (petersons). I just let him fly."
Bryant's win was part of a trio of victories which helped Hughesville overcome a stunning loss at 106 pounds which was an 11 or 12-point swing in the match. Warrior Run's Jared Miller was trailing, 11-1, in the second period at 106, the second bout of the night, before he caught Braden Stahlnecker in a spladle and scored the fall in 3:37.
It was a bout the Spartans (10-5) were counting on for bonus points and not just a three-point victory. But Hughesville's Devin Stahlnecker handed Brian LeBarron his first loss of the season at 126 pounds. That victory, which improved Stahlnecker to 12-1 this year, came with an overtime takedown and seemed to spark the Spartans.
Nate Hampton, who had wrestled just three varsity matches this year, earned a fall at 132 pounds for Hughesville. State qualifier Zach Fry following with a 6-0 win bumping up a weight class, and Matt Heinreich and Bryant pulled off back-to-back decision victories giving the Spartans a 21-15 lead after it had trailed 15-3 after 120 pounds.
"I think everybody fed off (Stahlnecker)," Bryant said. "I don't think we expected to win that. But he came out strong and it paid off."
"Wrestling, just like any sport, it a lot about momentum," Budman said. "What we talk to them about is this is a dual meet, it's going to have its ups and downs. Some of our kids are going to get upset, and hopefully we upset some of their's. Earlier in the season, when we would lose a big one or a close one, it seemed like the whole bench went, 'Oh man'. Now we're starting to forget about it. We lose one and we say, 'OK, let's get the next one'."
The five consecutive wins for Hughesville came after suffering a tough loss at 120 pounds where Warrior Run state qualifier Zack LeBarron beat Trevor Sones, 9-7, in the tie-breaker. And after Elias George briefly tied the score at 21-21 with his first-period fall at 160 pounds for Warrior Run, Hughesville picked up falls from Robert White (170 pounds) and Ethan Barnes (220), and a decision victory from Matt Herr at 182 to close out the victory.
Hughesville never let the Defenders get on the kind of run it did when it won three of the first four bouts to take a 12-point lead.
The Spartans have won three duals in a row after losing four of their previous five. The Spartans, who were tied for ninth in the District 4 Duals standings prior to last night's matches, still face tough duals before next Saturday's cutoff date with Jersey Shore, Lewisburg and Muncy.
"We've really come together as a team because we've faced tough losses at Blue Mountain and the Zephyr Duals," Stahlnecker said. "We knew we could stick with those kinds of kids, and we're coming together as a team now."
"I think it all comes with mental toughness," Bryant said, "Coach has been doing well preparing us for these matches. He's having us fight like crazy just to get a little better every day."
106: Jared Miller, WR, pinned Braden Stahlnecker, 3:37; 113: Eric Hunt, WR, pinned Zach Beamer, 1:46; 120: Zack LeBarron, WR, dec. Trevor Sones, 9-7, tb; 126: Devin Stahlnecker, H, dec. Brian LeBarron, 6-4, sv; 132: Nate Hampton, H, pinned Brett Boush, 3:08; 138: Zach Fry, H, dec. Tyler Hornberger, 6-0; 145: Matt Heinreich, H, dec. Andy Walker, 6-3; 152: Houston Bryant, H, dec. Masen Wagner, 10-6; 160: Elias George, WR, pinned Adam Warburton, 1:08; 170: Robert White, H, pinned Dominic Lincalis, 1:29; 182: Matt Herr, H, dec. Jon LeBarron, 6-1; 195: Hunter Stroup, WR, dec. Dakota Gee, 10-3; 220: Ethan Barnes, H, pinned Wes Cupp, 1:21; 285: Jacoby Foresman, H, dec. Matt Kilgus, 5-1.
*Match started at 285 pounds
Takedowns: Hughesville 17, Warrior Run 11.
Official: Tim Ritter.
Records: Hughesville (10-5); Warrior Run (6-2).