Wrestling Sends Pair to Quarters at Scuffle

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – After Day One of the 2016 Defense Soaps and Flips Wrestling Southern Scuffle, the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team will send two wrestlers to the quarterfinals, with another seven still competing in the consolation rounds.

No. 3 seed Lorenzo Thomas won two matches at 184 pounds to reach the quarterfinals, defeating Air Force’s Anthony McLaughlin, 9-1, and Stanford’s Garret Krohn, 5-2.

No. 10 Casey Kent won three matches at 174 pounds, including a 12-0 major decision over the No. 7 seed Ben Stroh of Wyoming in the third round.

Lorenzo Thomas began his tournament with a 9-1 major decision over Air Force’s Anthony McLaughlin. Thomas scored a quick takedown and added two points of nearfall for a 4-1 lead after one period. In the third, he took advantage of a penalty point on McLaughlin for stalling, shooting right in on a takedown to secure the bonus. In the third round, he had a takedown in the first period, and added an insurance score in the third period for a win over Krohn.

On Saturday, he will wrestle Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd in the quarterfinals. Boyd is the No. 6 seed in the tournament, and ranked No. 18 nationally.

Following a workman-like 4-0 win over Duke’s Alec Schenk in the first round, No. 10 seed Casey Kent opened a big lead on Chattanooga’s Barnett Walthall en route to a 10-4 win in the second round. In the third round, he again put up a big point total. He took Stroh down quickly, and added four nearfall points while building a big base of riding time. After a takedown in the second, Kent added one more takedown in the third period for the major decision.

In Saturday’s quarterfinals, Kent will wrestle No. 2 seed – and national No. 2 – Kyle Crutchmer of Oklahoma State. Crutchmer is a returning All-American who finished fifth last year.

Penn had seven wrestlers competing in the Round of 16 in the Championship Bracket, but No. 3 C.J. Cobb, No. 7 Caleb Richardson, May Bethea, Ray Bethea, and Frank Mattiace all suffered losses to move down to consolation rounds.

Richardson began his day with a convincing 20-5 technical fall of Edinboro’s Tony Recco. Richardson connected for six takedowns in the match, adding two sets of nearfall and a reversal to end the match just shy of the six-minute mark. In the Round of 16, two takedowns from West Virginia’s Keegan Moore in the second period were the difference in a 5-2 decision.

One of the few Penn grapplers to draw a pigtail match, C.J. Cobb began his day with a 12-4 major decision over Cleveland State’s Nick Montgomery. Cobb finished five takedowns for the win. In his second match, he was able to score the bout’s only takedown in the first period. That score was enough for a 3-2 win over Air Force’s Alex Mossing. In the third round, Duke’s Mitch Finesilver scored two takedowns quickly in the first period to build a lead. After Cobb closed the gap a bit in the second period, a takedown and two quick nearfall in the third iced a 10-6 decision.

Arguably the biggest win of the first session came from May Bethea at 157 pounds. After falling behind Minnesota’s Larry Early III, 4-1, Bethea rallied for an 11-7 win over one the nation’s top recruits from the Class of 2015. After falling behind in the opening moments of the match, Bethea put together an escape, takedown and two points of nearfall in the third period for the win. In the Round of 16, two-time All-American Mitch Minotti of Lehigh edged Bethea, 2-0, on riding time and an escape.

Ray Bethea was tied with Christian Maroni of Gardner-Webb in his first match, but an escape and then a blast double in the final 0:30 gave Bethe a 5-2 win. Up next for Bethea was two-time national champion Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State. The No. 1 seed in the tournament, Dieringer lived up to that bulling with a 20-0 technical fall.

Frank Mattiace dominated the third period against Michigan State’s Jacob Cooper, scoring three takedowns to blow open the bout for an 11-2 major decision. Mattiace had five takedowns in the match, including one in the first period which led to almost 2:30 of riding time following one period. Two-time All-American Conner Hartmann, the No. 2 seed, broke open a scoreless match with a takedown in the second period, and Mattaice was defeated, 5-1.

Joe Heyob gave up two takedowns in the first period against Gardner-Webb’s Hunter Gamble, and he couldn’t recover in a 7-4 loss. In the consolation bracket, Heyob was able to complete the rally as he scored with 0:03 left to defeat Army West Point’s Samson Imonode, 4-3. Heyob finished his day with a 15-4 major decision over Minnesota’s Robert Stevenson. After conceding the first takedown, Heyob reversed and added four nearfall before the end of the first period. He would add takedowns in the final two periods and a set of nearfall for the big win.

Heavyweight Patrik Garren scored a takedown with 25 seconds remaining in his first round match with Chattanooga’s Connor Tolley, breaking a tie for a 6-4 win. In his second match, he scored a takedown in the third period to take a lead on No. 5 seed – and national No. 12 – Riley Shaw of Cleveland State, but Shaw countered with an escape and a takedown of his own with 10 seconds left for a 5-3 win. Garren would be eliminated following a 12-2 loss to Gardner-Webb’s Boyce Cornwell.

Brooks Martino lost his first bout to the No. 5 seed – and national No. 12 – Dylan Cottrell of West Virginia, 4-1, but moved on to the second day following medical forfeits from his next two scheduled opponents.

133 - #10 Caleb Richardson
First Round: Bye
Second Round: def. Tony Recco (Edinboro), 20-5
Third Round: lost to Keegan Moore (West Virginia), 5-2

141 – Marc Mastropietro
First Round: bye
Second Round: lost to #4 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota), 3-1
Consolation Second Round: lost to Jayce Carr (Cleveland St.), 3-2

141 – A.J. Vindici
First Round: lost to Tyler Buckiso (The Citadel), 5-2
Consolation First Round: lost to A.C. Headlee (North Carolina), 15-4

149 - #3 C.J. Cobb
First Round: def. Nick Montgomery (Cleveland State), 12-4
Second Round: def. Alex Mossing (Air Force), 3-2
Third Round: lost to Mitch Finesilver (Duke), 10-6

157 – May Bethea
First Round: Bye
Second Round: def. Larry Early III (Minnesota), 11-7
Third Round: lost to #4 Mitch Minotti (Lehigh), 2-0

157 – Brooks Martino
First Round: Bye
Second Round: lost to #5 Dylan Cottrell (West Virginia), 4-1
Consolation Second Round: Advanced via medical forfeit
Consolation Third Round: Advanced via medical forfeit

165 – Ray Bethea
First Round: Bye
Second Round: def. Christian Maroni (Gardner-Webb), 5-2
Third Round: lost to #1 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State), 20-0

174 - #10 Casey Kent
First Round: def. Alex Schenk (Duke), 4-0
Second Round: def. Barnett Walthall (UT-Chattanooga), 10-4
Third Round: def. #7 Ben Stroh (Wyoming), 12-0

184 - #3 Lorenzo Thomas
First Round: Bye
Second Round: def. Anthony McLaughlin (Air Force), 9-1
Third Round: def. Garret Krohn (Stanford), 5-2

184 – Joe Heyob
First Round: lost to Hunter Gamble (Gardner-Webb), 7-4
Consolation First Round: def. Samson Imonode (Army West Point), 4-3
Consolation Second Round: def. Robert Stevenson (Minnesota), 15-4

197 – Frank Mattiace
First Round: Bye
Second Round: def. Jacob Cooper (Michigan State), 11-2
Third Round: lost to #2 Conner Hartmann (Duke), 5-1

285 – Patrik Garren
First Round: def. Connor Tolley (UT-Chattanooga), 6-4
Second Round: lost to #5 Riley Shaw (Cleveland State), 5-3
Consolation Third Round: lost to Boyce Cornwell (Gardner Webb), 12-2

The Southern Scuffle resumes on January 2 with quarterfinals at 9 a.m.