Wood’s win at 220 helps Montoursville win.

By: Mitch Rupert | Williamsport Sun-Gazette | January 10, 2018


TURBOTVILLE — Settling into the bottom position, waiting for the start of the second period, Montoursville's Cameron Wood could hear coach Jamie Yonkin telling him from the bench he was fine.

Wood was trailing by a point in a pivotal 220-pound bout against Warrior Run's Wyatt Fisher on Tuesday night, and he felt like he was fine. But the reassurance from Yonkin helped him settle into the bout. The sophomore didn't wrestle his best last night, but it was good enough to pick up a crucial decision victory to help the Warriors beat the Defenders, 47-29, in a fun high school dual.

The 11 weight classes which preceded Wood's win over Fisher were a back-and-forth chess match for Yonkin and Warrior Run coach Jeremy Betz. But when it got to the upper weights, there was no more juggling of the lineups. Instead, Wood and Fisher matched up at the weight they weighed in at and put together a thrilling bout which gave Montoursville a 35-29 lead with two bouts to go.

"I figured it was going to be a tight match. I knew he was going to be strong," said the 15th-ranked Wood of Fisher, a returning district qualifier. "I kind of just thought I had to wear him down a little bit and not get too panicked early. I knew he would be strong coming out like a bull. I never could really get to my offense, so I kind of had to just grind it out."

That's the difference between this year's Cameron Wood and last year's Cameron Wood. A whirling dervish of a scramble in the first period left Wood facing a 2-1 deficit after the first period. But there was never a moment of panic

He scored points as opportunities were presented to him and made up for mistakes he made by countering a Fisher shot in the third period for a decisive takedown. It was by no means the cleanest match he's wrestled this season, but it was a win nonetheless for a wrestler who is already just five wins behind last year's season total.

"I was good. He got ahead early, but I was confident the whole way through," Wood said. "It helped hearing coach say I was fine. It kind of calms you down."

"Last year, if he would have went out there and wrestled bad like that, he would have lost," Yonkin said. "Now he's able to go out there and not have his best match and still come out on top."

And coming out on top in toss-up bouts is exactly what led the Warriors to their 10th win of the season. At each crucial junction of the match, especially after Warrior Run built and 18-5 lead after four weight classes, Montoursville won the momentous bouts.

First it was freshman Cael Crebs scoring a late four-point move in a two-point bout to win 8-2 at 138 pounds against district qualifier Dylan Kolenda. This was the second time in the last week Crebs recorded a tight decision early in the dual to help start a Warriors rally. Last week, he gutted out a 1-0 win over Mifflinburg's Clayton Reed to help Montoursville begin a run which led to a win over the Wildcats.

"Cael showed a lot of heart," Yonkin said. "He put himself in a little bit of a bad position, and obviously it gets a little hairy in those situations, especially when you have a senior against a freshman. But Cael did a good job and came back and finished on top."

Then it was Charlie Steinbacher and Gable Crebs each moving up a weight class to get back-to-back falls at 160 and 170 pounds. Those two wins gave Montoursville its first lead, 26-24.

Yonkin and assistant coach Matt Yonkin questioned whether or not to move those two wrestlers up a weight class because that's an area where the weight jump gets a little bigger. But both Crebs and Steinbacher were dominant in their performances. Steinbacher was leading when he scored his fall in 3 minutes, 18 seconds. Crebs was already up 5-0 when he sunk in a strong half-nelson for a fall in 2:21.

It was moves like that with the lineup which helped Montoursville counter the early moves made by Warrior Run to get its lead. With the Warriors forfeiting at 113 pounds, Warrior Run sent out its backup 106-pounder to take that forfeit, bumped state qualifier Noah Hunt to 120 to face state third-place finisher Wyatt Lutz, and cascaded its middle weights to try and get the most advantageous matchups it could.

But Yonkin countered those moves by bumping Crebs away from state eighth-place finisher Jeremy Hanford at 132 and setting him up for his big win over Kolenda at 138. The same domino effect which followed Warrior Run after its juggling at 113 and 120, followed Montoursville after Crebs' win.

That allowed Yonkin and Montoursville to regain some of the control of the matchups which happened after Crebs' win at 138, including moving Steinbacher and Gable Crebs.

"One of the things Dan Wright taught me is you can't just go in there and plan what's best for your team. You have to plan what's best for their team so then you know how to react to that," Yonkin said. "Looking at this match, to me it was pretty obvious what they needed to do to take their best crack. This match pretty much played out like I thought it was going to."

"I don't usually like to move the lineup around. But when you try to win a dual meet, I understand you have to," Betz said. "It really put us in a situation where they would really dictate the matchups that were going to happen. We got to bump up a little bit early there, but they got to counter by having a couple extra guys to avoid some of the matchup we probably would have preferred."