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Durning’s OT Win Sparks Upper Perkiomen’s Win over Pottsgrove
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-01-22

            Keaton Durning overcame a moment of uncertainty and fatigue to score an overtime victory last week against Pottsgrove. The pivotal win at 152 pounds sparked Upper Perkiomen's wrestling team to a 48-24 victory in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

            Mike Milkowich's second-period fall at 132 pounds over Charles Sithens

Austin DiDomenico, on top, fights off a reversal attempt
by his Pottsgrove opponent at 195 pounds. Upper Perkio-
men rolled to a 48-24 win on Jan.15.

clinched the Jan. 15 win for the Indians, who positioned themselves to capture the Frontier Division. Tommy Flud (170), Austin DiDomenico (182) Matt Martin (113) Joey Carpenter (126) and Zach Rozanski (138) each added six-point victories. Head coach Steve Adam called it their first quality win of the season.

            Durning's 4-2 victory over Shane Caffery, which opened the match, provided the most impact. According to Adam, the upset win provided a much-needed spark and allowed him to get favorable matchups throughout the bout.

            "I was hoping to set a good tone," Durning said.

            The Upper Perkiomen junior could have won his match during the final seconds of regulation when Caffery momentarily surrendered his control. Durning (7-7) could have scored the winning escape by standing up and facing his opponent.

            According to Adam, the Pottsgrove wrestler must have lost track of the score, which was 2-2. However, Durning – unsure of his opponent's action – froze.

            "I feel like I did the right thing," Durning said.

            Durning, who posted two near fall points early in third period before allowing a takedown, ended the hard-fought match by registering a takedown 24 seconds into overtime. He blocked an early arm drag before converting on a go-behind move for the decisive points. Adam described the victory as his best performance of the season.

            "It's going to give Keaton a ton of confidence," the coach said. "He really rose to the occasion."

            The wrestler, who finished sixth in the District 1 AAA Section North Tournament last season, says his defense on his feet has improved significantly. Durning displayed that skill against Caffrey by fending off an attempted arm bar takedown.

            "I like the way my season is going," Durning said.

            The victory allowed the coach to generate favorable matchups during the rest of the match for the Tribe, who absorbed three consecutive six-point losses between 195 and 285 pounds. Martin's 66-second pin over Xavier Walker snapped a 21-21 tie. Consecutive pins by Carpenter and Rozanski clinched the victory.

            The team is positioned to clinch its second division title in three seasons by defeating Phoenixville in Jan. 22 and Pottstown on Jan. 29.

            "We won't take either match for granted," Adam said.

            According to the coach, the Tribe's performance reduced the sting of a disappointing performance at the conference's championship meet four days earlier. The team went 0-7 in the medal round, which allowed the host Falcons to leapfrog them into fifth place.

            "I like the way we bounced back," Adam said. "We had a long conversation after the tournament. The result left a bad taste in our mouths."

            On Sunday, the Indians went 2-3 in the Exeter Blue/White Duals. They defeated the Academy at Palumbo (73-6) and Lower Merion (53-19) and lost to the host Eagles (47-21), Daniel Boone (45-27) and Garnet Valley (46-27).

            Rozanski (23-6), who is six victories short of 100 for his career, and DiDomenico (18-5) each went 5-0 during the dual meet.

            Four of Rozanski's victories were by fall. Three came at 138 pounds, while two were at 145. One of his pins came in the first period. The three others were in the second period.

            DiDomenico posted a pair of first-period pins, including an 18-second fall against Garnet Valley's David Dorf at 182 pounds. He decked Palumbo's Christopher Prom in just 18 seconds at 195.


 

 

 

 

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