Bonus points doom LHU vs. Clarion

LOCK HAVEN Bonus points. Sometimes they make the difference between winning and losing and that was the scene that unfolded Friday night at Thomas Field House when Clarion and Lock Haven locked horns in an Eastern Wrestling League dual meet.

When the final buzzer sounded, both teams had registered five wins. However, the difference in the outcome came about with the Clarion picking up three bonus points to just one for Lock?Haven in an 18-16 Clarion win.

“We have to do a better job of putting some bonus points up where we can,” said LHU head coach Robbie Waller. “I thought we had five good efforts tonight, but we needed more than that.”

Clarion took the initial lead at 125 when Tyler Fraley upset Bobby Rehm for an 11-6 win, but LHU posted wins in the next three bouts for a 9-3 lead.

Cody Wheeler overcame a first period deficit with three points in the middle period for a 4-3 win over Joe Waltko, Dan Neff also used a strong second period when he scored four points en route to a 6-4 win over Sam Sherlock and Mac Maldarelli completed the LHU trifecta at 149 when he scored three in the middle period before sewing up a 6-3 win with a takedown in the final seconds.

“In those matches, they came out swinging and they scored the first couple points,” said Neff. “As for conditioning, they just weren’t where we are and we were able to outpace them. When we wore them down and they got tired, we were able to get our scores.

“Coach Weller has a very good plan of conditioning us by having us going hard (early in the season) and then going a little lighter at the end. I really wanted for us to pull out the win as a team, especially for Harry (Turner) on senior night, but we had a couple of things not go our way,” said neff.

“We are a team that can’t have bad matches and I mean individual matches,” said Waller. “We just can’t have bad matches if we want to beat good teams and tonight, we had a couple of bad matches and it cost us. Bonus points and upsets. Those things make the difference between winning and losing.”

Tyler Bedelyon stopped the Clarion bleeding at 157 when he downed Aaron Fry 6-2 before nationally-ranked James Fleming was all over Aaron McKinney for a 15-0 technical fall at 7:00.

With the Fleming tech, the Golden Eagles led 11-9 in the dual meet with four bouts remaining.

Ryan Darch kept Clarion the winning trail at 174 when he majored Tyler Wood 10-2, but Fred Garcia put on a takedown clinic against Steve Cressley at 184, Garcia slicking Steve Cressley ten times en route to a 22-9 major decision.

With the Garcia mauling of Cressley, the Clarion lead stood at 15-13 with two bouts left.

At 197, Clarion’s Justin Ortega and LHU’s Phil Sprenkle exchanged escapes for a 1-1 deadlock on the scoreboard, but Ortega had 1:01 in time advantage for a 2-1 win.

Ortega’s win gave Clarion an 18-13 lead with only the 285-pound matchup remaining.

In the evening’s finale, Harry Turner made his final Thomas Field House performance a good one as he secured a takedown on Phil Catrucco in the final period.

“Win or lose, he wins his match by beating a good kid and I am real proud of him,” said Waller of Turner. “Tonight he did what he has always done and that is rise to the occasion. We have three more matches and I’ll be real glad to have Jake Kemerer back next week.”

For Turner, his win was somewhat bittersweet in that he won his individual bout, but it wasn’t enough to carry his team over the hump.

“It was real nice to win the last match here,” said Turner. “He was a big, athletic, strong kid and I only wish that I could have gone out with the fall. I am upset with myself, but it is also nice to be able to say that I went out on top with a win.”

With the bout tied at 2-all, Turner wasn’t to be denied as he picked up the winning takedown in the final 15 seconds.

125 Tyler Fraley, C, dec. Bobby Rehm, 11-6. (3-0); 133 Cody Wheeler, LH, dec. Joe Waltko, 4-3. (3-3); 141 Dan Neff, LH, dec. Sam Sherlock, 6-4. (3-6); 149 Mac Maldarelli, LH, dec. Devin Cook, 6-3. (3-9); 157 Tyler Bedelyon, C, dec. Aaron Fry, 6-2. (6-9); 165 James Fleming, C, tech. fall Aaron McKinney, 15-0, 7:00. (11-9); 174 Ryan Darch, C, maj. Dec. Tyler Wood, 10-2. (15-9); 184 Fred Garcia, LH, maj. Dec. Steve Cressley, 22-9. (15-13) 197 Justin Ortega, C, dec. Phil Sprenkle, 2-1. (18-13) 285 Harry Turner, LH, dec. Phil Catrucco, 4-2. (18-16)

Official: Gary Kessel.

Records: LHU?5-5, 1-3, Clarion 3-6 1-2 Next: LHU?at Bucknell, Feb. 8.