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Flames Run Ends at Scuffle
After three Flames advanced into day-two action at the Southern Scuffle, each of their runs ended before noontime on Thursday inside the Special Events Center of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
Freshman Kurtis Becker (141 pounds) and redshirt senior Chad Porter (165 pounds) each lost their opening bouts Thursday morning to end their competition in the tournament. Scott Clymer advanced one bout further after a win, but dropped his second bout of the day.
Liberty finished the tournament with a 27th place finish in the 32-team field. The 20 points for the Flames team came while not participating starters such as Joe Pantaleo (133 pounds), Royal Brettrager II (174 pounds), Aaron Kelley (184 pounds) and Josh Pelletier (HWT).
At the end of the event, No. 1 Cornell and No. 4 Penn State shared the team title, both tallying 151.5 team points. Third place was claimed by No. 13 Oregon State with 132.5 team points, while No. 15 Michigan and No. 3 Minnesota rounded out the top five with 132 and 126.5 team points respectively.
The Big Red and Nittany Lions each won three individual titles on their way to sharing the tournament title.
While Becker couldn't have added team points for the Flames action in day two since he was competing unattached, his run ended after a 5-1 loss to North Carolina's Danny Lopes shortly after 9 a.m.
Clymer was the next Flame to compete. In his opening second-day bout the redshirt junior overtook Appalachian State's Savva Kostis with a 9-7 edge.
Porter then faced Jonathan Brascetta, who grapples for No. 13 Oregon State. While Porter grabbed a 3-2 edge a short time into the second period, it would be all Brascetta the rest of the way. Brascetta then added a takedown and a two-point near fall before Porter managed another escape. In the closing seconds of the second time frame, the Beaver grappler added another takedown along with a three-point near fall to extend his lead to 11-4 with one period to go.
In the final two minutes of the final period, Porter scored a takedown and was then reversed. Brascetta then gained one point for the riding time bonus to earn the 14-6 major decision and eliminate Porter from the tournament.
Porter adds three victories at the Southern Scuffle to his total, giving him 11 wins on the year and 95 in his career. With five more wins, Porter will join the Gold Level of the Flames Eagle Medal Club, which is for grapplers with 100 or more wins.
Continuing in the wrestleback bracket, Clymer's next opponent was No. 14 Ivan Lopouchanski from UNC Greensboro. Lopouchanski was sent to the wrestleback bracket after suffering his first defeat in the championship bracket Thursday morning.
Through one period, the two grapplers were tied 0-0. After choosing the down position, Lopouchanski scored two points on a reversal. Not long after, Clymer escaped to pull the score to 2-1.
In the third period Clymer started in the down position and managed to escape with less than a minute remaining in the bout to tie the score 2-2. Lopouchanski was able to hold off Clymer the rest of the way, and gained the 3-2 decision by having 1:21 of riding time.
Clymer's 4-2 record at the Southern Scuffle improves him to a 15-8 record on the year to lead the Flames in victories.
The Flames will bring in the new year by participating in the Virginia Duals. Sponsored by the Peninsula Wrestling Association, the duals take place at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. on Jan. 7-8 and include several top programs in the country.
Southern Scuffle Individual Champions:
125: No. 4 James Nicholson (Old Dominion)
133: No. 9 Rollie Peterkin (Penn)
141: No. 1 Kellen Russell (Michigan)
149: No. 1 Kyle Dake (Cornell)
157: No. 3 David Taylor (Penn State)
165: No. 4 Justin Kerber (Cornell)
174: No. 10 Ed Ruth (Penn State), Most Outstanding Wrestler
184: No. 2 Chris Honeycutt (Edinboro)
197: No. 2 Cam Simaz (Cornell)
HWT: No. 6 Cameron Wade (Penn State)