By Tyler Rumsey
February 7, 2013
The Lock Haven University wrestling team picked up five wins tonight and senior Harry Turner (Howell, N.J./Howell) won the final home match of his career, but it wasn’t enough as the Bald Eagles were edged by Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) rival Clarion, 18-16 in a thrilling conference battle.
Lock Haven (5-5, 1-3 EWL) and Clarion (3-6, 1-2 EWL) each won five bouts on the night, but a tech fall at 165 and a major decision at 174 proved to be the difference for the Golden Eagles in the end.
Turner, who was honored pre-match as the only senior on this year’s team, closed out the night with a hard-fought win at 285. Joining Turner as Bald Eagle winners on the night was Cody Wheeler (Towanda, Pa./Towanda), No. 22 Dan Neff (Quarryville, Pa./Solanco), Mac Maldarelli (Merrick, N.Y./Nassau C.C.) and No. 29 Fred Garcia (Donora, Pa./Ringgold).
Lock Haven found itself in an early 3-0 hole, but Wheeler quickly put The Haven on the board with a 5-3 win at 133. Wheeler, who was returning to the lineup trailed, 2-1 after one period. Wheeler started the second period down and scored a quick escape, before taking down Clarion’s Joe Waltko with a minute to go in the second period. Wheeler led 4-2 after two periods and he nearly rode out the third on the way to the win.
At 141, Neff met a tough Sam Sherlock of Clarion and Sherlock led 2-1 after one period. Neff started the second period down and scored a quick escape to the knot the score at, 2-2, but Sherlock, countered and again took Neff down. With 40 seconds to go in the second, Neff scored on a quick escape-takedown move and he led 5-4 after two. Neff went to work in the third and absolutely dominated Sherlock on top. The 2:09 of riding time stretched Neff’s win to a 6-4 decision.
Maldarelli made it three straight and stretched the LHU lead to 9-3 after 6-3 decision over Devin Cook at 149. Maldarelli led 4-2 after two and scored on a late takedown to earn the 6-3 win.
The Golden Eagles matched Lock Haven’s three straight wins with three straight of their own. Clarion won at 157, 165 and 174. A huge key in the final outcome for CU would be its tech fall and major at 165 and 174, respectively.
Garcia put on a clinic for Lock Haven at 184. He picked up 10 of Lock Haven’s 16 takedowns on the night on the way to a lopsided, 22-9 win over Steven Cressley. Garcia led 10-4 after one and 17-6 after two periods.
At 197, Clarion’s Justin Oretega edged Phil Sprenkle (Seven Valleys, Pa./Dallastown), 2-1 on a riding time point, which put Clarion up 18-13.
Despite the loss, Turner brought the home fans to their feet with a workmanlike 4-2 win. Lock Haven’s lone senior scored a late third-period takedown to secure the win in the final home bout of his remarkable Bald Eagle career.
Lock Haven travels to local-rival Bucknell for a non-conference match on Friday, February 8 at 7 p.m.
Tyler Rumsey works at Sports
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