The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 2, 2014

Harold Raker's high school wrestling column: Down, but not out

Other than the National Football League, which has had a few remarkable comebacks in its day, most sports do not give a team a chance at rallying for the win when trailing 36-0 three-fourths of the way through a game.

In Saturday's District 4 Class AA Duals Tournament semifinal, No. 1 seed Towanda was exacting what appeared to be a slow, excruciating death on No. 5 Warrior Run.

With 10 of the 14 bouts completed, the Black Knights led 36-0.

But it was the way the Knights were winning that gave hope to Warrior Run and its fans.

Towanda managed just three falls in building that lead, and had won some matches that easily could have gone the other way.

"They weren't getting the bonus points, and the matches they were winning, we were in those. To their credit they won, and to our unfortunate situation, we ended up a little bit short in those matches," Warrior Run coach Wayne Smythe said.

The first bit of misfortune for the Defenders came in the fourth bout of the meet, at 160 pounds, with Warrior Run trailing 9-0.

The Defenders' Elias George was ahead of Dayton Wickwire 4-1 in the third period. George cut him free to make it 4-2, and Wickwire then hit a cement job for a fall in 4 minutes, 56 seconds.

Instead of it being no worse than 9-3, it became 15-0.

At 182, Defender Jon LeBarron lost 3-2 in an ultimate tiebreaker to make it 21-0.

And, at 220, Towanda's Jeremy Sheets eked out a 1-0 win over Hunter Bohannon on a second-period escape.

The Defenders roared back in those final four bouts to put up 25 points to none for the Black Knights, falling short of berth in the championship and a guaranteed berth in this week's state tournament in Hershey.

Their final shot at heading to Chocolate Town ended in a tough loss, 31-25 to eventual state qualifier Wyalusing.

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