By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — The Covington wrestling team took to the mat Wednesday evening in a home dual against a talented Brookville team and came away with a 45-31 win despite an up-and-down night.
Prior to the dual Covington recognized its two seniors, Bryce Keiser (285) and Kyle Barga (132) and the dual began with Kellan Anderson and Cael Vanderhorst receiving forfeits at 106 and 113 points for the Buccs.
Covington then dropped the first three matches of the evening as James Balcom defeated Taylen Viney at 120, Brennon Moore recorded a 12-2 major decision over David Robinson at 126 and Devon Myers came back from a 5-1 deficit to pin Covington’s Riley Richards in 4:29 at 132 pounds.
The Buccaneers responded with a 2:52 pin by Austin Flick over Dylan Brooks at 138 pounds, but Brookville’s Gianni Carey gave the Blue Devils a 19-18 lead with a 5:34 pin of Deacon Shields at 145 pounds.
Keringten Martin reclaimed the momentum for Covington by building a commanding 12-4 lead over Jack Myers and then followed with a pin fall with 31 seconds left in the second period.
After Duncan Cooper received a forfeit at 160 pounds for the Buccs, Trentin Alexander held a 7-1 lead over Brookville’s Luke Williams at 170 pounds. Unfortunately for the Buccs, Williams was able to catch Alexander in a surprise move just 18 seconds into the second period for the pin to close the gap to 30-25.
Needing a spark, Covington’s Gavin McReynolds and Brookville’s Chase Pyer wrestled the most exciting match of the night as Pyer took a 2-1 lead after one and pushed the lead to 6-3 with two takedowns in the second period. Pyer then recorded an escape to start the third period to push the lead to 7-3, but McReynolds responded with a takedown and then turned his opponent for three near-fall points for a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind win.
Gage Kerrigan then put the dual out of reach with a 1:50 pin of Justin Eyler at 195 pounds and Dylan Staudt followed with a 3:52 pin of Chase Davis at 220 pounds.
Brookville’s John Mitchel closed out the evening at 285 pounds with a 3:19 pin of Bryce Keiser to make the final score 45-31 in favor of Covington.
In all, the Buccaneers won five of the 11 matches wrestled.
The Buccs look for improvement on Saturday as they host the Covington Invitational.