Dragons drop thrilling home-opener to Meadville, 35-27
The Warren Dragons gave a packed Joseph A. Massa Gymnasium their money’s worth in their home opener on Tuesday against Meadville.
Down 32-12 to Meadville, the Dragons cut the margin to 32-27 before the Bulldogs closed it out in the final match of the night.
“We won some I didn’t think we’d win and we lost a couple I thought we would win,” said Warren coach Dean Johnson. “We’re young, we’re starting four freshmen. I’ll tell you what though, they can wrestle. If they keep improving, good things will happen.”
One of those freshman, Donovan Fiscus, was key to the Dragons’ comeback bid.
In the 132-pound bout, he trailed 5-1 early in the third period before completing a dramatic 8-5 comeback win in the final 1:45.
“For him to come back like that, he’s got a really good headlock and he’s been down in a couple matches,” noted Johnson. “I told him to follow the plan, and where his guy down in the third period and we’re going to hit him.”
That came after dominant performances by Avery Smith at 120 and Alex Anderson at 126, each earning first period pins.
Meadville actually won the first four matches, with Owen Balas losing a highly competitive bout to Nick Rinella of Meadville and Jamo Douvlos and Liam Stevenson meeting similar results.
“Liam’s match we lost by two points” noted Johnson. “It was a good match.
Dominic Caprino and Thomas Lucks also had impressive performances for the Dragons at 182 and 220 respectively.
Caprino earned a second period pin over Ian Burns and Lucks a first period takedown of Jamie Cleveager. Trailing 32-27, the final match of the night saw another Warren freshman, Joe Letko, doing battle against Meadville’s Isaac Chapman.
The duo battled for three periods, with Chapman ultimately earning a 6-4 decision.
“Joe Letko came that close to getting his guy at the end,” Johnson said. “We just have a great bunch of guys. We’re going to get back to the grindstone and keep working.”
Meadville also won the junior high match, 41-15
The Dragons return to action on Thursday at Cathedral Prep.
– – –
MEADVILLE 35, WARREN 27
145 – Trent Tidball (M) tech fall Kyle Swick, 4:00
152 – Nick Rinella (M) dec. Owen Balas, 9-4
160 – Austin Chess (M) dec. Jamo Douvlos, 8-3
170 – Maxwell Brown (M) dec. Liam Stevenson, 2-0
182 – Dominic Caprino (W) pinned Ian Burns, 2:55
195 -Thomas Pollard (M) pinned Joey Arnold, 2:11
220 – Thomas Lucks (W) pinned Jamie Cleveager ,:57
106 – No Match
113 – Vincent Rinella (M) pinned Ryan Madigan, 3:22
120 – Avery Smith (W) pinned Joe Chapman, :30
126 – Alex Anderson (W) pinned Dakota Bish, 1:03
132 – Donovan Fiscus (W) dec. Layne Reecher, 8-5
138 – Isaac Chapman (M) dec. Joe Letko, 6-4