EXETER – Zach Briggs made the win official with his quick pin at 170 pounds, but it was a late pin by Brandon Williams early in the night that may have had the biggest impact in Wyoming Area winning its dual meet wrestling opener, 42-36, over visiting Scranton Prep Wednesday.
Scranton Prep had taken a 6-0 lead in the opening bout at 285 on a 50-second pin by Avoca resident Thor Balavage.
The 106-pound bout followed and Williams trailed Sammy Segers going to the third period. Williams first took the lead, then settled the close bout on a pin with 36 seconds remaining.
“That was a nice win, Brandon coming back,” Wyoming Area coach Steve Mytych said. “That was going back and forth.
“That was a nice match. He was giving up a lot of weight. He’s only in the low 90s.”
The Warriors won the next five bouts as well to open a 36-6 lead.
Scranton Prep rallied to within 36-21 and, with favorable matchups ahead on bouts it ultimately won, the Cavaliers still had a shot at pulling out a come-from-behind win.
Briggs ended that with a pin in 1:46 at 170.
“The seniors, I expect to come through like that,” Mytych said.
With five wrestlers between 170 and 182, Mytych has the flexibility to juggle the lineup to try to find the matchups he likes.
“I’m not afraid to move those guys around up there,” Mytych said. “I tell them every day, ‘Be ready. Be ready for the challenge.’”
Justin Esposito (113) and Tyler Martin (132) also had first-period pins for the Warriors.
Patrick Heck had a pin at 138.
Ivan Balavage, Thor’s younger brother, and Tommy Carroll also had first-period pins for Scranton Prep.
Wyoming Area 39
Lackawanna Trail 27
Wyoming Area beat a Lackawanna League opponent for the second straight night when it went to Lackawanna Trail Thursday and posted a 39-27 victory.
Zach Briggs had a 46-second pin at 182 pounds.
Patrick Heck clinched the win with a 3-0 decision at 138 pounds.
The Warriors took the lead with three straight forfeits, then locked it up by winning the last four bouts to be wrestled on a pin by Daniel Kosko at 126, then decisions by Tyler Martin (132), Heck and Stephen Sokach-Minnick (152).
Pittston Area 64
Mountain View 15
Rich Wallace (152), Allen Thomas (170) and Niko Cinquegrandi (195) all posted first-period pins Thursday when Pittston Area won its season opener, 64-15, at Mountain View.
Saucon Valley Tournament
Wyoming Area opened the season Dec. 5 at the Saucon Valley Tournament where the Warriors finished seventh out of eight teams.
Zach Briggs led the way, reaching the 170-pound final where he lost in overtime to settle for second place.
Exeter won the tournament with 254 points.
Wyoming Area had 114 points, one behind fifth-place West Scranton and one-half behind sixth-place Pleasant Valley.
Briggs won a 5-3 decision from Jared Skibinski of Emmaus to reach the final.
The Warriors went 0-9 in consolation finals. Kendrick Beyer (138), Stephen Sokach-Minnick (152), Adam Buczynski (182), Justin Joseph (195) and Damon Barhight (285) each finished fourth while four teammates were sixth. Two others went 0-2.
“We were up a weight class,” said Mytych, who expects the team get stronger when several wrestlers, who are just a pound or two over, move down to a lower class. “The guys don’t realize. They looked like midgets.”
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