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By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
ELMIRA — For Horseheads coach Brett Owen it wasn’t the pins, or even all the wins that stood out from their 49-19 win over Elmira on Thursday.

What impressed Owen most was a couple of kids who showed huge progress in losses.

As the Blue Raiders prepare for the Section 4 Duals, which they will host next Wednesday, and the STAC Tournament, which is at Elmira next Saturday, Owen knows that every kid in the lineup matters.

“Probably the two biggest guys that surprised mer were Joel Scibek and Adrian Bacon,” Owen said. “Adrian got pinned twice by Max Collins a month ago here at the tournament and he loses by a decision. Joel Scibek wrestled Liam Ogden, who beat both of our 110 pounders, so he’s giving up 10 pounds to a kid that’s coming down a weight. That was pretty impressive, those two weights were really big for us.”

The match started with Ogden beating Scibek, by major decision 11-1 at 102 and Collins topping Bacon 6-2 at 110.

While the two matches were losses, they showed progress for Owen.

For Elmira, the lighter weight wrestlers have been a key part of the lineup all year.

“The lighter weights are doing a nice job,” Elmira coach David Guyette said. “They are young, they seem to be getting better as we go. Hopefully we can continue the progress.”

At 118 Ryan Massengale got a pin for Horseheads in 1:39 over J.T. Guyette.

“I have wrestled him a couple of times, that was pretty much the outcome I was looking for,” the Horseheads standout said. “I wanted to take him down twice, get two tilts and then pin him, so that’s what I did.”

For Massengale it was nice to have someone to wrestle and not just receive a forfeit.

“I have been forfeited (to) a lot the past few weeks,” Massengale said. “It’s good to have a match, especially because I have a tournament coming up this weekend. It’s good to get the jitters out.”

Horseheads got a technical fall win by Cody Dale over Caleb Ostrander at 126 as he won 16-1 in 4:58 and at 132 Cael Owen pinned James Klotz in 58 seconds.

Horseheads got a pin by Lucas Mosher in 2:18 over Blake Force at 138.

“Lucas Mosher has been behind Cael since December, he comes out and this is probably his first match in close to month and he beats a starter,” Brett Owen said. “That’s what we tell our guys, next man up, with Covid going on, colds going on, you have to have the next man up and that’s what these guys are doing. We are going in the right direction.”

Horseheads got a technical fall at 145 as William Lotocky won 17-1 in 6:00 over Matthew Brown.

“Will Lotocky getting a big tech pin there at 145 was huge for him,” Owen said. “He’s been struggling this year, but we are starting to come up.”

Narayanı Niraula  got a forfeit win at 152 and at 160 Liam Levantovich trailed 3-1 heading into the third period, but got an escape and a late takedown to beat Sam Brenen-Buseck 4-3.

“That was huge,” Owen said. “Sam is a great athlete and he has really improved over the past year. Liam needed that. He needed to be tested and go with that mentality that you can go with anybody in the section.”

Elmira got a pin at 172 as Tyler Keefe pinned Ben Massengale in 40 seconds.

For Keefe it was some redemption from a loss to Massengale earlier this year. And, it was a nice end to senior night, where Keefe and Force were recognized before the match.

“He avenged a loss at the Dave Buck Memorial Tournament earlier in the year,” Guyette said. “Tyler has progressively gotten better and that’s a great way for him to spend senior night.”

At 189 Horseheads’ Vincenzo Menard pinned Charlie Crowningshield in 56 seconds and at 215 Hunter Lavigne of Horseheads pinned C.J. Brink in 2:25.

The match wrapped up at 285 where Elmira’s Ethan Hernandez pinned Brody Jacobs in 1:13.

“Ethan has been doing a nice job,” Guyette said. “He’s actually weighed in at the weight class below that, so in the last two nights he’s been out there and has wrestled his tail off to get a couple pins for us.”

For Horseheads the win puts them one win over Ithaca away from the STAC West title. But, they also have some other big events coming up, starting with the Section 4 Duals next Wednesday.

“It’s nice (to be closing in on a division title). Next Wednesday will be nice to,” Owen said.

The Blue Raiders have been a bit shorthanded, with Gannon Johnston out, but set to return at the Bradshaw Tournament starting Friday.

Everyone on the Blue Raiders stepped up while people were out.

“I’m super proud of everybody,” Ryan Massengale said. “We got key matchups we wanted, we found the stuff we wanted to work on, overall it’s a success and (I’m) looking forward to the rest of the season with my boys.

“Overall everyone puts in the same amount of work, we all work really hard so if we need to throw a guy in we are always ready for it. But, it’s going to be good to have our full lineup back and see our true potential. We are just going to keep working at it and time will tell.”

The Blue Raiders head to face some tough competition at the Bradshaw Tournament in Canandaigua this weekend.

“I love it, that’s the best thing I can have right now,” Massenagle said. “Especially leading up to sectionals and states. I need those tough matches to prepare me for those tournaments. So, I’m all for it.”

Like Horseheads, the Express are short-handed, and for Guyette he just wants to see his young team get better each day.

“I am happy,” Guyette said. “We got three guys out of the lineup. Horseheads is a great team, we went out there, we battled, we have a log of work to do, but with a young team we are just looking for them to improve every day.”

Horseheads 49, Elmira 19 
102: Liam Ogden (E) major dec. Joel Scibek 12-1
110: Max Collins (E) dec. Adrian Bacon 6-2; 
118: Ryan Massengale (H) fall Jonathan Guyette, 1:39
126: Cody Dale (H) tech. fall Caleb Ostrander, 16-1
132: Cael Owen (H) fall James Klotz, 0:58
138: Lucas Mosher (H) fall Blake Force, 2:18
145: William Lotocky (H) tech. fall Mathew Brown, 17-1
152: Narayani Niraula (H) Fft.
160: Liam Levantovich (H) dec. Sam Brenen-Busek, 4-3
172: Tyler Keefe (E) fall Ben Massengale, 0:40
189: Vincenzo Menard (H) fall Charlie Crowningshield, 0:56 
215: Hunter Lavigne (H) fall CJ Brink, 2:25
285: Ethan Hernandez (E) fall Brody Jacobs, 1:13.
IN TOP PHOTO: Horseheads’ Ryan Massengale works against J.T. Guyette of Elmira at 118 pounds. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES

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