HS WRESTLING: Bixby secures Montrose Division III title

Jan. 28—Blue Ridge earned 18 straight points to cut the deficit to three entering the final bout Friday night.

On senior night, Montrose turned to senior James Bixby to stop the furious rally and secure the Meteors' first Lackawanna League wrestling title in 33 years.

Bixby delivered, pinning Luciano Shea in the second period in their 145-pound match to secure a 42-33 win and the Division III crown for the Meteors at Montrose High School.

"It was huge," Montrose coach Matt Hawley said in a phone interview. "Before James went out there, I had a good little talk with him. I said, 'listen, I don't ever ask much of you, but I'm asking you to go out there and pull off a miracle and wrestle the best you ever have.' And he pulled through and was pretty much flawless."

Bixby just needed to win his match to secure the title, but instead he earned his 10th pin of the season in his 14 victories.

"James is such a nice kid, never any problems with him," Hawley said. "So for something like this and being that he's a senior, what an accomplishment for him alone."

Nathan Oropallo (152) and Kaleb Shimer (160) gave Blue Ridge a 12-0 lead with back-to-back pins. Then Jesse Rogers (172) and Derrick DeMann (189) erased the deficit with two straight pins of their own.

"That was a pivotal point in the whole match there with Jesse Rogers being a first-year wrestler, senior," Hawley said. "He's just a super-talented athlete. I'm a hurdles and sprints coach for our track team and he's one of my hurdlers and I begged him to come out and he's just such a great athlete. And he told me today he said, 'I wish I started wrestling a long time ago.' It was great. He was pumped."

The Meteors (4-0) didn't just rack up bonus points. They avoided them, as Larissa Taylor (107) battled Brice Woodruff to a 4-1 decision defeat.

"She had a close 4-1 loss, and Woodruff is tough," Hawley said. "For her not to get majored or teched or pinned was big, and I think that was a little bit of a wakeup call for her. She can I think win that match the next time they wrestle. Woodruff is one of the up-and-coming freshman."

Blue Ridge (2-2) also forfeited four matches as Montrose took a 36-15 lead with four bouts left.

However, Memphis Collins (127) and Jackson Maby (139) secured pins and Kameron Sheffer (133) won by disqualification to cut the Montrose lead to 36-33.

That's when Bixby secured the Meteors' first league title since 1990. Lackawanna League Division III formed this season. In their other league matches, the Meteors beat Scranton Prep, Elk Lake and Mountain View by a combined 42 points.

"They're all just a great, great group of kids from the bottom to the top," Hawley said. "We really thrive on the whole motto, 'family,' and it really shows with these kids because they trust me and that's the one thing I told them before they went out there tonight. I said, 'trust the craft, trust the stuff we go over in the practice room. Don't go try to do funny things. Just do what you've learned and you'll be fine. And they all did."

152: Nathan Oropallo (BR) pinned Alexzander Holbrook. 160: Kaleb Shimer (BR) pinned Josiah Gibbore. 172: Jesse Rogers (MON) pinned Samuel Callahan. 189: Derrick DeMann (MON) pinned Torin Fissel. 215: Alexander Hurtak (MON) by forfeit. 285: Justice Millard (MON) by forfeit. 107: Brice Woodruff (BR) dec. Larissa Taylor, 4-1. 114: Alex Cordts (MON) by forfeit. 121: Billy Briggs (MON) by forfeit. 127: Memphis Collins (BR) pinned Evan Miller. 133: Kameron Sheffer (BR) by disqualification over Dylan Geertgens. 139: Jackson Maby (BR) pinned Xzander Boehm. 145: James Bixby (MON) pinned Luciano Shea.

Records: MON 4-0; BR 2-2.

Scranton Prep 37, Blue Ridge 36

Jack Doughton and Jamie Barrett had pins to lead Scranton Prep to a Division III victory over Blue Ridge.

Blue Ridge's Luciano Shea tied the match with a pin in the last bout, but the Cavaliers won on criteria for having the least number of forfeits.

Nathan Oropallo and Kaleb Shimer added pins for Blue Ridge.

145: Nathan Oropallo (BR) pinned Quinn Lynett, 3:08. 152: Kaleb Shimer (BR) pinned Mackey Lynett, :46. 160: Jack Doughton (SP) pinned Samuel Callahan, 5:19. 172: Jamie Barrett (SP) pinned Torin Fissel, 4:15. 189: David Geyfman (SP) by forfeit. 215: Louis Paris (SP) by forfeit. 285: Patrick Whelan (SP) by forfeit. 107: Brice Woodruff (BR) by forfeit. 114: No contest. 121: Sal Talarico (SP) by forfeit. 127: Memphis Collins (BR) by forfeit. 133: Jackson Maby (BR) by forfeit. 139: Luciano Shea (BR) pinned Jake Barrett, 4:15.

Records: SP 3-1; BR 2-2.

Elk Lake 30, Mountain View 12

Kobe Hyuck had a pin to lead Elk Lake.

Drayden Holman had a pin for Mountain View.

133: Whalen Kinney (EL) by forfeit. 139: Tanner Holtsmaster (MTV) by forfeit. 145: No contest. 152: Kobe Hyuck (EL) pinned Seth Rindock, :33. 160: Mike Hillier (EL) by forfeit. 172: Landon Baker (EL) by forfeit. 189: John Tyler (EL) by forfeit. 215: No contest. 285: No contest. 107: No contest. 114: No contest. 121: No contest. 127: Drayden Holman (MTV) pinned Hunter Hunsinger, 2:21.

Records: EL 1-3; MTV 0-4.

Contact the writer: jbaress@timesshamrock.com