HERSHEY — Coming into his senior season, Big Spring’s Tucker Brough finally has a state medal.
And a winning bet against his dad.
In Day 2 of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center, Brough (145) battled back through two consolation rounds to make it to the final day.
“It feels great,” Brough said. “Finally — moving on to Day 3 to get a medal. With this one, I won the bet with my dad. I was getting a little worried there for a minute, but it’s been a long fight back. I’m not done yet.”
During a very tight match in the third round of consolations Friday night, Brough and Kiski Area’s Joey Blumer 4-4 going into the final period. That’s when Brough knew he needed to act.
“I knew it was going to be close — he likes to wrestle those tight matches,” Brough said. “I’m not one for that, I like to be winning by a lot, but I knew I just had to be the last one to score points and that’s what I did.”
Brough took a shot and came out with the takedown to secure the match and a coveted state medal.
These tight matches are what make the tournament what it is, and it’s especially true for Brough. A 4-2 decision knocked him out of the first round of states before he battled in 1-0 bout in the second round of consolations, eventually ending it with a pin on Owen J. Roberts’ Daniel Mancini.
“A bunch of tight matches back to back,” Brough said. “They’re all going to be tight at this point. I don’t want them to be, but that’s just how it is. I just have to get after it, score points and win matches. That’s what I’m supposed to do.”
Today’s 9 a.m. match against Penncrest’s Ryan Stocku will decide where Brough will medal.
Blake Barrick (195) lost his third round consolation match against Waynesburg’s Colin McCracken 3-2 and is out of medal contention.
Holding up four fingers on each hand, Shippensburg’s Chandler Olson looked into the crowd for the Greyhounds fans — and the eruption of cheers was fitting.
After falling out of contention for gold on Day 1, Olson battled his way back through the consolation brackets at 126 to ensure he ends his high school career with yet another state medal — his fourth in four years — and the final day will tell what place that medal will be.
“I think it’s a pretty cool accomplishment,” Olson said. “But, I’m not done yet. Gotta keep climbing up that podium.”
Olson pulled off a 2-0 decision over Bald Eagle’s Garrett Rigg in the second round of consolations. In the third round, the round that determined if he went four-for-four, Olson kept it close yet again against Mifflin County’s Noah Myers.
“He tried to slow me down and he stayed defensive,” Olson said. “It’s tough sometimes, but throughout this tournament, I’ve learned how to be more patient, I think. I just waited until I got an opportunity and I got the takedown to seal the match with that.”
After a slew of caution warnings through the first period, Myers was the first to put points on the board in the second with an escape. In the third period, Olson racked up an escape of his own and a takedown for some insurance to secure the match.
Moving into the final day, Olson knows what he has to do.
“I’m just going to wrestle hard and take it one match at a time — just try to keep winning,” Olson said.
Teammate Cameron Tinner (285) lost his third round consolation match to LaSalle’s Vincenzo Pelusi 7-2 and fellow Greyhound Cole Forrester (195) lost his third round consolation to Northern’s Jake Koser 3-0 to get knocked out of contention.
Six local wrestlers secured medals Friday, a day that saw the 17-man contingent steadily whittled down through the championship quarterfinals and two rounds of consolation bouts. The quarterfinal round was especially rough, with locals going 0-for-7.
Three wrestlers made the tough turnaround from quarterfinal losses to win their third-round consolation bouts and clinch state medals.
Cumberland Valley senior Wyatt Long was one, as he picked up his first medal in three trips to Giant Center thanks to a 2-1 win over Pine-Richland’s Hunter Baxter.
Also bouncing back were Northern 195-pounder Jake Koser and Cedar Cliff 220-pounder Francis Duggan. The latter scored an 8-5 victory over Daniel Boone’s Jesse Enck in the third-round consies, the same wrestler he had defeated for District 3 gold. Duggan is now a three-time state medalist, and he’ll open Saturday in position to improve on his finishes in 2015 (sixth) and 2016 (seventh).
It was a rough day in the 2A field, which saw its contingent of four locals erased. Boiling Springs’ Cameron Palmer (145), Camp Hill’s Luca Colestock (170) and Trinity’s Colten Drawbaugh (182) were all knocked out.
Only Boiling Springs’ Kollin Myers (126) made it through to the quarterfinals to face off against undefeated — 36-0 and has never lost a high school match in his career — Gavin Teasdale of Jefferson-Morgan. Teasdale proved too much for the sophomore as he quickly downed Myers in a 20-5 technical fall in 3:48.
Myers then lost to Line Mountain’s Brian Earlston in an 11-0 major in the consolation fifth round. He will wrestling in the fifth-place match against Quaker Valley’s John Rocco Kazalas.