LEHMAN TWP. — Lake-Lehman would have been just fine without Josh Winters pulling out an extra point in the closing seconds or Derek Dragon rallying from behind to win by pin.
The Black Knights had plenty enough to get through the first two rounds of the District 2 Class 2A Dual Meet Wrestling Championships in their home gym Friday night.
But, with tougher battles ahead, including tonight's district championship match with Western Wayne at Pittston Area, the efforts by Winters and Dragon were positive signs.
Lake-Lehman and Western Wayne, division champions from their respective leagues and the event's top seeds, rolled through two rounds of competition on a night when the outcome of none of the six matches was much of a mystery.
They used the comfortable victories to move into tougher-to-predict rematch of last season's title match that Western Wayne won, 35-34.
They have a great team, Lake-Lehman coach Tom Williams said of the Wildcats. We'll have our hands full. It could be very much like last year.
They've been beating a lot of quality teams.
The same could be said of the Black Knights, who have won 17 straight to improve to 19-3 overall in dual meets.
Lake-Lehman rolled over Hanover Area, 48-18, and Lackawanna Trail, 52-21, despite going without 113-pounder J.T. Tomasura and heavyweight Dustin Jones, who are both expected to be ready for tonight's match.
Western Wayne made it through the closest match of the night, 48-29, over Wyoming Area, before handling Meyers, 64-18, in the semifinals.
Josh Sayre needed just 40 seconds to put Lake-Lehman ahead in the semifinal with his pin at 138.
Winters then worked his way to a 9-1 major decision and a 10-0 team lead.
Josh Winters' bout really set the tone, Williams said. He let the guy up and scored a takedown with a couple seconds left.
We're getting to the time of year when you really value an extra point and he did what he had to do to get one.
The Black Knights learned to value those points with a couple of one-point losses and a three-pointer early in the season.
Lake-Lehman later put together wins in six straight bouts, including five on the mat, to open a 40-3 advantage on Hanover Area.
Dragon fell behind in the second period but used a reversal to set up a pin of Thomas Bogarowski while trailing, 5-4, with eight seconds in the period at 182.
As soon as I rolled through, I really felt like I was going to be able to get him, Dragon said.
Dragon, a sophomore who bumped up after weighing in at 171, produced the win against an opponent who pinned him in junior high competition as an eighth grader.
Tom's a great wrestler, he said.
I knew what he liked to do and knew what I had to try to do to stop it.
Dragon and Robert Wright led the way for the Wyoming Valley Conference Division II champions with a pair of pins.
Phillip Hettes had a pin for one of his two wins.
Zeb McMillan, Austin Harry and Brady Butler each had one pin and picked up another win by forfeit.
Connor Rosensweet led the way for Lackawanna League Division II champion Western Wayne, putting away two 195-pound opponents in a combined 43 seconds.
Wyoming Area had two early leads on Western Wayne.
Charles Johnson had a pin and Nicholas Heck a decision in the first two bouts for a 9-0 lead. Nick O'Brien used a pin at 160 to put the Warriors up 15-12 before Western Wayne took charge with three straight first-period pins followed by a pair of forfeits.
Before falling to Western Wayne, Meyers pounded Scranton Prep early in a 47-15 quarterfinal win.
Justin Elick, Gino Setta, Quince Hutchins, Jonathan Nelson and T.J. Cistrunk needed just a combined 4:28 to turn a 5-0 lead into a 35-0 blowout between 138 and 170 pounds.