By Michael Leonard | Record-Courier
One week ago, Coventry wrestling pulled an upset to take the early lead in the PTC Metro Division race.
On Thursday, however, it was Coventry's turn to taste a shock defeat -- compliments of a hungry young flock of Ravens.
Ravenna handed Coventry its first home dual-meet loss in eight years, rallying to defeat the Comets 35-28 on Thursday as part of a double-dual meet
Aided by the Ravens' win, Crestwood scored two decisive victories over Ravenna (46-30) and Kent Roosevelt (68-6) to get back into first place. Coventry defeated Kent Roosevelt 54-15 in the evening's other match.
As result, Coventry and Crestwood are tied atop the Metro Division at 3-1. Ravenna is 1-1 in the division after last week's double-duael was postponed.
Ravenna coach Mike Whitmore yelled himself hoarse during the match, but was smiling afterwards.
"That's why we wrestle the matches," Whitmore said. "Every single one of our guys did what they had to do against Coventry."
Comets coach Keith Shinn was as furious as Whitmore was happy.
"It's just an unacceptable effort in our home gym," Shinn said. "All we did tonight was mess things up (in the division race). We had an opportunity to put them away, but we can't lose five of the last six matches."
After dropping the two decisions to Ravenna 170-pounder Kevin Payne and 182-pounder Gavin Reaser, Coventry seemed to be in command with four straight six-point matches.
However, Ravenna turned a 24-6 deficit into a 35-24 win by winning seven of the last eight bouts.
The pivotal match came at 152 pounds. With Coventry's Brandon Pavlich under the weather and the Comets clinging to a 28-26 lead, Ravenna's Brendon Winning lived up to his last name. Winning pulled out a last-second reversal to score a 10-8 win and give Ravenna the lead.
Raven 160-pounder Logan Reaser then clinched the match by pinning Logan Lake in 3:35.
"I can't say enough about Brendon Winning," Whitmore said. "Everybody did their jobs, but for him to pull out the match like that is huge. He also got a pin in the Crestwood match [(in 4:27 over Garret Gerardi)."
Having just seen Ravenna down the Comets in the evening's first match, Crestwood coach Dave Wrobel implored his team to get off to a good start against the Ravens.
"I knew coming in … I was worried about Ravenna," Wrobel said. "I know they're a rising squad. They've got a lot of talent. It was key that we got off to a good start."
The Red Devils took their coach's word to heart and won the first seven bouts of the match, all but clinching the win.
After a tight 6-2 win by 182-pounder Kenn Jackson, Crestwood got pins from 195-pounder Stephen Cox, 220-pounder Doug Battiest, heavyweight Cameron Mordue and 106-pounder Ryan Deuly. A 17-2 technical fall from 113-pounder Jake Zemaitis gave Crestwood a 36-0 cushion to start the match.
"We knew we didn't match up well with Crestwood," Whitmore said.
A pair of pins from Red Devil state qualifiers Dylan Kager at 138 and Josh Hillier at 145 erased all doubt.
"We did a good job rebounding from last week," Wrobel said.
Roosevelt coach Nic Rossiter knew his team was facing a tough task Thursday, even if it had a full squad. He noted the Rough Riders were nowhere near full strength.
"It's what I expected; I've only had six kids in the room pretty much all week," Rossiter said. "Everybody is sick. I was even out earlier this week. With a full lineup, things would have been much more competitive."
Roosevelt 170-pounder DeAndre Mills was the Rough Riders' lone double winner on the night. He scored a forfeit win against Crestwood and beat Coventry's Even Chenot 6-3.