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Wildcats pin down Cougars

February 12, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - The Jefferson wrestling team was just a few Gustines shy of having a chance against No. 7 Williamsport on Wednesday.

Forfeiting at six weight classes, the Cougars never really had a chance in their 42-30 loss to the Wildcats (12-6).

However, of the seven bouts actually wrestled, Jefferson (10-6) won six, including three big victories from the Brothers Gustines - freshman Colton, sophomore Corie and senior captain Codie.

"We knew coming in we couldn't win on the scoreboard," Codie Gustines said. "But, man-to-man, we matched up and did what we could to win."

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No win was larger than his.

In the 135-pound feature, Gustines, who's ranked first in West Virginia Class AAA, improved to 29-0 on the season, handing junior Mike McGill, who's ranked first in Maryland Class 2A-1A, his first loss of the year in a 6-5 thriller.

Trailing 5-4, Gustines, who led 4-0 early in the second period, countered McGill's comeback attempt, reversing the Wildcat with an inside switch for the winning points with 19 seconds left in the match - 18 seconds after McGill took his first lead of the night with a takedown.

"I tried to grab his hand off my ankle to escape while standing, but that didn't work," Gustines said of his attempt to even the score. "I knew he was going to pick my ankle again, so I just hit an inside switch."

"I knew it was coming, but I couldn't stop it. ... He wrestled a smart match," McGill said. "It was my match to lose."

After taking down McGill in the closing seconds of the first period and reversing him to open the second, Gustines may have appeared to be on cruise control.

"You really can't be in control in a match like that," Gustines said. "You can get caught any time. You just have to stay focused. And it was hard to stay focused when my nose kept bleeding."

The Cougar's bloody nose briefly stopped the match five times. In between the timeouts, McGill mounted his comeback.

"I gave it 100 percent. I just couldn't get a win," McGill said. "He's supposed to win West Virginia, so I didn't lose to a slouch. ... I think if we wrestled again it would be a different outcome."

The Gustines' other matches weren't as close. At 152, Corie Gustines teched out Eric Spielman 19-3 in 4:41, and in a battle of 23-win freshmen at 103, Colton Gustines scored a pair of takedowns for No. 24, beating Earl Neville, 5-1.

"Those were excellent matches for us at 103 and 135," Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic said. "That will help get them ready for counties and regionals."

Also for the Cougars, Ryan Payne pinned Lake McDonald in 2:48 at 189, Marshall Chapman stopped Jabari Emanuel in 4:15 with a 19-4 tech fall at 112 and Zane Carrel topped Jim Fiorita 4-1 at 130.

Williamsport's Frank Larrazabal opened the match with a second-period pin over Ryan Bateman at 171, and the Wildcats, who racked up the rest of their points by forfeits, never trailed.

Wildcats Spencer Peyton (119), Ryan Bowers (125), Jeff Short (140) and Adam Bridendolph (145) - each with more than 20 wins on the season - never got the chance to contribute on the mat.

"(Jefferson) didn't wrestle some of our better kids," Rechtorovic said. "But they matched up well with what they had to wrestle.

"We'll take it. A win's a win."

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