PENNSBURY — Abington left Pennsbury with a split of Wednesday night's 14 bouts, a positive development for the improving wrestling program.
The bonus points just didn't add up, as the Galloping Ghosts dropped a 37-30 dual match to the host Falcons.
"I'm happy with the way the kids wrestled," Abington head coach John Gillespie said. "They were doing a lot of things that we've been working on in the room. We knew we were going to have a tough time against here, but we're getting better."
The Ghosts are without star 220-pounder Bryan Osei, whose season ended earlier this month with a torn labrum and partially torn bicep tendon suffered at the Bullet Invitational at Brandywine Heights.
A dominating mat presence, Osei had plans to qualify for states, like his older brother David, a state runner-up in 2009. Instead, he will rehab to prepare for playing defensive end/linebacker at Temple University. He finished his high-school career at 51-32, finishing as high as fifth in districts.
In Osei's place, second-year wrestler Keith Stewart went for a move against Pennsbury's Daniel Kliesh, but Kliesh countered and recorded a crucial pin at 4:30.
The match began at the 170 weight class, and Abington led 12-10 after heavyweight Angel Carlo's major decision over Luke Zaccarelli, giving the Ghosts a 3-2 edge in bout wins.
The night turned on the low weights, as Pennsbury freshman Eric Mongiello delivered the first of four momentum-swinging pins, finishing off Alex Winshel at 3:48.
"I felt like the momentum was going our way, and we would get on a roll," Mongiello said.
Mongiello's win gave Pennsbury a lead it wouldn't relinquish, as juniors Jason Bing, Anthony DiEmedio and Josh Disanto followed with pins at 113, 120 and 126, respectively.
DiSanto, who won the 132-pound championship at the Governor Mifflin Mustang Holiday Classic over the weekend, had a particularly easy time, pinning Austin Inverso in 25 seconds.
"[Eric] was the big momentum changer, and the guys who followed did their jobs as well," said Pennsbury's first-year coach Phil Kealy. "We needed every one of those pins. That's something we've been working on. You're out there to pin your opponent. If you're not working the pin, you're not doing your job. They knew what they had to do and got it done."
Abington shuffled its lineup at that point, bumping Mike Molz and Mike McCaughey up one weight class — and the strategy worked. Molz pinned a heavier Tyler Sowa, and McCaughey won a decision over Matt Maine.
"I'll wrestle wherever the team needs me," said Molz, who employed a double-leg takedown for his winning pin. "[Sowa] raised his arms, so I ducked under and took a shot. You hope the team follows behind you. I felt that we could've done better with a full, healthy lineup. We have to get better."
McCaughey was one of those injured grapplers, but he fought through a chest injury win his decision. The Ghosts were also without Adrian Deangelo, who hurt his back during Tuesday's practice.
Kyle Pederzani followed McCaughey with a decision to keep the Ghosts in range entering the two final matches, but Pennsbury's David Mills ended any doubt with a 6-5 win over Alden Shea. Russell Inverso held on in the final match to give Abington a 7-7 split in matches.
"The match went the way we thought it would go, with the exception of a couple of things," Gillespie said. "We went 7-7 and the score doesn't reflect that. Pennsbury has tough, aggressive kids. We got them where we thought we would, and they got us [at certain points]. They got pins for their wins, and we were fighting for decisions at our spots."
Pennsbury 37, Abington 30:
106 pounds: Eric Mongiello (P) pinned Alex Winshel 3:48
113: Jason Bing (P) pinned Zach Hain, 2:44
120: Anthony DiEmidio (P) pinned Zach Levy, 1:08
126: Josh DiSanto (P) pinned Austi Inverso, :25
132: Mike Molz (A) pinned Tyler Sowa, 5:12
138: Mike McCaughey (A) dec. Matt Maine, 6-4
145: Kyle Pederzani (A) dec. Luke Kowal, 7-4
152: David Mills (P) dec. Alden Shea, 6-5
160: Russ Inverso (A) pinned Ryan Lieb, 4:26
170: Max Greenberg (A) tech fall Ethan Paraboshi, 16-1
182: Brandon Scheitrum (A) dec. Ernie Tessein, 9-8
195: Michael O'Brien (P) maj dec. Mark Lee, 9-1
220: Daniel Kliesh (P) pinned Keith Stewart, 4:30
285: Angel Carlo (A) maj dec. Luke Zaccarelli, 11-1