For Shippensburg to pull out a Mid Penn Colonial Division wrestling win over perennial power Boiling Springs, the Greyhounds needed their studs to come through, they needed a break or two and they needed something else.
That something else turned out to be a pair of victories by freshmen in their first home match.
Key wins at 182 by Colton Musser and at 106 by Jeffrey Russell enabled the Hounds to pull out a 33-30 victory on Thursday night. Nice way to start their careers.
To set the stage, Boiling Springs led 24-12 with six bouts to go before Musser notched a pin at 182 pounds to get Shippensburg started.
"I knew I needed to pin the guy - I think he was moved up a weight," Musser said. "I knew it was going to be a big match, and I was feeling the pressure a little more because of it."
The Hounds' big three of Cole Forrester (195), Collin Dolbin (220) and Cameron Tinner (285) then did their job. Forrester beat a tough customer in Austin Taylor, 5-3, Dolbin squeezed past Damon James 3-2 and Tinner notched a first-period pin to put Ship ahead 36-30.
However, the Bubblers were favored in the final two bouts. Last weekend at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff Tournament, Boiling Springs' Mason Herrera beat Ship's Jeffrey Russell 6-3 at 106.
But this time, Russell turned it around.
"At practice I worked on keeping to the outside and cutting the angles on my shots," Russell said, "and I needed to get off bottom."
Hounds coach Tony Yaniello said, "He got caught in two deep doubles last week, so we worked on that, too. Plus, that was his first varsity match."
Russell hit a single for a first-period takedown, but was trailing 5-4 when he finished another single with two seconds left in the second period for a 6-5 lead. In the third, Herrera let Russell up after 58 seconds when he couldn't turn him, but he never got close to taking Russell down.
"I figured he'd let me go since I had the lead," Russell said. "I just kept him tied up after that - he was out of breath and I knew I could hold him."
Yaniello said, "Russell is a three-time state placewinner in youth, so we think he'll have a nice career for us. We brought Musser up so he could work with Cole, Collin and Cam, and I think that'll really help him."
"Oh, yeah, working with those guys helps me a lot," Musser said.
It certainly helped Thursday.
NOTES: In the marquee match of the night, at 132, Ship's Chandler Olson (4th in PIAA in Class AAA last year) and Boiling Springs' Kollin Myers (2nd in AA) put on a good show. Olson came out on top 7-3 - a pair of outrageous counter takedowns after Myers got in deep on a shot made the difference.
Philip Torres also had a big win for the Hounds, 5-3 over Zach Martin. Torres slipped in a cradle from neutral near the edge of the mat in the first period for five points and held on, 5-0.