Gush pin to win for Muncy over Warrior Run

TURBOTVILLE — Noah Gush pumped his fist every so slightly as he rose to his feet. The fate of Muncy’s dual meet Tuesday night had been on his shoulders when he walked on the mat. He didn’t disappoint his Muncy teammates.

Gush recorded a fall in 34 seconds in the night’s final bout to give Muncy a come-from-behind 37-33 win over Warrior Run. The only lead Muncy had was the one it had after Gush’s fall at 160 pounds. The Indians survived a game Defenders team which pushed the pace and scored some key early falls to take a 22-9 lead early in the dual.

The lone saving grace for the Indians was that the wrestlers it needed to win, not only won, but also picked up big bonus points. At the end of the night, Muncy walked out of the gym with a win but feeling like it lost. Warrior Run left with a loss, but feeling like it won.

“I was most disappointed in our effort,” Muncy head coach Denny Harer said. “Warrior Run brought the fight to us. We have to learn to fight back. We have to learn to pick a fight and win.”

“We want to come out with the win, but we got bonus points in places I didn’t expect to get bonus points from some of our seniors,” Warrior Run head coach Jeremy Betz said. “That’s what you’d expect from your seniors, to step up and push the pace at some of those points.”

Warrior Run sent a shock through the gym by winning four of the first six bouts to take the 22-9 lead. The only wins for Muncy were a fantastic 1-0 effort for Mike Kustanbauter against Christian Wachter, and a fall from returning state qualifier Hunter Poust at 220.

But in the other four bouts, Warrior Run was the aggressor. The Defenders pushed the pace and pushed the action. Ty Kirkner scored 14 of the final 15 points on the opening bout to win by major decision at 170. Alex Brouse turned his one takedown into a fall in just 44 seconds at 195. Jeff Burkhart worked a fall out of his one takedown at 285, as did Kaden Majcher at 106 pounds.

Those four wins gave Warrior Run its 13-point lead, but it didn’t leave Betz feeling any more comfortable.

“In District 4, I don’t know that you can ever feel good during a match,” Betz said. “Knowing what we had coming up, there were spots that if could go our way or their way. We could have probably won the next three weight classes, which would have been huge, and I never would have felt comfortable because we know what they can do, especially from the top position.”

Muncy showed why Betz wasn’t comfortable im­mediately. Returning state eighth-place finisher Jacob Blair was dominant in a 20-5 technical fall over state qualifier Noah Hunt. Mario Barberio used six sets of back points for a 15-0 technical fall over district sixth-place finisher Keefer Goodspeed.

Those two wins cut Warrior Run’s lead to just 22-19, and Muncy still had some hammers in the waiting with Joe Klock, Coleman Good and Gush.

“Our hammers were hammers when we needed them to be,” Harer said. “We knew the match could be really close or a blow out either way. Warrior Run did a great job and made it a great match. That’s a well-coached team and they wrestled well. Kudos to them.”

Klock, Good and Gush restored order for the Indians over the final four bouts. All recorded first-period falls totaling just under 3 minutes of clock time. When Gush rose to his feet and pumped his fist, it appeared to be more a sigh of relief than necessarily a celebration.

Warrior Run put together a great dual meet which included crucial wins from seniors Jeremy Hanford, Dylan Kolenda, Brandon Orwig and Ty Kirkner. Muncy walked away feeling fortunate to get a win on a night where it didn’t wrestle particularly well.

“I feel like we wrestled good enough to win,” Hanford said. “We needed to win those matches. But I think it’s a good sign. We always have places we can improve. There’s matches that were lopsided that shouldn’t have been. But we can even learn from that.”

“We need to get our younger guys rolling,” Harer said. “We can’t be giving up falls like we did. We had a couple matches we expected to win and we ended up giving up falls. The next month is huge for us. We only wrestle once after Thursday until Jan. 6 and we have some things we need to work on.”

170: Ty Kirkner, WR, maj. dec. Gavyn Eisenhower, 14-3. 182: Mike Kustanbauter, M, dec. Christian Wachter, 1-0. 195: Alex Brouse, WR, pinned Cael Hembury, :44. 220: Hunter Poust, M, pinned Wyatt Fisher, 3:12. 285: Jeff Burkhart, WR, pinned Larry Bilyeu, :25. 106: Kaden Majcher, WR, pinned Collin Wertz, :50. 113: Jacob Blair, M, tech. fall Noah Hunt, 20-5, 4:08. 120: Mario Barberio, M, tech. fall Keefer Goodspeed, 15-0, 4:33. 126: Jeremy Hanford, WR, maj. dec. Bryce Vollman, 18-6. 132: Dylan Kolenda, WR, maj. dec. Christian Good, 12-2. 138: Joe Klock, M, pinned Justin Wagner, 1:02. 145: Brandon Orwig, WR, dec. Ethan Gush, 5-3. 152: Coleman Good, M, pinned Damein Moser, 1:20. 160: Noah Gush, M, pinned Dakota Baker, :34.

Takedowns: Warrior Run 16, Muncy 14.

Official: Eric Fortin.

Records: Muncy (3-0); Warrior Run (1-1).