HIGHLAND PARK - In a close wrestling dual meet, it's usually the little things that add up to make the difference.
Chambersburg expected a close match against Wilson in a District 3 Class AAA first-round contest, and it was close ... even though the Bulldogs broke out to a 21-0 lead.
But Wilson put too many check marks on its side of the ledger and earned a 39-26 victory.
"We figured the match would go 7-7 (in wins) or 8-6, and it did," Chambersburg coach Matt Mentzer said. "They just out-bonus pointed us."
The Bulldogs (17-4), who later lost in a quarterfinal match to Cedar Cliff, 40-25, put a lot of positives on their side:
- They won the two closest bouts, a pair of 3-2 verdicts.
- They rolled up four pins to two for Chambersburg (9-4).
- They bumped one wrestler up a weight and he notched a victory.
- They did well to avoid or lessen bonus points in a handful of matches in which they weren't favored.
Wilson coach Ken Thomason said, "We were worried about the swing matches. But we moved (Bailey) Funk up from 182 and he won, and we got a big win at 145. We thought if we could go from 106 to 126 on fairly even terms, and not give up big points at 132 and 138, we'd be a good shape."
And they were.
Surely, Thomason could not have imagined holding a 21-0 lead after just four bouts.
But Funk edged Dalton Grace 3-2 thanks in large part to a single-leg takedown right after he was cautioned for stalling. That got the Bulldogs started, then two pins followed and Mentzer decided to give a forfeit at 106 and it was 21-0.
Seth Runshaw and Spencer Runshaw each moved up a weight and both grabbed wins - Seth with a 7-2 decision and Spencer with a fall in 44 seconds.
"The whole time I was thinking I had to get bonus points," Spencer Runshaw said. "It was a close match, so we needed all we could get. I wasn't worried about moving up; Coach had me up a couple of other times."
That got Chambersburg on a roll. Cole Grove followed with a major decision at 126, scoring a takedown in the last five seconds to take the score to 10-1 for a major decision.
Aaron Rump had his hands full with a taller Tyler Wilkes and led only 4-2 after two periods. But an escape and takedown in the third gave him a 7-2 decision.
Then Garrett Kyner scored a 9-0 major over Dawson Comoh, but it wasn't easy. He led only 5-0 with under 10 seconds left when he corralled a takedown and nearfall to eke out the bonus point.
And that made it a 21-20 match.
Thomason said, "We felt pretty good, even at 21-20, because we knew we had points coming."
The Bulldogs got a boost when Tanner Vogel pulled out a 3-2 win over Drake Brenize at 145. He escaped early in the third and never let Brenize get in for a decent takedown shot.
Mentzer said, "If we could have won those 3-2 matches, that's a 12-point swing. And then we would have needed some more bonus points from maybe Rump and Kyner. But the trouble is, the guys they were wrestling were not the kind of kids you just go after, because you could lose. You can't open up as much as you'd like."
Wilson then won the next three bouts, by decision and two pins, to clinch the verdict, making Drew Peck's pin at 182 meaningless team-wise.
"We wanted to make sure to be up by more than six for that one, because we know Peck's a pinner," Thomason said.
The Trojans are now off until the Section I Tournament on Feb. 20 in Mechanicsburg. That's a lot of time to think of the what ifs.
Mentzer said, "We're disappointed. In the end, you have to secure enough bonus points in these close matches, and you can't give them up. That's what you have to do to be an elite team."
Wilson 39, Chambersburg 26
195 — Bailey Funk (W) d Dalton Grace, 3-2. 220 — Hector Torres (W) p Saul Chacon, 1:36. 285 — Ike Schannauer (W) p Phillipe Lozius, 1:35. 106 — Brandon Connor (W) won by forfeit. 113 — Seth Runshaw (C) d Anthony Steinmeyer, 7-2. 120 — Spencer Runshaw (C) p Ryan Lesko, 0:44. 126 — Cole Grove (C) md Kolbe Eidle, 10-1. 132 — Aaron Rump (C) d Tyler Wilkes, 7-2. 138 — Garrett Kyner (C) md Dawson Comoh, 9-0. 145 — Tanner Vogel (W) d Drake Brenize, 3-2. 152 — Keaton Eidle (W) d Colin Runshaw, 4-1. 160 — Tommy O'Brien (W) p Matt Strunk, 1:33. 170 — Adam Brown (W) p Jesse Kaiser, 1:22. 182 — Drew Peck (C) p Matt Mayer, 3:59.