Normally, a 14-point victory over an arch rival would bring a sense of relief and lot of smiles.
But for Trinity head coach Mark Powell and his staff, the 42-28 victory over Waynesburg Wednesday in a Section 4-A dual meet in Class AAA was more ulcer-producing than satisfying.
On the other side of the mat, Waynesburg head coach Joe Throckmorton was encouraged to the point of smiling. And Throckmorton likes losing about as much as he likes chewing on a rusty nail.
What’s going on here in what appears to be a version of Reverse World?
Well, in the eight bouts that were competed, Waynesburg won four and Trinity won four. The difference in this dual meet were the six forfeits, four of which went Trinity’s way, producing the bulk of its margin of victory.
“The score showed we won,” said Powell, “but in the matches that were contested, they outwrestled us. Not all, but some.”
But the victory did set up a showdown Wednesday for first place in the section between Trinity and another arch rival, Canon-McMillan, which has won five of the last six state team tournament titles in the last three years.
Oh, and the Big Macs moved to 10-0 following a 62-12 over Chartiers Valley last night.
Waynesburg’s generous nature with the forfeits was not voluntary. The Raiders are going through one of their most injury-riddled seasons Throckmorton can remember.
Out for this match were Terry Victor, Shane Piper and Bo Hampson, three middleweights who combined for 58 bout wins last season. Victor suffered a knee injury over the weekend, Hampson has missed much of the season with a shoulder problem and Piper is still rehabbing a fracture in his ankle
“I’m not sure when they will be back,” Throckmorton said, “or if they will be back.”
Fortunately for Trinity, the dual meet began at 106, where Mike Kolosky, then Tristan Buxton gave the Hillers a 9-0 lead. Kolosky pinned Ryan Braun in 5:15 and Buxton won a 7-1 decision over Cole Rush at 113. Those points would be critical for the Hillers.
“They have been so consistent,” said Powell. It was nice that we started where we did. They got the ball rolling for us.”
The lead didn’t last long. Logan Henderson won a 13-0 major decision and Powell decided to forfeit to A.C. Headlee to give the Raiders a 10-9 lead. Shaun Wilson’s 4-2 decision over Ryan Yocum made it 13-9.
But any momentum was lost when Waynesburg forfeits to Devin Kelly (138) and Zach Magdich (145). Trinity was up 21-13.
The closest Waynesburg would come after that was 30-22 after Ryan Keys pinned Ben Johnson in 1:32. As he has done before, Robert West iced the match for the Hillers when he pinned Brian Cargill in 1:18. The two teams traded forfeits and handshakes after that.
“It’s frustrating,” Throckmorton said, “but I see improvement. I see guys who haven’t won much before winning. We are improving, and as long as we’re doing that, that’s what I am here for.”