Fresh off winning its home tournament the week before, the Tunkhannock Area wrestling team was poised to carry that momentum into the Wyoming Valley Conference wrestling tournament.
The task would be just as daunting, if not more so, since the usual two-day event was shortened to one because of inclement weather heading into the weekend.
Though the Tigers showed their tournament prowess at the Tunkhannock Holiday Classic, Coughlin showed what it could do with a healthy roster, which it finally fielded Sunday at Lake-Lehman High School.
Fueled by 11 medalists, six finalists and three champs, the Crusaders won the team title with 202 points, which was 25 clear of Tunkhannock, which fielded 10 medalists, five finalists and three champions.
“Consistency. When we needed to score points, we did; when we needed to be good with defense, we did it,” Coughlin head coach Dave Parsnik said. “We put everything together, … The team is here, it’s a full team, and I expect to do well.”
Despite finishing runner-up, the Tigers still put together several solid performances on the day.
Junior Tommy Traver, who was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler for the second consecutive year, also picked up his second title at the tournament, this time at 138 pounds.
He pinned his way to the finals with falls in 35 seconds, one minute and eight seconds and 44 seconds to set up a title match with Coughlin’s Josh Brown, who lost to Traver 11-5 in the Tunkhannock Holiday Classic semifinals.
Traver again took the upper-hand and managed the fall in 2:44 for gold and the 99th victory of his career.
Senior Connor Munley also worked to the championship at 182 pounds with pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals before squaring off against Coughlin’s Jake Cole, who had pinned Munley in the first period when the pair squared off in last year’s districts.
This time, Munley took control with a takedown in the opening period and escaped in the second to lead 3-1 heading into the final period.
Cole chose bottom in the third, but Munley was able to ride him out for most of it before securing the emotional pin near the end of the match.
Sophomore David Evans responded from a runner-up finish in last year’s tournament to take gold at 106 pounds, also picking up pins in the quarters and semis before defeating Wyoming Valley West’s Cadden Kucek by major decision, 15-3.
Senior Sam Rice made it four Tigers with pins to reach the finals before running into Hazleton Area’s Shane Noonan in the 195 pound championship bout.
Noonan, who had already defeated Rice by 6-3 decision earlier in the season at the Panther Holiday Classic, this time stuck the top-seeded Rice with a dump to his back for a pin in 40 seconds.
Also reaching the finals was sophomore Gavin D’Amato, who squared off in the 132 pound title bout in a rematch with Coughlin’s Jake Brown, who won a 3-0 decision for third place in the Tunkhannock Holiday Classic.
Both grapplers battled once more, with Brown able to pick up an escape point and stay on his feet for the rest of the third period to win, 1-0.
Tunkhannock senior David Gavek won his third place bout at 120 pounds by pinning Hazleton Area’s Christian Kislan in 2:28, while junior Jake Stephens, who recently joined back up with the team, also won third at 220 by pinning Nanticoke’s Shane Repasky.
Sophomore Ethan Munley (126) and freshman Brian Christ (152) each took fifth with decisions, and freshman Matt Rosentel placed sixth.
The tournament marked the first time in its nine-year history that the event was held on one day and featured some changes.
The top six wrestlers were still rewarded medals, but semifinal losers wrestled for third and fourth places right away, while those in the consolation rounds could only wrestle to as high as fifth place instead of a possible third.
Previous tournaments had been held on Sunday twice before in 2011 and 2014, both because of inclement weather when the tournament was pushed back to start on Saturday.
Times-Shamrock sports writer Eric Shultz also contributed to this story.
1. Coughlin (COU) 202; 2. Tunkhannock (TUN) 187; 3. Crestwood (CRE) 148.5; 4. Dallas (DAL) 129; 5. Hazleton Area (HAZ) 124.5; 6. Lake-Lehman (LL) 121; 7. Wyoming Valley West (WVW) 119.5; 8. Hanover Area (HAN) 115; 9. Wyoming Area (WA) 99; 10. Nanticoke (NAN) 68; 11. Pittston Area (PA) 36; 12. Berwick (BER) 22; 13. Meyers (MEY) 20
106: David Evans (TUN) maj. dec. Cadden Kucek (WVW), 15-3.
132: Jake Brown (COU) dec. Gavin D’Amato (TUN), 1-0.
138: Tommy Traver (TUN) pinned Josh Brown (COU), 2:44.
182: Connor Munley (TUN) pinned Jake Cole (COU), 5:56.
195: Shane Noonan (Haz) pinned Sam Rice (TUN), 0:40.
120: David Gavek (TUN) pinned Christian Kislin (HAZ), 2:28.
220: Jake Stephens (TUN) pinned Shane Repasky (NAN), 4:10.
113: Liam Farrell (DAL) pinned Matt Rosentel (TUN), 3:31.
126: Ethan Munley (TUN) dec. Anthony Thomas (PA), 3-0.
152: Brian Christ (TUN) dec. Chase Button (LL), 5-1.
113: Rosentel (TUN) pinned Brandon Abreu (MEY), 0:34.
126: E. Munley won by forfeit.
152: Christ (TUN) pinned Robert Napersky (WVW), 2:47.
285: Jake Rutkowski (PA) dec. Dustin Henry (TUN), 9-2.
Consolation Round 2
113: Rosentel (TUN) pinned Adam Sigman (WA), 4:47.
126: E. Munley (TUN) dec. Eric Kriner (DAL), 8-6.
145: C.J. Demark (PA) dec. Luke Carpenter (TUN), 6-0.
152: Christ (TUN) dec. Noah Peznowski (CRE), 10-4.
160: Alex Anastasia (PA) pinned Carl Anthony (TUN), 3:40.
170: A.J. Gordo (PA) pinned Shane Sherwood (TUN), 3:27.
106: Evans (TUN) pinned Zach Capie (NAN), 0:49.
120: Darren Clarke (COU) dec. Gavek (TUN), 3-1.
132: D’Amato (TUN) dec. Charles Everdale (HAZ), 5-4.
138: Traver (TUN) pinned Stephen Martisofski (HAZ), 0:44.
182: C. Munley (TUN) pinned Jaryn Polit-Moran (WA), 0:52.
195: Rice (TUN) pinned Justin Joseph (WA), 1:23.
220: Shane O’Rourke (CRE) pinned Stephens (TUN), 5:35.
106: Evans (TUN) pinned Brandon Lopez (PA), 3:44.
113: Trey Zabroski (CRE) pinned Rosentel (TUN), 2:38.
120: Gavek (TUN) maj. dec. Keith Romanczuk (PA), 10-2.
132: D’Amato (TUN) pinned Justin Hargrave (WVW), 1:42.
138: Traver (TUN) pinned Maurice Smith (BER), 1:08.
152: Collin Kudurko-Kashatus (NAN) dec. Christ (TUN), 2-0.
160: DeWald (BER) pinned Anthony (TUN), 3:45.
182: C. Munley (TUN) pinned Seth Hunsinger (HAZ), 2:30.
195: Rice (TUN) pinned Connor Lee (COU), 0:31.
220: Stephens (TUN) pinned Charles Harry (LL), 1:48.
285: Kaleb Konigus (LL) pinned Henry (TUN), 0:54.
126: Patrick Clarke (COU) maj. dec. E. Munley (TUN), 17-7.
138: Traver (TUN) pinned Jared Fulginiti (HAN), 0:35.
145: Landon Stanislow (WVW) pinned Carpenter (TUN), 4:51.
170: Mike Lenahan (HAN) pinned Sherwood (TUN), 5:55.