MARYVILLE — After falling into a pair of 18-0 holes, the fourth-ranked Bradley Central matmen were able to climb out of one and almost the second before a late slip handed them their first loss of the new wrestling season.
The Bears slipped to 3-1 in dual meet action with a 37-27 victory over No. 12 Pigeon Forge, but gave up a 12-point turnaround in the final two matches against the 18th-ranked host Maryville Heritage for a 39-37 defeat.
Bradley, which also has a second place finish in the Ooltewah Invitational to its credit, will travel to the Tullahoma Duals this weekend before hosting 23rd-ranked Chattanooga Central Tuesday.
The Bears dropped their first four matches to Pigeon Forge before second-ranked Toribio Navarro started a comeback with a 33-second pin in the 106-pound match.
Third-ranked Dyer Rose followed with an 8-4 decision win at 113 and Dakota Bromley picked up a 14-5 major decision at 120.
In a battle of state-ranked wrestlers at 126, No. 2 Joseph Dodgen handed fourth-ranked Bear senior Dakota Ream his first loss of the season in a 12-6 decision.
Trailing 21-13, Taylor Kazy got Bradley headed back in the right direction with a pin at 132 before Caven Rogers earned an 8-4 decision at 138 to give the Bears their first lead of the meet.
The Tigers retook the lead with a pin at 145 before Jacob Staton edged out a 6-5 decision at 152. Pigeon Forge had to forfeit the final two matches, lifting the Bears from a two-point deficit to a 10-point victory.
Bradley once found itself looking up after getting pinned in the first three matches against the host Mountaineers, but once again Navarro stemmed the tide, this time with a 17-8 major decision.
Bromley helped out with a 17-4 win and Ream fought hard for a 13-10 decision at 126, but after a decision defeat at 132, the Bears were still down 27-13.
A forfeit and three straight pins from Colter McConnell (145), Staton (152) and Robbie Clark (160) put Bradley in the driver’s seat with a 10-point advantage with just two matches to go.
However, a pin at 170 gave the hosts hope and with top-ranked Kegan Matlock going against a first-year varsity wrestler in the final bout, another slap of the mat gave the Mountaineers the upset victory.
BEARS 37, PIGEON FORGE 27
Match started at 182
182 – Trevor Reed (PF) pinned Corey Bandy, 1:28; 195 – Alex Breeden (PF) dec Alex Forgey, 6-3; 220 – Chris King (PF) pinned Zachery McFarland, 1:42; 285 – Nicholas Hilley dec. JJ Johnson 9-5; 106 – Toribio Navarro (BC) pinned Jacob Rulter, :33; 113 – Dyer Rose (BC) dec Matthew Kieta 8-4; 120 - Dakota Bromley (BC) maj dec Caleb Poole 14-5; 126 - Joseph Dodgen (PF) dec Dakota Ream (BC) 12-6; 132 - Taylor Kazy (BC) pinned Joshua Croley, 1:00; 138 - Caven Rogers (BC) dec Spencer Davis, 8-4; 145 – Nate Croley (PF) pinned Colter McConnell, 3:27; 152 - Jacob Staton (BC) dec Issac Frye (PF) 6-5; 160 – Robbie Clark (BC) won by forfeit; 170 – Eric Goins (BC) won by forfeit.
HERITAGE 39, BEARS 37
Match started at 195
195 – Schyker Larue (H) pinned Alex Forgey, :41; 220 – Jed Davis (H) pinned Zachery McFarland, 4:22; 285 – Joey Evan (H) pinned JJ Johnson, 1:42; 106 – Toribio Navarro (BC) maj dec Juan Hernandez, 17-8; 113 – Nick Crawford (H) pinned Dyer Rose, 1:36; 120 - Dakota Bromley (BC) maj dec Matthew Spradlin, 17-4; 126 - Dakota Ream (BC) dec Michael Deamer, 13-10; 132 - Jose Hernandez (H) dec Taylor Kazy 7-1; 138 - Caven Rogers (BC) won by forfeit; 145 – Colter McConnell (BC) pinned Riley Jones, 1:25; 152 - Jacob Staton (BC) pinned Josh Carpenter, 1:08; 160 – Robbie Clark (BC) pinned Dexter Watson, 1:17; 170 – Joel Payne (H) pinned Corey Bandy, :50; 182 – Kegan Matlock (H) pinned Eric Goins, 2:36.