Turner pin finishes Lock Haven wrestling victory at Bucknell

LEWISBURG Harry Turner has felt the aches and pains of a wrestling season as a fifth-year senior for Lock Haven. Those have left him questioning himself on why he wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to attend a workout.

Friday night he was reminded all over again why.

The Bald Eagles’ 285-pounder pinned Bucknell’s Joe Stolfi in the third period and secured Lock Haven’s 23-16 win over the Bison at Davis Gymnasium, ending Bucknell’s recent series dominance that has included three consecutive victories.

“I have never personally beaten them,” Turner said. “Every time we’ve wrestled them, we’ve gotten beat pretty good. I really wanted this win because they are a very good program. We needed that win to get back on track after last week.”

Lock Haven nearly didn’t.

The Bald Eagles, who lost at home to the Bison last year 28-13, led Bucknell 17-16 entering the final match at 285 pounds Friday night, but Turner couldn’t make a second-period reverse stand when he gave up a penalty point and escape to Stolfi before the end of the second period.

Stolfi escaped again just 8 seconds into the third period to break the 2-2 tie, but he was caught in an awkward position with Turner leaning heavily with a sit back. Turner’s strength finally forced Stolfi’s shoulders to the mat and in a second, Stolfi went from leading by one to walking off the mat disappointed.

“I had to lean back hard,” Turner emphasized. “I work on that move with coach in practice a lot and it’s a desperation kind of thing. I’m just glad I was able to hit when I was. It worked when I needed it to.”

The win was Turner’s 21st of the season.

“I like our chances with Harry in most instances,” Lock Haven coach Robbie Waller said. “He doesn’t feel much pressure and he’ll go out there and battle. He digs deep for the team and I am real proud of him.”

The Bald Eagles (6-5) received six free points at 125 pounds after Bucknell learned it would be without 2012 NCAA qualifier Austin Miller. The sophomore from Mount Joy has an arm injury and will miss the remainder of the season.

The Bald Eagles lost a major decision at 133 pounds, but nationally-ranked Dan Neff (23-7) used a late second-period takedown to beat Derrik Russell at 141. Neff, who earned his 23rd win against seven losses, allowed an escape in the third period while leading 3-0, but the 18th-ranked wrestler at 141 held off a final takedown attempt by Russell to secure the decision.

Billy Randt replaced Jake Kemerer for Lock Haven at 157 pounds and the junior worked his way behind Bucknell’s Vincent Favia in the final 5 seconds of the third period to pull out a 3-1 victory. Randt’s win gave the Bald Eagles a 12-7 lead halfway through the match.

“That’s the third time he’s done that this year,” said Waller, whose team has struggled to keep a wrestler healthy at 157 pounds this year. “He’s ice cold when he gets in there. When you call his name, he’s ready to battle and my hat is off to him.”

“He was our last line of defense and for him to come out and get a win and put us in position to win was huge,” Turner said.

Fred Garcia dominated Bucknell’s Robert Marchese at 184 pounds and gave the Bald Eagles their second bonus-point victory with a technical fall. Garcia’s win gave Lock Haven a 17-13 lead after Bucknell’s Robert Schlitt gave his team a one-point lead with a gritty 6-5 decision at 174 pounds.

Bucknell’s Tyler Lyster won a 7-2 decision at 197 pounds to bring the Bison (6-10) to within 17-16 and set the stage for Turner and Stolfi.

The teams each won five matches, but the Bald Eagles had the forfeit at 125, a technical fall at 184 and Turner’s fall at 285.

Lock Haven’s Aaron McKinney pushed Bucknell’s No. 17 Corey Lear at 165 pounds, but the Bald Eagle wrestler couldn’t finish any offense in a 2-0 setback.

The win gave Lear 20 wins for the third time in his Bucknell career and he is now 20-4 this season and 82-39 overall.

“He is our most consistent guy on the mat right now,” Bucknell coach Dan Wirnsberger said. “He’s still not where he needs to be or where I think he wants to be if he wants to get on that podium in March. He had a long layoff while dealing with an injury and he is just getting back in and getting his timing and conditioning together.”

Lock Haven rounds outs it EWL schedule next Friday at nationally-ranked Bloomsburg. The Huskies were ranked No. 14 the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Coaches’ Poll.

Bucknell’s weekend will conclude with a dual at No. 10 Cornell on Sunday. Bucknell will be at American on Feb. 16 before returning home to face Lehigh on Feb. 22.

Penn College was scheduled to wrestle an exhibition match against Bucknell prior the dual meet, but the Wildcats canceled due to weather concerns.

125: Bobby Rehm, LHU, won by forfeit; 133: Paul Petrov, B, maj. dec. Cody Wheeler, 13-3: 141: No. 18 Dan Neff, LHU, dec. Derrik Russell, 3-1; 149: Adam Healey, B, dec. Mac Maldarelli, 3-1, SV; 157: Billy Randt, LHU, dec. Vincent Favia, 3-1; 165: No. 17 Corey Lear, B, dec. Aaron McKinney, 2-0; 174: Robert Schlitt, B, dec. Tyler Wood, 6-5; 184: Fred Garcia, LHU, tech. fall Robert Marchese, 21-6, 6:39; 197: Tyler Lyster, B, dec. Phil Sprenkle, 7-2; 285: Harry Turner, LHU, pinned Joe Stolfi, 5:57.