Upper weights seal Coatesville’s comeback win

DOWNINGTOWN — After withstanding a quick flurry by Downingtown West, Coatesville’s middle of the lineup restored order.

Then the big boys slammed the door shut.

The Red Raiders won eight bouts in a nine bout stretch to overtake the home Whippets, 39-26, in the Ches-Mont National Division dual meet, Wednesday night.

Coatesville (1-1 division, 10-6 overall) won five in a row from 138 pounds to 170, scoring nine bonus points in that run to turn a 12-point deficit into an 11-point lead.

“I’m very comfortable with the middle of our lineup,’ Coatesville coach Bear Stephens said. “It might be the best middle of the lineup I’ve ever coached. We have kids who we can send out to get pins and they get pins. It’s pretty impressive.’

Brent Windle (138 pounds) got Coatesville on the board with a decision, and Colin McBride (145) followed with a major decision. Chase Stephens (152) needed just 38 seconds to negotiate a fall, and two bouts later, Nick Guinta (170) was just behind him with a 51-second pin.

In between, Zach Dellicompagni (160) was close to getting the slap of the mat, but settled for a 12-1 major.

“I think the whole team steps up,’ Dellicompagni said. “When we do what we know we can do, we win.’

For a moment, Basile Bishop (182) made things interesting for West (0-2, 5-10), fighting off his back in the first period and earning a major decision to cut Coatesville’s lead to seven.

But returning state qualifier, Wesley McGuire (195), pushed the lead back up to 13 for the Red Raiders with a 67-second pin. Isaiah Hall (220) followed with a major and Christian Bermudez (285) hit a headlock 36-seconds in to win a major swing match and clinch the dual meet.

“Being down 17 points with three bouts to go, I thought the match was ours,’ West coach Brad Breese said. “Thirteen out of the 14 matches went the way I thought, and I thought we could end it with three pins.’

Of the 14 matches Bermudez has wrestled this season (he also received one forfeit), 12 have ended via the pin. He’s won by fall five times and lost by fall, seven, but his fifth was arguably the biggest of his career.

Hall, meanwhile, spent his freshman year playing basketball before returning to the mat as a sophomore. He’s now 10-7 on the season.

“It’s nice to have Isaiah back,’ Bear Stephens said. “He’s a kid who wrestled his whole life and then played basketball last year. Getting him back is nice because I don’t have to teach him all the basics, since he has some experience. Christian Bermudez wrestled a lot better for us.’

Breese had high hopes of a comeback, largely in part to his team’s talent in the lightweights. While they’re still very young, there is some potential.

Doug Zapf is the keystone of the group and he bumped up to 113 and scored a major decision. Zapf is 16-5 on the season as an undersized 106-pounder.

Freshmen Chase Hanak (106), Nick Lilley (120) and Gavin Hale (132) were winners against Coatesville, and junior Joe Rennie (126) added a 36-second pin. Only two seniors wrestled Wednesday night, as Manoa Taniguchi was out with injury, so Breese has reason to believe in the future.

“People asked me in the preseason how our team would be and I had no idea because we had so many young kids I thought would be in the lineup,’ Breese said. “The way it’s shaping up, this team is going to grow into something. The disappointment we face this year is gonna be long forgotten in a couple years, I’m confident of that.’

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