LEHMAN TWP. — When 195 pounds was drawn as the starting weight class for Monday night’s match at rival Lake-Lehman, the mission became simple for the Dallas wrestling team.
The Mountaineers needed to keep the match close enough to give their top wrestlers a chance to determine the outcome late.
Dallas even gave itself a margin for error before sweeping the last five bouts for a 35-24 win over a team that had two days earlier captured a district championship.
“It’s a local rivalry,” Dallas coach Mike Richards said, “so it’s always nice to beat your back-yard neighbor.”
The Mountaineers made the most of having their three most successful wrestlers in the last four bouts, including being able to save their best for last.
“I knew we were pretty strong through the middle and their 132-pounder, (R.J.) Driscoll, was out of the lineup,” Richards said. “He’s pretty good, so that was obviously a factor.”
Needing only to avoid a fall, Cole Dixon instead put the team win away by pinning Kris Rosencrans in 1:30 in the final bout at 182 pounds.
“He’s been rock-solid for us,” Richards said. “He’s our go-to guy; a guy we can count on any match.
“If it comes to the last one and you have to count on somebody, he’s the guy you want to be counting on.”
Dixon is 33-1 on the season with just a one-point loss in December.
After two early takedowns, he turned the third into a cradle for the decisive pin.
“On the third one, when I snapped him down, I went for it and turned him,” Dixon said.
Instead of having to put pressure on Dixon for a pin, the Mountaineers sent him out with a lead to protect.
Dallas, a Class AAA team with a 12-10 record, was too much for the Class AA district champions even after falling behind 18-0 in the first five weight classes.
Freshman Steven Newell and Xavier Barber, the other 30-win Dallas wrestlers, were part of the closing flurry.
The Black Knights led 24-12 after Bob Lipski’s 43-second pin at 138.
A forfeit cut the deficit in half before Newell’s 17-1 technical fall of Jake Tomolonis in 5:53 at 152 pounds.
Barber used an ankle pick with 21 seconds left to clinch a 9-5 win over Tommy Williams at 171.
In between, Moustafa Almeky gave Dallas one of the two toss-up wins that helped create the surprising victory margin.
Almeky took the lead in the last 25 seconds to beat Chris Hadsall at 160 pounds.
Anthony Deluca had won, 7-4, at 126 over Garrett Kolb.
“Both 126 and 160 were big for us,” Richards said. “And, some of our guys who lost, did well. Our ’95 pounder and our heavyweight lost by decisions and avoided pins.
“Those can be just as important in a team winning.”
Charles Harry did all the scoring in the second period of a 3-0 win over Erik Lannfelt at 195 and Kaleb Konigus used a second-period escape for a 1-0 win over Danny Burkhart at 285.
Alec Sampson (132) also had a technical fall and Kade Kravits (120) provided a major decision for Dallas.
Mike Slivinski joined Lipski in providing first-period pins for Lake-Lehman.
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