DuBOIS – Ridgway wrestling lost 36-33 to Brookville in the District 9 team duals championships match Saturday afternoon at DuBois Area High School.
Brookville won seven of the 11 matches wrestled on the mat and eight of the 14 weight classes. The win serves as a redemption for Brookville who suffered a bitter defeat at the hands of the Elkers in the same spot one year ago.
"This one's been marked on the calendar for 365 days," Brookville coach Dave Klepfer said. "It feels pretty good to come away with the win against an exceptional team that knows how to win and that has been there before quite a bit."
In addition to meeting at this point last year, Ridgway and Brookville just had a dual last Tuesday in Ridgway with the Raiders winning 32-30.
In Saturday's dual, Brookville opened with the lead as Logan Stout picked up an 11-0 major decision over Seth Stahl and a team bonus point. Stout took down Stahl and earned a long set of three back points, almost pinning the Ridgway wrestler before the period ended. Stout garnered another takedown with two seconds left in the second period to take an 8-0 lead. A set of back points near the end of the match rounded out the scoring.
Chad Quail put the Elkers ahead at 220 pounds with a pinfall in 4:48 over Brian Alexander. Quail was in control throughout the bout before securing the fall in the third period.
Brookville bumped up 220-pounder Jacob Cieleski to wrestle in the 285-pound weight class against Chris Woods. After a scoreless first period, Cieleski earned an escape and takedown for a 3-0 lead. Woods escaped late in the period to pull within two. In the third period, Cieleski added four points for the decision.
Devin Joiner won via forfeit at 106 pounds as Brookville led 13-6. The Raiders began to turn the tide in the 113-pound bout as Trey Constable was able to pin Cody Stahl in 3:17. Constable wrestled at 120 pounds in last Tuesday's dual. It was a 3-point difference in the team aspect from Tuesday's dual.
"The moves getting Constable and (Daulton) Zimmerman down to weight was huge for us," Klepfer said. "It was a big day for Daulton Zimmerman. He beat a state placewinner and then got the big pin for us. Truthfully, that was when you could see a little bit of wind coming out of their sails with the Zimmerman pin. We knew we were in the driver's seat."
Zimmerman continued the run in the lower weights for Brookville with a pin over Tad Pierce in 2:48 to put the Raiders ahead 25-6.
"They weighed in like they had to," Ridgway coach Gary Gerber said. "We had a forfeit down there. and they moved their guys down. They went for a sweep down low which is what they had to do. We lost the coin toss so we didn't give ourselves very many choices. Right now, the way they are, they can challenge for a state title. We have a hole in our lineup, we can't be doing that especially against a team like that. Their kids did a great job."
Corey Bush of Ridgway would answer emphatically at 126 pounds with a pin in 1:59 over Cole Clever.
Jimmy Miller answered for Brookville with an 8-4 decision over Zac McKnight at 132 pounds. Miller led 2-0 after the first period and reversed McKnight midway through the second period to double the lead to 4-0. McKnight returned the favor to halve the margin and a late escape by Miller upped the lead to 5-2.
McKnight took down Miller to get within one at 5-4 but an escape and takedown would give Miller enough cushion for an 8-4 lead.
Brock Zacherl of Brookville won 16-1 (5:34) in a technical fall over Dakota Dahler in the 138-pound bout to push the team lead to 33-12. Brodie Zacherl took a 5-3 decision over Steve Mitchell of Ridgway in the 145-pound bout. Mitchell won an 8-7 decision in last Tuesday's dual.
Brodie Zacherl's win pushed Brookville to the brink of the dual win with a 36-12 lead and four weight classes remaining. Ridgway could tie with four straight pins to round out the event.
Ridgway would get the first pin in a dramatic fashion as Slade Horner pinned Zach Vroman in seven minutes to keep Ridgway mathematically in the dual. Horner held a 1-0 lead late in the third period but Vroman was able to take down the Ridgway senior and take a 2-1 lead with 12 seconds left. Horner was able to escape moments later and force the 1-minute sudden victory period.
"When you get the winning takedown, you have to hold the guy down," Klepfer said. "A credit to Horner, he never stopped wrestling."
In sudden victory, Horner hit a takedown into a pinning combination and secured the pin just before the end of the period for the victory. Horner won a 7-1 decision in last Tuesday's dual over Vroman.
"Slade worked so hard during the offseason and has been working so hard during the season," Gerber said. "He's just done a tremendous job for us. He never stops wrestling for us. I'm proud of the job he's doing."
Kyle Caggiano won a 6-1 decision at 160 pounds for the Elkers over Taylor Cudworth but since the win was a decision only, Brookville had clinched the dual. With the dual in hand, Brookville forfeited to Dalton Sheasley at 170 pounds and Jake Himes at 182 pounds to round out the results.
Ridgway had won the previous five years at the district duals but said Brookville earned the team win this season.
"My seniors have never lost a district championship here and this was their first one," Gerber said. "They wrestled really hard for us. They've been a great group of kids and should be proud of their accomplishments."