Knights roll past Bobcats

Eisenhower’s Brandon Gourley fights for position against Seneca’s Ryan Woinelowicz during their 285-pound match at Eisenhower High School, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Gourley received the loudest ovation of the evening when he pinned Woinelowicz at the 4:37 mark.

Eisenhower showed why it’s one of the top wrestling teams in Region 3 with a dominating 62-15 win over visiting Seneca Wednesday.

In the seven matches contested, the Knights picked up wins in six. Four via pinfall, a technical fall and decision.

“This gets us back on track (after losing to Harbor Creek),” Eisenhower coach Kris Black said. “But it’s right back to work tomorrow.”

Eisenhower put up this type of performance despite missing two of its best wrestlers. Garrett and Spencer Head, who typically wrestle at 145 and 152 pounds, respectively, were out of the lineup dealing with a family emergency.

“It’s been an emotional week,” Black said. “But we still have to do the job and the guys did that tonight.”

Eisenhower’s Nate Holt checks the position of Seneca’s Anthony Popalardo’s shoulders during their 132-pound match at Eisenhower High School, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. Holt earned a 16-0 tech fall as the Knights defeated the Bobcats, 62-15.

Alex Barnett set the tone at 160. After building a big lead with multiple takedowns and a near fall, Barnett pinned Devin Phelps at 2:20. It was another big win for Barnett as he works his way back into the lineup after missing a month with injury.

“It’s important for ‘Barney’ to get that mat time and get back on track,” Black said.

Ethan Chambers decked Hudson Watkins in 2:35 at 170. Mickeal McCurdy picked up the Bobcats’ lone win, earning a 6-1 decision over Justin Hagberg at 182.

Following a pair of forfeits, Brandon Gourley earned a pair of nice pops from the home crowd at 285. Gourley and Ryan Woinelowicz spent most of the first period feeling each other out. Gourley got a late second period takedown to the delight of Knights fans in attendance. When he put Woinelowicz on his back for the pin at 4:37, the crowd erupted.

“Gourley’s a perfect example of a kid who works his tail off,” Black said. “He works hard every night and his teammates see that. This was good for his confidence.”

Jake Williams wasted little time dispatching Shawn McClelland, pinning the Bobcat in just 42 seconds at 120. Nate Holt earned a second period tech fall over Anthony Popalardo at 132.

Sam Holt looked to be well on his way to earning at least a major decision over Owen Jefferson at 138. Holt had Jefferson on his back for nearly the entire second period and took a 7-0 lead into the third. Holt chose the down position to start the third and Jefferson was able to lock him in a cradle to earn two nearfalls. Holt fought long enough to come away with a 7-6 decision.

The Knights now look to the weekend when they will compete in the North East tournament. They close out the region schedule next week. Eisenhower hosts Saegertown Monday before traveling to Iroquios Wednesday.

“It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks,” Black said.

– – –

Eisenhower 62, Seneca 15

152: Ryan Kearney (S) via forfeit

160: Alex Barnett (E) pin Devin Phelps, 2:20

170: Ethan Chambers (E) pin Hudson Watkins, 2:35

182: Mickeal McCurdy (S) dec. Justin Hagberg, 6-1

195: Matt Huling (E) via forfeit

220: Josef Bauer (E) via forfeit

285: Brandon Gourley (E) pin Ryan Woinelowicz, 4:37

106: Easton Hedman (E) via forfeit

113: Logan Jaquay (E) via forfeit

120: Jake Williams (E) pin Shawn McClelland, :42

126: Josh Bortz (E) via forfeit

132: Nate Holt (E) tech fall Anthony Popalardo, 16-0

138: Sam Holt (E) dec. Owen Jefferson, 7-6

145: Joshua Farmer (S) via forfeit