For a moment, York Suburban freshman Dustin Knaub brought back thoughts of last season, when inexperience led to costly mistakes for the Trojans' wrestling team.
Up six points in the third period of the final bout of the night against Hanover sophomore Travis Golden, Knaub just had to hold on to the lead to give the Trojans a victory. But in one move, Golden caught Knaub in a headlock and rolled Knaub onto his back.
"When he (Knaub) got caught in the headlock, if there's anybody on the team that I want trying to get out of it, it would be him," second-year Suburban coach Brian Gentzyel said.
Knaub lived up to his coach's expectations by quickly getting off his back and squeezing out from Golden's arms.
"I was laying there and trying to pop my head out and then my chin strap came up on my mouth and I couldn't breathe," Knaub said. "Then I got mad and popped my head out. I just tried to squeeze out of it as hard as I could."
Knaub went on to score a major decision over Golden to give host Suburban a 40-33 York-Adams Division II victory over the visiting Nighthawks (1-2 division) on Thursday night.
The Trojans (4-1 division, 8-2 overall) have now won four straight league matches since dropping their league-opening dual to Eastern York, 48-27, nearly a month ago. They have also surpassed their three league wins and seven overall wins they finished with last year. One more league win would give Suburban just its second winning season in league action in the last 13 years.
Although the Trojans have just two senior starters, Gentzyel said he attributes the turnaround to having a more experienced group that has learned how to better perform in close bouts.
"We're doing better than I thought we would do," Gentzyel said. "Last year we pretty much lost a lot of the close matches and we gave up a lot of the bonus points. This year we're staying in matches more."
Just two of the 14 bouts were decided by less than eight points, with both going in Suburban's favor. The second came in the eighth bout of the night at 195 pounds when Trojans sophomore Will Peters and Hanover junior Logan Hamm went into overtime tied at 4-4 following a third period that featured a takedown from Hamm and pair of escapes from Peters. In the first overtime period, Peters scored a takedown on Hamm to get the victory and bring Suburban to within 21-18 of Hanover.
Trojans Dan Strong (220 pounds) and Ch'aim Smith (285) followed with pins to give Suburban a 30-21 lead. Hanover forfeited the 106-pound bout because Alexander Watson, a District 3-AA qualifier last year, didn't make weight.
"I guess the guy not making weight at 106, maybe he would bump up and wrestle 113," Gentzyel said. "But I'm thinking he was being punished for some reason. Sometimes you gotta do that. Tonight it was in our favor."
After Suburban forfeited the next bout, Hanover's Caleb Garland (120 pounds) pinned Tyler Zarcone in one minute and 43 seconds to make it a three-point match heading into the final bout.
Hanover's Josh Martin (170) and Suburban's Austin Kling (182) also had pins.
DALLASTOWN 44, CENTRAL 30: At Central, the Panthers opened a 27-17 lead after the first eight bouts, but Dallastown captured five of the final six bouts, including five in a row, to earn the victory. Wesley Hoover, Tanner Druck, Luke Baldwin, Cooper Deller and Zaire Lawrence scored pins for the Wildcats in the York-Adams Division I meet, and Rodney Sunday earned a technical fall. Matt Houck, Dylan Chatterton, Richard Blaine and Isaiah Dickson recorded pins for Central.
SOUTH WESTERN 48, DOVER 10: At Hanover, the Mustangs improved to 6-2 overall and 6-0 in York-Adams Division I. South Western trails first-place Spring Grove (7-0) by just a half game. Owen Wherley (106) and Gunner Holtz (160) had pins for the winners. Shaheed Mitchell (182) had a pin for Dover.
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 72, YORK TECH 6: At Spry, the Eagles received pins from Sam McCollum (220), Brady Linebaugh (285), Bayley Oberlander (106), Dalton Becker (120), Ted Marines (126), Austin Jackson (138), Jared Spahr (152), Colton Dull (160), Jake Slonaker (170) and Tristin Sponseller (182) to help secure the York-Adams Division II victory. For the Spartans, Ryan Knisley (113) picked up a pin. Bermudian improved to 5-0 in the division and 14-2 overall.
NEW OXFORD 52, SUS QUEHANNOCK 18: At New Oxford, the Colonials received pins from Nolan Poust (138), Shane Hoff (152), Charlie Hoffman (182), Lake Laughman (120) and Guy Nitchman (126) to help the Colonials secure the York-Adams Division I victory. For the Warriors, Tyler White (170) and Rulbeing Quiles (220) each picked up a pin.
WEST YORK 42, KEN NARD-DALE 31: At Fawn Grove, Jacob Gemmill (220) helped lead the Bulldogs to the York-Adams Division I victory by picking up a pin in 46 seconds. Teammate Garrett Stauffer (152) also picked up a pin. For the Rams, Chance Marsteller (170) and Troy Jones (113) each picked up pins.
SPRING GROVE 57, NORTHEASTERN 6: The visiting Rockets won all but two of the 14 bouts to stay unbeaten in York-Adams Division I action. Spring Grove (7-0 league) got pins from Mason Bentzel (145), Jon Gross (170), Andy Melhorn (182), Derek Carlisle (113) and Zack Clingan (120). Northeastern received points from Jeb Payne (160) and Derrick Stahl (195).
-- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.