HERSHEY — Head coach Rodney Wright will be the first to admit that putting Austin Taylor out against Huntingdon’s best kid, Landon Fisher, at 220 maybe wasn’t the best idea.
However, in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A Wrestling Team Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Thursday, he had some room to gamble.
The Bubblers created a comfortable lead for themselves earlier in the match against Huntingdown, dominating the middleweight brackets and notching seven wins in a row on their way to a 36-25 victory.
“There’s no sense of me putting Taylor out with their best kid,” Rodney said, shaking his head. “I mean it all worked out, but he wasn’t happy. The math was off a little bit, and we could have sealed it up. I could have sealed it up.”
Taylor fell by major decision 9-1.
220 aside, it was all Bubblers much of the evening.
Collin Nester’s pin in 31 seconds at 126 started an avalanche at the middleweights. Jack Coulston (132), Lucas Shoop (138), Kollin Myers (145), Kaiden Karper (152), Zach Martin (160) and Nick Kostyak (170) all notched wins to create a comfortable (at the time) 33-9 lead.
“I knew I had to win [126 and 170],” Wright said. “And we won [126 and 170]. We got our seven stretch and then our eighth [win] was at heavyweight. I was wondering how everybody was going to be today.”
A few losses at 182 (Colby Tennyson), 195 (Sam Geilling) and 220 (Taylor), allowed the Bearcats to draw close at 33-22. Damon James at 285, however, wasn’t about to let Huntingdon get any closer than that.
After a back-and-forth battle, James notched the takedown in the final moments to secure the 3-2 decision win and put Boiling Springs ahead 36-22, locking up the win.
There was no practice for anyone yesterday, according to Wright, so all warmups were done at the Giant Center. Confidence wasn’t as high as it could be, but after a win at 126 and 170, Wright and the squad were feeling a bit better.
After all, a win is a win.
“Nobody is going to look back next year and say, ‘Oh, you only beat them by two points,’” Wright said. “No. You got the win. That’s all that matters. We’re on track.”
Boiling Springs return to Giant Center on Friday to face Chestnut Ridge, which defeated Derry 38-18, at noon. For the most part, Wright is ready for them.
“They’ve never beat us and they wanted us pretty bad, and they’ve got a pretty darn good team this year,” Wright said. “We gotta wrestle our butts off if we wanna beat them, I know that. Hopefully we can give them a good dog fight and we’ll see what happens.”