Braves hold on against short-handed Stars, 45-33
HEADGEAR OPTIONALâ€”In a pivotal early match-up at 138, Bellmont senior Willie Mahlan (top) put the moves on SA frosh Drew Pollard for six. Mahlan tossed his head protection to the sidelines when his strap came loose and the senior wrestled without it for the rest of the period. (Photo by Dylan Malone)
Daniel Gunsett moved up to 120 to face SA's Matt Nussbaum in the last match of the night with the Braves up just six points.
"Gunsett usually gets the best of Danny Baker in the room, that's what I told Danny that he gives us the best shot and the kids understand that," BHS coach Brent Faurote noted after the match. "Daniel has been wrestling the best out of those guys, and so I put into his hands tonight so he stepped up and got it done."
The Bellmont freshman took advantage of a desperate Nussbaum and pinned him late in the third round allowing the Braves a win and a sigh of relief, 45-33 at the Teepee on Thursday night.
"I was really nervous," Gunsett admitted after the win, "I tried to get into a position that wouldn't put me on my back."
Nussbaum was leading the match 5-2, but with the Starfires down six, only a pin would bring SA back to a tie. Gunsett would have none of it.
"I figured he would go for the legs since they'd been after that all night so I just made my move," the frosh stated.
When Nussbaum made his move, Gunsett was ready sweeping the SA wrestlers momentum and reversing him onto his back for the pin.
"He (Nussbaum) gave it his all," SA coach Eric Myers praised. "I was really pleased with the way our guys wrestled back after giving up early takedowns. Earlier in the season we'd give up first take downs, then hang our heads."
Little did Nussbaum know, however, that despite the Stars only being down six, the match had already been decided on a technicality.
"Going into that match we had figured out we had already lost and that the tie would have gone down to first take downs if we got a pin from Nussbaum but I'm not sure anyone told him that going in. He took some shots he would not normally take because we needed the six to tie."
The Stars made the match interesting despite three forfeits on the night. SA coach Eric Myers withheld senior Shea Pyle from a meeting with Brett Baker at 160 as Pyle required a few more practices to be eligible after missing the first part of the season recovering from injury. LJ Moser was also out serving a suspension keeping the lineup very thin for the Stars. Eric Pimentel started out the match in the right direction for SA at 126 as the junior bested Diego Hutker in the third round with only 27 seconds left putting the Stars up early, 6-0.
Brock Braun had a physical battle with Boaz Marbaugh at 132 but Braun managed a late takedown in the third period to win a 3-0 decision cutting the Stars' lead in half.
Willie Mahlan gave SA the lead at 9-6 with a pin on freshman Drew Pollard, then Jacob Bergman earned the first forfeit of the night at 145 for a 15-6 Bellmont edge.
Bellmont, now 13-5, are off until the Al Smith Classic on December 27, while the Starfires (11-5), will take on Cass in the opening round of the coaches' state tournament tomorrow.
View more articles in: