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Connellsville wrestling scores win in advance of weekend Duals event

Connellsville's Tyler Steele (back) looks to bring down Butler's Jeremiah Bortmans during Thursday's 145-pound bout. Lori Padilla/For the Daily Courier

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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 11:35 p.m.

After a tough weekend at the Battlefield Duals in Virginia, the Connellsville wrestling team spent the next few days preparing for another grueling week.

The Falcons will take part in the Central Dauphin Duals on Saturday, but before that, they fought their way to a 38-21 win over a determined Butler squad in a nonsection match Thursday at Connellsville.

The match was a grind for both clubs, with seven of the 14 bouts going all six minutes and one lasting into a rideout session. Connellsville won nine of the matchups.

“They are a strong team, and it was hard going,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said. “It was a good battle, and that's the kind of wrestling I like. We're going to see more teams like that come up again, and it was a good experience for our kids.”

The match started at heavyweight, and the tone was set from the start as the bout lasted beyond regulation. In the rideout session, Connellsville's Gunnar Lynch scored an escape to earn a 2-1 win over Damian Wheeler.

Tyler Kenney (106) followed with a technical fall before Daniel Leonard (113) gave the Falcons (11-1) a 14-0 lead with a first-period pin.

Butler bounced back to win the next two bouts on back-to-back shutout decisions by Blake Caudill (120) and Korey Caudill (126). However, the Falcons countered with two decisions as Bryce Butler (132) and Ethan Kenney (138) battled their way to wins.

Jeremiah Bortmans brought Butler back into the match with a pin at 145, but the Connellsville brother tandem of Dale Provance (152) and Tommy Provance (160) gave the Falcons breathing room with pins that pushed the lead to 32-12.

Dale Provance shouldered David Slomers in the first period before Tommy Provance planked Zachery Raible in the second period.

“Dale Provance lit it up,” Dolde said. “And his brother is only a freshman, and he is hard to stop.”

Butler won the next two bouts thanks to a Ryan Hannon decision at 170 and a Zack Weaver pin at 182, but the Falcons sealed the victory with decisions from Matt Butler (195) and Dylan Miller (220).

“We're still young, and this was a good test for our kids,” Dolde said.

Although the Golden Tornado (3-2) suffered the loss after a two-hour bus ride, the experience was worth it for Butler coach Scott Stoner.

“We come down here as much as we can,” Stoner said. “We don't have the tradition Connellsville has, so we want teams like this on our schedule. I like my kids getting some physicality, and hopefully, in tough matches, it helps us rise to the occasion.”

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

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