Three straight losses at 132, 138 and 145 doomed the Eagles
Bermudian Springs head coach Dave McCollum didn't care what the scoreboard read Saturday afternoon.
It showed the Eagles had just lost a dual meet to Boiling Springs, 34-30, but that didn't stop McCollum from considering the meet a victory.
"To me, that was a win," McCollum said. "We wrestled a great match. We win one more (individual match) match and we would have won the dual meet."
Against the top-ranked team in District 3 Class AA, the Eagles led by two points with four matches to go but couldn't overcome three straight losses at 132, 138 and 145. A.J. Kostyak's 12-6 decision against Bermudian's Darren Beal at 145 clinched the win for the Bubblers with one match the go.
But the bout that really hurt Bermudian Springs was 138 pounds. Senior Jarod Miller was tied with Cameron Palmer in the third period before giving up two late takedowns to fall, 10-7.
"The only one we really thought we could win that we lost was 138," McCollum said. "Miller can wrestle better than that. We talked about how he needed to change his attack in the last 50 seconds, but I just don't have an answer for it."
Only 10 matches were actually wrestled Saturday, with both teams forfeiting twice. The Eagles won five of those, but picked up just one pin and one major decision while giving up two pins and a major.
McCollum said three wrestlers who stood were Noah Fleshman at 170, Isaiah Fannin at 195 and Austin Clabaugh at 126. Fleshman and Fannin helped Bermudian Springs keep pace early in the match, while Clabaugh gave the Eagles their two-point lead with four matches to go by beating Jalin Hankerson, 7-4.
After the match started with the Eagles forfeiting at 160, Fleshman used a dominant third period against Travis Wickard to pick up an 8-2 decision. The Bubblers answered with a pin from Austin Taylor, but Fannin followed with a hard-fought 6-4 win against Rickie Ott, one of Boiling Spring's top wrestlers.
"Isaiah has really improved tremendously over the course of the season," McCollum said. "This is his first year as a true starter, and he's come a long way. That win kept us in it and kind of made up for the forfeit at 160."
The Eagles trailed by just one point following a pin by Logan Luckenbaugh at 220, when three straight forfeits (two by Boiling Springs, one by Bermudian) suddenly gave the Eagles a 23-18 lead.
Although McCollum said he thought the Eagles were in a good position to win at that point, he expressed little disappointment with how the meet turned out. The Eagles were set to wrestle again Saturday night, at home against Big Spring.
"I was really confident in our kids at that point," McCollum said. "We had experienced wrestlers on the mat at that point. But they had ranked kids wrestling there too, so we wrestled a good team. I hope we have the opportunity to wrestle them again."
Boiling Springs 34, Bermudian Springs 30
At Boiling Springs
160 — Kaiden Karper, BoS, won by forfeit. 170 — Noah Fleshman, BeS, dec. Travis Wickard, 8-2. 182 — Austin Taylor, BoS, pinned Nate McCollum, :35. 195 — Isaiah Fannin, BeS, dec. Rickie Ott, 6-4. 220 — Logan Luckenbaugh, BeS, pinned Damon Jones, :43 (lost team point for unsportsmanlike conduct). 285— Brady Linebaugh, BeS, won by forfeit. 106 — Landon West, BeS, won by forfeit. 113 — Josiah Haulman, BoS, won by forfeit. 120 — Kollin Myers, BoS, pinned Dylan Griffie, 3:21. 126 — Austin Clabaugh, BeS, dec. Jalin Hankerson, 7-4. 132 — Tristan Hanshaw, BoS, maj. dec. Brady Sanders, 12-3. 138 — Cameron Palmer, BoS, dec. Jarod Miller, 10-7. 145 — A.J. Kostyak, BoS, dec. Darren Beall, 12-6. 152 — Ashton West, BeS, maj. dec. Nick Kostyak, 16-7.