Connect with us


Becahi edges Malvern Prep in tense, bonus-less battle of titans

BETHLEHEM >> With no more than bragging rights at stake, a raucous crowd and two proud programs found little success containing their emotions in the dark, moody edges of the Bethlehem Catholic gym.

In the middle of the mat, under the spotlight, an exhibition of competition was on full display as two of the top collections of talent in the country battled a full 78-plus minutes.

Not one bonus point was scored, and just one bout decided in overtime, but in the end, Malvern Prep was a win short, falling to Bethlehem Catholic, 21-18.

Malvern Prep’s Tyler Conroy. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)

“I’m so-so about it,” Malvern coach Nate Lautar said. “We are a very good team and we were down a starter, but unfortunately we didn’t do enough and didn’t get the bonus where we needed to.”

Entering the non-league dual, Malvern was ranked No. 5, according to MatScouts, while Becahi was No. 16. The amount of talent that walked out onto the mat was matched only by the tension in the building.

“It was fun,” Lautar said of the atmosphere. “We don’t see anything like this in our league.”

The contest started at 107 pounds, and the Friars started things off playing slow-down.

Malvern freshman Tyler Conroy was stingy enough to limit Becahi’s Keanu Dillard, who’s ranked No. 1 in the country, to a 9-3 decision.

The Golden Hawks got another decision from returning state champion, Nate Desmond (114 pounds), who was held to a 3-1 decision against Lukas Littleton Mascaro.

Malvern Prep’s Tommy Link tries to get Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryder Campbell to his back in a 4-1 win at 121 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)

Becahi got some payback the next two matches, as Ryder Campbell (121) kept Tommy Link to a 4-1 decision and Shane McFillin (127) looked like Tim Tebow, wrestling from his knee most of the match to thwart the attack of Malvern’s Nik O’Neill. Link and O’Neill had pinned the same opponents at the Escape the Rock tournament a couple weeks ago.

“If we get bonus there, it’s huge,” Lautar said. “If we get one pin there, we probably win, but (Becahi) did a great of keeping the matches close and we can’t leave it in the ref’s hands.”

Tied at nine, Malvern’s Jack Consiglio (133) shook off an early takedown to defeat Cael McIntyre, 8-2, but Becahi’s Kollin Rath was a 5-2 winner over Spencer Barnhart to re-tie it.

Malvern Prep’s Spencer Barnhart shrugs after a 5-2 loss to Bethlehem Catholic’s Kollin Rath. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)

That was the start of a brutal stretch for the Friars, who didn’t score a takedown in five straight bouts.

“It was fun, but it didn’t go our way,” Barnhart said. “There were some questionable calls, but we can’t complain because we didn’t win the matches we should have.”

At 145, Becahi’s Charlie Scanlon beat SP O’Donnell, 4-1, to give the Hawks a lead they’d never surrender.

Jake Dailey (152) avenged a loss at Escape the Rock to Malvern’s Nathan Rickards, with a 3-1 win. Becahi’s Andrew Harmon (160) followed it up by scoring a takedown with two seconds left to topple Reed Fullmer, who won their first two matchups this season.

Becahi’s Jake Dailey. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)

“We’re talking about top-tier kids,” Lautar said. “It’s hard to beat guys three times at a high level. They were tough matches and this environment kind of sucks it out of you.”

With Duncan Christensen out for the Friars, freshman Brian Chamberlain (172) filled in, but couldn’t manage a takedown and dropped a 1-0 decision to Luke Thomas. 

Down 21-9, Malvern desperately needed bonus, but Nick Wehmeyer (189) could only muster a 8-2 win over undersized Landon Muth, Stosh Zalota (215) couldn’t duplicate his major decision against Augustus Warke from two weeks ago, winning just 2-0, and Phillip Tabasso (285) needed a takedown in sudden victory to defeat Elijah Thompson.

Malvern Prep’s Nick Wehmeyer gestures at Bethlehem Catholic’s Landom Muth after beating him, 8-2, at 189 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)

Had Tabasso pinned at 285, Becahi would’ve won on the criteria of matches won, 7-6. 

Both sides exchanged taunts and hand gestures and heightened moments, but nothing ever escalated past that. In the end, both teams got what they came for.

“It definitely does focus us heading into the postseason,” Barnhart said. “We know what we’re about as a team and we all competed hard. We have good kids, they have good kids, so it was a good match, all-in-all.”

Malvern Prep’s Jack Consiglio. (Nate Heckenberger – For MediaNews Group)

Bethlehem Catholic 21, Malvern Prep 18

107- Dillard (BC) dec. Conroy, 9-3 (3-0)

114- Desmond (BC) dec. Littleton Mascaro, 3-1 (6-0)

121- Link (MP) dec. R. Campbell, 4-1 (6-3)

127- O’Neill (MP) dec. S. McFillin, 7-0 (6-6)

133- Consiglio (MP) dec. McIntyre, 8-2 (6-9)

139- Rath (BC) dec. Barnhart, 5-2 (9-9)

145- Scanlan (BC) dec. O’Donnell, 5-1 (12-9)

152- Dailey (BC) dec. Rickards, 3-1 (15-9)

160- Harmon (BC) dec. Fullmer, 3-1 (18-9)

172- Thomas (BC) dec. B. Chamberlain, 1-0 (21-9)

189- Wehmeyer (MP) dec. Muth, 8-2 (21-12)

215- Zalota (MP) dec. Worke, 2-0 (21-15)

285- Tabasso (MP) dec. Thompson, 3-1 SV (21-18)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Recent News


More in Wrestling