The Eastern York High Golden Knights know, if they can keep their wrestling matches close in the lower weights, they have a good chance of winning.
That's what happened Monday night against the Littlestown Thunderbolts as both teams opened their YAIAA Division II schedule.
The Knights scored 21 points over the final four matches to come away with a 42-24 win over the Thunderbolts on the Littlestown mats.
"This was a good match for us top to bottom," Eastern coach Dan Garner said. "Our heavyweights are our strength. They work hard in the practice room against each other. They push each other and it showed tonight. Our regular heavyweight didn't wrestle tonight because he hurt his ankle in gym class, but Kalil Grimes stepped in and did a nice job tonight. We just got a lot of good efforts throughout the lineup."
The match started at 113 pounds, but neither team had a wrestler for that weight.
That pushed the opening match to 120, where the Knights got a quick start when Baren Leischner eventually wore down Littlestown's Brandon Mullican to pin the 10th-grader 5:22 into the match.
Littlestown, however, had an answer at 126, where Austin Green needed only 47 seconds to put Eastern's Mason McLaskey on his back to tie things up at 6-6.
Jordan Matthews was only able to give the Bolts three points, even though he dominated Dalton Lauer at 132 pounds. Three takedowns and an escape gave Matthews a 7-0 decision and handed the Bolts a 9-6 lead.
Ian McClure gave the Bolts their biggest lead of the night when he pinned Damian McKinsley in 1:08 to boast the Littlestown to 15-6 after the 138-pound bout.
The Knights showed they also have some pinning power when Mike Dumczyk and Chance Hawkins scored back-to-back falls at 145 and 152 pounds to take the lead from the Bolts at 18-15.
Dustin Bowersox got the Bolts back on track with a 6-2 win at 160. Two takedowns and a reversal gave him enough points while he limited Eastern's Lucas Barshinger to a third-period escape.
In perhaps the best match of the night, Littlestown's Austin Sanders and Eastern's Abram Sowers battled right to the end, with Sowers pulling out a 10-8 win at 170.
Sowers, who weighed only 153 pounds, was bothered almost the entire match by a bleeding nose. He had only 17 seconds remaining on his blood time at the end of the match. The difference for Sowers was a 4-0 advantage in the second period.
Josh Vaughn gave the Bolts their final lead when pinned Bryce McKinsley in 36 seconds to give Littlestown a 24-21 going into the heavyweights.
Sports fans remember Alex Cooley from the football season and it turns out he is also a pretty good wrestler. He needed only 18 seconds to put Jacob Fuller on his back to give Eastern the lead for good.
Camden Stoops likewise gave the Knights six points, but he didn't have to wrestle as he got a forfeit at 220.
The Knights closed the win with a 5-4 decision at 285 pounds from Grimes before 106-pounder Jonny Vidal got a forfeit win.
"They have a bunch of tough kids in their upperweights," Littlestown coach Kerry Ferguson said. "We had a couple of kids in Jordan Matthews and Ian McClure who made big improvements since last year. We have a few guys who need to get in better shape. I know why they aren't in shape, so we have to work on that."
EASTERN YORK 42, LITTLESTOWN 24
113 - No bout; 120 - Baren Leischner, EY, pinned Brandon Mullican, 5:22; 126 - Austin Green, Lt, pinned Mason McLasky, 0:37; 132 - Jordan Matthews, Lt, dec. Dalton Lauer, 7-0; 138 - Ian McClure, Lt, pinned Damian McKinsley, 1:08; 145 - Michael Dumczyk, EY, pinned Adam Smith, 3:15; 152 - Chance Hawkins, EY, pinned Cole Warner, 0:17; 160 - Dustin Bowersox, Lt, dec. Lucas Barshinger, 6-2; 170 - Abram Sowers, EY, dec. Austin Sanders, 10-8; 182 - Josh Vaughn, Lt, pinned Bryce McKinsley, 0:36; 195 - Alex Cooley, EY, pinned Jacob Fuller, 1:18; 220 - Camden Stoops, EY, won by forfeit; 285 - Kalil Grimes, EY, dec. Zachary MacCleod, 5-4; 106 - Johnny Vidal, EY, won by forfeit.