BUCKTOWN - Perkiomen Valley's wrestling match at Owen J. Roberts Wednesday night may not have come down to the final bout, but it was still just about as close as could be.
Both sides took seven bouts during the course of the night, but it was Perk Valley's three pins to OJR's one that turned out to be the difference in the Vikings' 33-28 win. Also key for PV were a pair of one-point decisions that helped the Vikings to their 100th all-time Pioneer Athletic Conference victory.
Brett Petriello, Gavin Milligan and Vaughn Gehman won by falls for Perk Valley (3-1 , 10-5 overall). Just as important for the winners were hard-fought 4-3 decisions by Richie Tevlin and Jordan Deane. Nick Fuschino picked up the lone pin for the Wildcats (1-1, 2-5) in the final match-up of the night at 160 pounds.
"It was quite a night for us," said PV coach Tim Walsh. "It was quite a chess match. I tried all kinds of different scenarios over the last few days. We caught a big break with one of their guys (Andrew Kinney) out. "It's one of those things I tell the kids. Everybody's important. Even if you don't win, everybody has to do their job. It's winning 4-3 or staying off your back. We were able to do that tonight. We got a couple big pins, also."
OJR was hurt by the loss of freshman Kinney (16-7), who was out ill after an eighth-place finish at the Escape the Rock Tournament at Council Rock South last Saturday. But Wildcat coach Steve DeRafelo gave credit to the Vikings.
"They have a good team," he said. "They have tough kids. They're solid all the way through. You can't hand them six points. Not only is it the six points, but you have to bump other people up in the lineup. "But they came out strong. We both shifted our lineups and their kids stepped up."
The match went back and fourth for six bouts, with PV taking a 15-12 edge with a forfeit at Kinney's spot at 112 pounds.
Then Tevlin and OJR sophomore John Bryant - wrestling only his second varsity bout of the season - went right down to the wire. Tevlin (12-7) pulled off a reversal early in the third period to take a 4-3 lead and then held off several near escapes by Bryant for the win.
A first-period pin by Milligan (21-4) expanded the PV margin to 24-15 with five bouts left. Then after Jordan Moser - another OJR sophomore wrestling for just the second time this season - took a 5-2 decision to close the gap, Deane and Mongold battled it out at 140 pounds. Deane (17-7) also pulled off a reverse early in the third period in that one for a 4-2 edge and then weathered an escape by Mongold (9-10) for the 4-3 nod.
"I was really happy with Danny," said DeRafelo. "He's kind of struggled this year. Deane wrestled well."
The Wildcats were still in contention after that, trailing 27-18 with three bouts to go. But Gehman ran out to a 9-0 lead at 145 pounds and wound up with a pin with 46 seconds left in the match to clinch the night for the Vikings.
"They got the bonus points," said DeRafelo. "That's always important."
"I actually got the rule book out to start looking at criteria," said Walsh. "Those bonus points really helped."
Fuschino bounced back from his first loss of the season in the Escape the Rock final to boost his record to 18-1. ... Scott Syrek is now 14-2 for OJR after a 7-1 win at 215 pounds, and Viking heavyweight Chase Godfrey raised his record to 22-3 with a tough 5-2 decision over Randy Keehn that was just 2-1 heading into the final period. ... The Vikings, whose only league loss is to first-place Boyertown, join Spring-Ford, Upper Perkiomen and Pottstown in the PAC-10's 100-win club.