BUCKINGHAM >> It was both a high point and low point for Boyertown Thursday.
The high point for the Bears in their District 1 Duals opener at Central Bucks East was Leo Egbe’s gritty 8-4 decision at 189. The low point, in the estimation of head coach Tony Haley, was how the win by Egbe — his scholastic wrestling career has spanned less than three months — was necessary to keep the locals mathematically in the hunt for victory.
The math ultimately worked against Boyertown. While it and East finished the match in a 30-30 tie, the host Patriots claimed a 31-30 victory on Criteria C, the Bears being assessed a penalty point for unsportsmanlike conduct at 160.
“This is one of the lowest points in Boyertown history,” Haley said.
Egbe’s 8-4 decision of Reagan McCullough boosted Boyertown’s lead to 24-18 with three bouts left, and the Bears (11-5) ultimately receiving a forfeit in the 106-pound finale.
The Boyertown senior, whose record currently stands around the .500 mark after starting out the year 4-1 in Boyertown’s Bealer Memorial Bear Duals, faced a tenacious opponent in McCullough. He shot several single-leg tackles on Leo, but with a determination reminiscent of his days of stardom as a running back on the high-school football team, fought off the moves and got his own takedowns.
“Compliments to Leo Egbe,” Haley said. “It’s a sad thing we have to rely on someone who’s had only 2-1/2 months wrestling experience, because other kids didn’t get the job done.”
The Pats forced the rule-book tiebreaking decision with back-to-back pins at 215 and 285, moving on to the Upper Dublin phase of the duals even though Boyertown had a 7-6 edge in bouts won.
“We haven’t made it to Upper Dublin since 2009,” Patriot head coach Dave Scarpill said. “This is our first time (in duals) in a while.”
Boyertown, the bracket’s sixth seed, led the match up to Joe Collins’ 45-second pin at 285 for the hosts. The Bears’ Brody Coleman pulled the score even by accepting a forfeit at 106.
But the tiebreaker ended Boyertown’s district-duals experience after one night.
“The entire match was crazy,” Scarpill said. “We’re good up top, they’re good down low. We wanted to minimize the damage down low, and let our big boys do the job.”
To its credit, Boyertown (11-5) controlled the lower weights en route to a 17-6 start. Luke Heimbach got a 13-0 major decision of CBE’s Ethan Beane at 12, Gavin Sheridan added another 8-0 major on Andrew Oram at 132 and Beck Babb gutted out a 5-4 decision on Tyler Tanner at 138.
But the Pats kicked their effort into a higher gear with Luke Wilson’s 2-1 win at 145 and Mason Stein’s technical fall at 152.
Chance Babb responded with a 13-5 major, but an 11-3 major by East’s Nils Updale at 172 kept it a three-point match.
“Wilson was a shock. He hasn’t wrestled well,” Scarpill said. “(Max) Bean had a surprise pin.”
The Bears’ scoring was started out with Sonny Mash accepting a forfeit at 113.
“Things are finally happening for us,” Scarpill said. “I’m very proud of the way the kids have stepped off.”
Two others of the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s four duals qualifiers found themselves going one-and-done Thursday. Perkiomen Valley was handled by Pennridge 52-18, and Owen J. Roberts fell to Council Rock South 51-14.
A recent spate of injuries undid the Vikings’ effort. Starters Grant Euker and Gavin Pascoe have been sidelined for the remainder of the season, and Carson Pascoe and Aidan Stratton are, in the estimation of head coach Dave Thomas, “expected to be back at some point.”
“We’ve had to bump kids around to keep from forfeiting matches,” Thomas said. “That’s tough physically and mentally.”
It will pose a challenge for PV (12-4) next week, when it hosts Spring-Ford with the PAC’s Liberty Division title up for grabs between the 4-0 teams.
“We work to instill in the kids the need to be physical,” Thomas said. “We’re getting them to win.”
Winning weights for the Vikes were Conner Kim, Kelly Kakos and Cole Euker. Kim had a second-period pin at 126, Kakos followed with a first-period drop at 145 and Euker scored a third-period fall at 215.
Roberts (6-10), like Boyertown, has been accustomed to making extended runs through district duals and qualifying for state duals. But the 15th seed was unable to deal with the second-seeded Hawks.
“We wanted to get a great couple matches,” head coach Steve DeRafelo said. “We’ve been in matches, battling and keeping them close. We’ve made a lot of progress on things we’ve been working on.”
Francis McCoy led OJR’s effort with a first-period pin at 215, getting the slap on Jonah Skolnick 10 seconds before the buzzer. Matthew Englehardt added a technical fall at 132 before Mason Karkoska posted a decision of Gavin Cole at 138.
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