WEST CHESTER >> Down 17 points after six bouts, Downingtown West knew it needed to steal a win at either 172 or 189 pounds to have a shot at dethroning West Chester Henderson.
The Whippets claimed not just one, but both weights in dramatic fashion to flip a tight dual meet and reclaim the Ches-Mont National Division championship.
Caleb Pate (172 pounds) and Quinn Rock (189) pulled off the key wins to propel West to a 34-23 win over the Warriors, ending their streak of 24 consecutive National Division dual meet wins, dating back to 2018.
“I’ve never been happier,” Pate said. “It was insane. I couldn’t have even dreamed of this and didn’t think it could happen.”
Henderson (4-1 division, 16-5 overall), winner of the last four division titles, led 20-3 after six and was poised to put West (5-0, 11-4) in a very uncomfortable position.
Pate scored the first takedown against Jackson McMonagle, but gave up an escape and then a takedown at the buzzer and started the second period trailing, 3-2. On top, Pate found an arm bar and was able to work McMonagle to his back for a pin 58 ticks into the second.
“Those were huge spots that we had to win in order to win the match,” West coach Brad Breese said. “We knew with where it started we’d be in a hole, so we had to have those wins.”
Opposite of Pate, Rock gave up the first takedown but then scored an escape and a takedown to lead, 3-2, heading into the second. Rock got rode out in that period and then gave up a quick escape to Stephen Beatty. With 25 seconds left in the third, Rock worked a takedown to force sudden victory, where his third takedown of the bout pushed Rock’s record to 9-19 on the season.
“Quinn has been so close so many times this season and he finally got it done,” Breese said.
From there, it was advantage-West. Mason Hale (215) pinned to cut Henderson’s lead to two, and even though the Warriors’ Liam Keevill (285) got a 6-5 win over Troy Mack, West was favored in the final three bouts.
“We knew who they had coming up and that they were good at 107 and 114,” Henderson coach Rob Beighley said. “We had to score at some of those weights and we didn’t. That was the match.”
Brayden Sigle (107) and Chase Sigle (114) earned falls to clinch the dual for West with one bout to go.
“It feels good,” Breese said. “The biggest thing was, before (Beighley) got away we had one last chance to beat him.”
Prior to the contest, Beighley was recognized by Henderson Athletic Director, Ken McCormick, and Principle, Jason Sherlock, for his 10 years as head coach of the Warriors. Following the season, Beighley will be moving on.
“Losing stings in general, no matter what it is,” said Beighley, who has a record of 163-40 with four division championships at Henderson. “It’s competition. This sport, whether it’s wrestling or coaching, you always want to win and it always stings when you don’t. Nothing lasts forever.”
The Warriors won five of the first six bouts, picking up a bonus point from Alfie Overton (127) and Carmen Cortese (133), each. Cortese made his season debut at 133.
Angus Whittaker (139) made it three wins in a row to start for the Warriors, before Jordan Barry (145) stopped their run, briefly.
Henderson’s Xavier Hawkins outlasted Jacob Barry, 7-4, to make West an astounding 0-19 at 152 pounds this season.
Hayden Baldwin’s pin at 160 gave Henderson the 17-point lead with seven to go.
“Even when we got it to 20-9, we were still kinda in it and Quinn got the win and Mason pinned to make it 20-18,” Breese said. “We knew that wasn’t a big enough lead for them.”
Downingtown West 34, West Chester Henderson 23
127- A. Overton (WCH) maj. dec. Landrum, 10-0 (0-4)
133- Cortese (WCH) maj. dec. Bernhard, 11-3 (0-8)
139- Whittaker (WCH) dec. Bournazel, 9-3 (0-11)
145- Jo. Barry (DW) dec. Wildermuth, 7-4 (3-11)
152- Hawkins (WCH) dec. Ja. Barry, 7-4 (3-14)
160- Baldwin (WCH) pinned Von Heimburg, :24 (3-20)
172- Pate (DW) pinned McMonagle, 2:58 (9-20)
189- Rock (DW) dec. Beatty, 6-4 SV (12-20)
215- Hale (DW) pinned S. Ahmad, 1:25 (18-20)
285- Keevill (WCH) dec. Mack, 6-5 (18-23)
107- B. Sigle (DW) pinned Jackman, 2:27 (24-23)
114- C. Sigle (DW) pinned Falls, 1:11 (30-23)
121- Richmond (DW) maj. dec. J. Overton, 12-4 (34-23)
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