WILKES-BARRE — Two teams moving in opposite directions met on Senior Night at Meyers Wednesday.
The Mohawks clinched at least a tie for first place in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference with a 59-19 victory over Wyoming Area.
When Meyers ran off the last 41 points by winning the final seven bouts, Wyoming Area moved closer to the end of a disappointing conference season, leaving coach Steve Mytych to hope some lineup adjustments can improve the results in the postseason.
“I expected a lot more,” Mytych acknowledged after the team fell to 1-3 in Division 2 with only a Monday make-up match at GAR remaining.
If the Warriors win Monday, they are highly likely to take one of the two wild-card berths for the District 2 Class AA Dual Meet Tournament scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday.
Wyoming Area is 7-6 overall, better than the other wild-card contenders, meaning a 2-3 conference record and fourth-place finish clearly should be enough after the top three teams in both WVC and Lackawanna League Division 2’s are placed in the brackets.
“We have a few guys going down (in weight),” Mytych said, trying to project a stronger lineup. “(Justin) Esposito is going to stay at 106, (Robin) Wroblinski will be at 113 and another one or two guys will move around.”
Wyoming Area came out strong Wednesday against Meyers, which was coming off a tie-breaker win in a first-place showdown with Lake-Lehman. Kendrick Beyer shut out Kevin Huertero, 5-0, at 132 and Patrick Heck followed with a 15-0 technical fall in 5:04 against Reese Patronick at 138 for an 8-0 lead.
Meyers took a 10-point lead by posting pins in the next three bouts.
The Warriors regained the lead, 19-18, on a pin by Zach Briggs in 3:52 at 170 against Isaac Mensah, then a technical fall by Adam Buczynski, 15-0 in 3:49, over Colin Brown at 182.
The lead was wiped out on a forfeit, then Meyers posted pins in the next three bouts even though the Warriors had scored the first points to take leads in each one.
“Our guys just have to learn how to hang tough,” Mytych said. “Our guys just give up reversals, takedowns, back points way too easily. “I know we’re young, but at this time in the game … “
The loss dropped the Warriors to 3-6 in duals since starting the season 4-0.
Balavage sets school record
Avoca resident Thor Balavage set Scranton Prep’s record for career wins with a pair victories in a Lackawanna League Division 2 double-dual at Mountain View Wednesday night.
Balavage, who recently made it back down to the 220-pound weight class, won a forfeit against Mountain View and a 55-second pin over Montrose’s Robert Gregory to give him 107 career wins. He also helped the Cavaliers win both matches, 57-19 over Mountain View and 39-36 over Montrose, to finish second in the division at 6-1.
“We can’t be disappointed at all in our performance as a team,” said Balavage, who broke the record of 105 wins set by 2000 graduate and two-time District 2 champion Bobby Voytek, who finished his career at 135 pounds. “It’s the best team I’ve been on since I’ve been at Scranton Prep.”
In addition to his record win total, Balavage made history as a junior when he became the first Cavalier to win a state tournament match. He won the District 2 Class AA title at 220 pounds.
Although dropping from 240 pounds in football season where he earned all-state honors and was the Hookey Reap Award winner as the top defensive lineman in Lackawanna County while helping Scranton Prep to division and district titles, Balavage is not certain he will again wrestle at 220 in the postseason. Instead, it will give him options as his father, Scranton Prep scorekeeper Tony Balavage, researches the opponents and brackets that will allow the best potential path to the state medal stand.
“I’m still considering where I need to be,” he said. “The massive goal is to win a state championship; the more realistic goal is to get a state medal.
“Obviously, I’m shooting to win a state championship. Am I expected? No. I’m definitely not the pick right now, but we’ll see what happen. My main goal is to win a medal.”
Thor Balavage is 23-2 this season with a 107-30 career mark. Younger brother Ivan Balavage is second on the team as a sophomore with a 21-3 record. He is already at 51-13 for his career.
Dallas 43, Pittston Area 27
Pittston Area fell at Dallas, 43-27, Thursday night to finish the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 portion of its schedule at 2-5.
The Patriots finished in a three-way tie for fifth place with Crestwood and Wyoming Valley West in the eight-team division.
Chris Starinsky (138), Josh McGilvary (145), Hunter Booth (170) and Brandon Lopez (106) had pins. Booth’s pin came in 53 seconds.
Gino Coffay won a decision at 285.
Hazleton Area 62, Pittston Area 8
Hazleton Area won 12 of 14 bouts Wednesday on the way to a 62-8 victory over Pittston Area Wednesday.
Jason DeBoard won a technical fall at 160. Gino Coffay added a decision at 285 for the only other win by the Patriots.
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