Tigers complete comeback


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NOKESVILLE — When they first faced each other, Manassas Park was a decidedly different team, at least according to the score. In their first meeting of the season, the Cougars were handled by Brentsville 63-14.

But something changed between then and now. Maybe some of it was Wednesday night’s draw, which played to the Cougars’ strengths. Maybe some of it was sickness on Brentsville’s team.

Whatever the reason, Manassas Park looked far different than the first score would indicate. The Cougars won five of the first six matches, but couldn’t hold on to the lead when the strength of Brentsville’s lineup came around. Thanks to wins by 189-pounder Dan Easley and 215-pounder Stephen Yanchuk, the Tigers recorded a 29-25 win on Brentsville’s senior night.

Easley’s 2-0 win over Joel Velasquez in the second-to-last bout put Brentsville ahead for the first time all night. The Cougars were still in a position for a win and if the Yanchuk-Chavez tilt were 30 seconds longer, things might have been different.

Yanchuk scored :19 into the match with a takedown, and his 2-0 lead stood until the second. Yanchuk added to the lead with a reversal early in the second, but Chavez continued to hang tough and didn’t allow another point.

With time winding down and Yanchuk in control, Chavez scored on a reversal of his own to make it 4-2. But time ran out before Chavez could do any more damage, and the Tigers’ win was secure.

“We’ve had some kids that are sick, and we moved some kids around. But when you’re No. 1 in the state, anything they do against you is a moral victory,” said Brentsville coach Mark Smaltz. “In their mind, it’s a moral victory, and they’ve got nothing to look down on. Their kids were ready.”

From the beginning, Manassas Park was ready. The Cougars scored a win in the opener at heavyweight on Jeremy Smith’s overtime decision. Lam Le followed with a major decision at 103, and Bryan Prewitt earned a 6-4 win at 112.

That set the stage for some of the Cougars’ other big names: Freshman Todd Smoot needed just :26 to pin Corey Rudder. A match later, after Nick Gehlsen got Brentsville’s first points with a decision, Daniel Wadel recorded a quick pin too. Wadel got the slap of the mat 1:19 into his match with the Tigers’ George Brimmer.

Tiger standout Ben Truschel got his team rolling with a pin at 135. With a 4-3 lead on Walter Lurchenfeld heading into the third, Truschel got into position and pinned Lurchenfeld with 1:31 remaining.

From there, Brentsville reeled off four straight victories and won six of the final seven matches. Jimmy Donovan’s win at 152 was perhaps the biggest — he scored a tech fall over Wes Howell, which cut Manassas Park’s lead to two at 22-20.

“The kids did a superb job tonight. Nobody gave us a chance,” said Cougars coach Richard FitzSimmons. “The kids, they’re starting to believe, and it showed.”


Hwt — Jeremy Smith (MP) dec. Jon Jackson 5-3, OT

103 — Lam Le (MP) maj. dec. Bryan Martin 15-5

112 — Bryan Prewitt (MP) dec. Josh Hastings 6-4

119 — Todd Smoot (MP) pin Corey Rudder in :26

125 — Nick Gehlsen (B) dec. Billy DePugh 7-4

130 — Daniel Wadel (MP) pin George Brimmer in 1:19

135 — Ben Truschel (B) pin Walter Lurchenfeld in 4:29

140 –Luke Siler (B) dec. Chad Jenkins 5-0

145 — Stuart Crane (B) dec. Sergio Chavez 9-4

152 — Jimmy Donovan (B) tech fall Wes Howell in 5:31 (16-1)

160 — Jacob Orr (B) dec. Ron Ferrufino 9-2

171 — Charlie Rowe (MP) dec. Keoni Medici 2-1, OT rideout

189 — Dan Easley (B) dec. Joel Velasquez 2-0

215 — Stephen Yanchuk (B) dec. Miguel Chavez 4-2

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