Bears are golden vs. Potters, 45-30

EAST LIVERPOOL – Three matches turned the tide.

The Oak Glen wrestling team picked up a pair of thrilling victories to comeback to defeat East Liverpool, 45-30, Thursday night at Potter Fieldhouse.

“I’m happy with the win,” Oak Glen head coach Patrick McGillian said. “We had multiple reserves in our lineup tonight, and everyone wrestled with intensity. They all wrestled a full match, and it paid off for us.”

Each team was unable to fill all 14 weight classes, and both teams ended up gaining two victories via forfeit.

“We had two forfeit two weight classes, and it is real tough to win a match when you are spotting a team points.”

All told, the Golden Bears won nine weight classes. The Potters were victorious in five.

Oak Glen won four matches by pinfall, and three matches by decision to go along with its two forfeit victories. East Liverpool won three matches by pinfall to go along with its two forfeit victories.

For the Golden Bears, Kyle Mack (126 pounds), Devan Chadwick (160), Brodie Bittinger (170) and Barry Strum (220) all won matches by pinfall.

“Bonus points made the difference tonight,” McGillian said. “We were able to get some pins. We were able to get it done. Hopefully, we can carry this momentum into Saturday.”

Also, Ryan DeBee (113), Josh Cornell (120) and Patrick Arneault (145) all tallied victories by decision.

For the Potters, Alex Potts (106), Frankie Williams (132) and Jimmy Lisk (182) all won via pinfall.

The first turning point of the match came at 120 pounds where DeBee hooked up with Joel Cunningham. Cunningham seemed to be in control, but DeBee fought back to earn a 5-2 victory.

The second turning point in the match came at 120 pounds where Cornell faced off against Cody Oiler.

Oiler was in control of things for most of the match. The sophomore was out in front by a score of 8-3 with only seconds remaining in the match.

Cornell was done, but he proved to be far from out of it. Cornell recorded a reversal for two points, and then he scored three back points to tie the match at 8 to send the match into overtime.

In overtime, Cornell continued his momentum, and he picked up two points to win the match, 10-8.

“The match Cornell won was just crazy,” McGillian said. “That was the most-exciting match I have seen in my short time involved with wrestling.

“I am very proud of Josh. He wrestled the whole match.”

The third turning point of the match came at 145 where Arneault squared off against Kris Bailey. Bailey was ahead, but Arneault was able to battle back and win the match, 8-5.

“There were a few exciting matches that we were on the wrong end of,” Hager said. “If we had won those matches, and it would have been a different story.”

In the matches decided via pinfall won by the Golden Bears, Mack pinned Julius Davis in 37 seconds, Chadwick pinned Tyler Croskey in 1:50, Bittinger pinned Chad Reed in 1:44 and Strum pinned Cole Hamilton in 40 seconds.

“We had to bump some kids around, and they were able to get some big wins,” McGillian said. “They did everything we asked.”

Finally for Oak Glen, Tanner Crosby (138) and Will Hogan (152) won via forfeit.

In the matched won by pinfall won by the Potters, Potts pinned Shane Logston in 2:53, Williams pinned Avery Flowers in 5:45 and Lisk by pinned Noah Flowers in 47 seconds.

Williams was down in his match against Avery Flowers, but the senior standout battled back by taking down Avery Flowers. Then when the match was restarted with 21.4 seconds showing on the clock, Williams continued his momentum as he took down his opponent before getting the pin.

By rallying to win the match, Williams showed why he was won more than 100 matches in his high school career.

“We did have one of those matches go our way,” Hager said. “Frankie Williams was able to come back and get a pin. He was behind, and he was able to score the pin.”

Finally for East Liverpool, John Miscuk (195) and Nick Cotter (285) both won their matches by forfeit.

“The kids wrestled hard,” Hager said. “This is just another step as we prepare for the postseason. We have a tri-match next week. It will be on Senior Night. Then, we will have a tri-match next Saturday. From there, we will go into the postseason.”

Oak Glen will wrestle Saturday at the Panther Classic down at Buckeye Local High School.

“I know they have a lot of teams there,” McGillian said. “There are teams from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. There will be a lot of good competition. It will help us prepare for regionals.”

East Liverpool will wrestle Wednesday at home against Wellsville and Crestview.