Flashes Pull Out Hard Fought Road Win at Pitt 16-15
PITTSBURGH - Each team won five matches, but a major decision by junior Ross Tice (165) made the difference as Kent State topped No. 17 Pittsburgh 16-15 Sunday at Fitzgerald Field House. The Golden Flashes also came out on the winning end of an 11-10 battle at 157 and a match that needed six extra sessions at 149.
"We're a much better team than we were four weeks ago," Head Coach Jim Andrassy said. "Today was very similar to Missouri, Iowa State and Virginia and I feel like we could easily be 6-1 right now instead of 3-4."
The meet started at 125, where junior Nic Bedelyon (125) found himself in a 4-1 hole in the first period. Bedelyon (10-1) scored the next six points with two escapes and a pair of takedowns to claim a 7-4 decision and give the Flashes an early 3-0 lead.
Pitt responded with back-to-back wins at 133 and 141 to take a 6-3 lead. In a battle of freshman, Shelton Mack scored three takedowns in a 6-2 victory over Tyler Small (133). Junior Chase Skonieczny (141) led nationally ranked Tyler Nauman 3-2 after two periods, but came up on the short end of a 5-4 decision.
The longest match of the day came at 149 as junior Marcel Clopton needed three sudden victory periods and three tiebreaker sessions to edge Dane Johnson 2-1. In the third tiebreaker, Clopton got to his feet and was deliberately pushed out-of-bounds resulting in a penalty point.
"Marcel did a great job of riding him in overtime," Andrassy said. "And that was the fourth time in the match he got pushed out like that and the ref finally called him on it."
The most action-packed match came at 157, as senior Matt Cathell edged Donnie Tasser 11-10. All four takedowns in the match belonged to Tasser, but Cathell scored a pair of three-point near falls and used 1:25 of riding time for the deciding 11th point.
"Matt really controlled him from the top and turned him a number of times," Andrassy said. "We thought he would get back points a couple other times, but we didn't get the call."
Tice (165) then surprised the Pitt crowd with a 10-1 major decision over senior Adam Counterman. Tice recorded three takedowns and had a two-point tilt in his dominant performance.
"Ross came out hard early and really kept the pressure on," Andrassy said. "It was one of those matches we thought ahead of time could go either way hand and his extra point ended up winning it for us."
Trailing 13-6, the Panthers clawed back with two straight wins at 174 and 184. Freshman Brandonn Johnson (174) trailed 4-0 early and his comeback bid came up short in a 6-5 loss to Ethan Headlee. Sophomore Casey Newburg (184) scored the opening takedown in a 12-7 loss to Max Thomusseit.
"Brandonn wrestled well against another ranked guy," Andrassy said. "He's getting better and he reminds me of Dustin (Kilgore) the way he goes hard for seven minutes and doesn't get tired. He's inches away from becoming a great wrestler."
Junior Dustin Kilgore claimed another victory over a Top 10 opponent, defeating No. 8 Zac Thomusseit 9-5. Kilgore started the third period with a reversal and scored a two-point near fall to seal the win.
Junior Brendan Barlow (285) then gave No. 2 Ryan Tomei all he could handle in a 6-5 loss. Tomei's second period escape in with one second remaining made the difference.
"Brendan had a beautiful takedown in the second period," Andrassy said. "I think we're a Top 15 team and we'll have a chance to prove that at the Scuffle."
The Golden Flashes take a 17-day break from competition, before heading to Greensboro, N.C. for the Southern Scuffle Dec. 29-30.
125: No. 9 Nic Bedelyon (K) dec. Anthony Zanetta (P), 7-4
133: Shelton Mack (P) dec. Tyler Small (K), 6-2
141: No. 8 Tyler Nauman (P) dec. Chase Sconieczny (K), 5-4
149: Macel Clopton (K) dec. Dane Johnson (P), 2-1 TB3
157: Matt Cathell (K) dec. Donnie Tasser (P), 11-10
165: Ross Tice (K) maj. dec. Adam Counterman (P), 10-1
174: Ethan Headlee (P) dec. Brandonn Johnson (K), 6-5
184: Max Thomusseit (P) dec. Casey Newburg (K), 12-7
197: No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (K) dec. No. 9 Zac Thomusseit (P), 9-5
HWT: No. 2 Ryan Tomei (P) dec. No. 13 Brendan Barlow (K), 6-5