Northern Tier Sports Report
TOWANDA — Canton’s strong wrestling season continued on Tuesday as they defeated Towanda 60-15 in NTL action.

The Warriors won 10 of the 13 matches, taking nine of them by fall, as they improved to 6-0 on the year and 3-0 in the league standings.

“We’re happy the kids went out and performed but we have work to do,” said Canton coach Lyle Wesneski. “We have things we have to work on.”

Despite the big win Wesneski spent much of match putting notes in his phone of things his wrestlers need to improve upon.

“We got to practice (Wednesday) and that’s what we’re going to do work on,” he explained. “We have to keep getting better, we have things we need to improve on.”

Cohen Landis (106), Isaac Landis (113), Miah Lehman (120), Bailey Ferguson (132), Hudson Ward (138), Hayden Ward (145), Riley Parker (160), Brenen Taylor (172) and Derek Atherton-Ely (189) all had falls for Canton while Brayden Wesneski (126) scored a forfeit.

Towanda falls to 3-3 and 1-1 in league action.

“I thought we went out and competed to the best of our ability,” said Towanda coach Bill Sexton. “There were a number of places in the line-up that we were overmatched. Canton does have some really solid kids, I think they’re going to end up having a really fine season.”

The Knight seniors came through with Evan Johnson (152) and Clay Watkins (215) scoring falls while Alex Perez (285) won a 10-7 decision, the only match that went a full six minutes.

The match opened with heavyweight as as in the first period Perez pressed the action on Canton freshman Mason Harold, forcing a stall warning before getting a takedown.

Harold snuck out for an escape just before the first period buzzer to make it 2-1.

Harold took down in the second period and escaped to not the score up at 2-2. The two locked up and Perez was able to get a throw in, taking Harold to his back, though couldn’t quite control him for the fall.

Still, Perez went up 7-2, though Harold squirted out for an escape to cut it to 7-4.

Perez took down to start the third period and was able to get Harold’s leg, circle to it and eventually score a reversal off the move to go up 9-4.

That’s when things got tight for Perez as Harold did the same to cut it to 9-6. Perez got call for a stall to make it 9-7 but Harold was tabbed for locked hands late for the 10-7 final.

Towanda took a 3-0 lead but wouldn’t score again until eight matches later, by which point Canton had built a 42-3 lead.

Beginning at 106 Cohen Landis used a first period double leg takedown and back points to go up 5-0 on Towanda’s John Parker. Cohen then got another take down in the second period and eventually pinned Parker in 3:56 to give his team a 6-3 lead.

At 113 Cohen’s brother Isaac Landis almost got in trouble against Dalton Lunn. When he was taking him to the ground Lunn nearly caught Landis beneath him, though Landis kept rolling through to get on top. He used that to pin Lunn in 54 seconds.

The 120 pound match saw Towanda’s Mykee Nowell build a 13-5 lead on Lehman before giving up the fall in 4:52.

Nowell was strong on his feet, getting two takedowns early to go up 4-1. He tried to cradle Lehman up but she broke the grip and reversed him to cut it to 4-3. Nowell, though, reversed her late in the first period to take a 6-3 lead into the second.

Nowell got another right toff the bat in the second to push his advantage to 8-3, but Lehman came back with a reverse. Nowell came back with another reverse of his own, this time using his advantage on top to get three back points for the 13-5 lead.

Lehman was on top in the third and used it her advantage, stretching Nowell out and eventually turning him for the fall.

“Mykee made a tactical mistake,” said Sexton. “He was dominating the match for two periods, took down, took a break and let Miah get the legs in, and, she’s technically a pretty good wrestler. She was able to take advantage of that situation she was in, so hopefully a learning experience for Mykee.”

After Wesneski’s forfeit at 126 Canton got into the heart of their line-up.

At 132 Ferguson built a 10-1 lead over Joey Vanderpool before getting the fall in 3:43. He scored a takedown and used the power half to get three back points. Vanderpool was able to get to his feet after that to escape but got taken down again.

Leading 7-1 Ferguson got an escape point in the second, then flipped Vanderpool on his back during a tie-up to get the pin.

The Warriors followed that with back to back first period falls. Hudson Ward (138) pinned Dillon Gallagher in 1:15 followed by Hayden Ward (145) pinning Garrett Chapman in 56 seconds.

At 152 Johnson was able to stop the bleeding. During a scramble Johnson was able to cradle Canton’s Michael Davis for the takedown and back points to go up 5-0.

Davis came back late in the first period as he spun out to nab a reversal, cutting it to 5-2. Starting on top Johnson was able to turn Davis over and get the fall in 3:33.

“Evan did what you would expect Evan to do in the situation,” said Sexton. “He just kept plugging away with it.”

Parker (160) then came on and got another quick Canton fall, pinning Zayne McPeak in 32 seconds for the 48-9 lead.

Taylor (172) followed that up with a fall over Brandon Lantz in 3:22. Taylor used a takedown and back points to go up 5-0 in the first period. Then, in the second, he scored an escape, then got in a shot to get the takedown. From there he was able to pin Lantz.

Atherton-Ely (189) added to Canton’s first period falls with his pin over Spencer Jennings in 1:03, throwing Jennings to his back after the two tied up early.

In the final bout Canton’s Gage Pepper got on top of Watkins late in the first period as he scored a takedown near the edge of the mat.

“Clay made a mistake, he relaxed in an over-under position and he ended up getting thrown,” said Sexton. “Ironically, it’s something he knows really well, he should know the lateral drop is there and it’s coming and he just got caught.”

Watkins got an escape point back before time ran out in the first period.

In the second Watkins started on top and used it to his advantage, turning Pepper to get the fall in 3:47.

“I was pleased with the way he battled back in that situation,” said Sexton. “He got off his back, out of bounds, took control of the match and he didn’t relax anymore after that.”

Both teams have rivalry duals the rest of the week - Canton at Troy on Thursday, Towanda hosting Wyalusing on Friday - with the two teams meeting again this weekend at the Jarvis Tournament.

After that Canton really gets into the teeth of their schedule.

“Next week if our meat grinder where we wrestle six consecutive days in a row,” said Wesneski. “We wrestle eight matches next week.”

Looking ahead, Canton’s got the better of Towanda the past couple of years but Wesneski knows things can change quickly.

“He’s got a great group coming through junior high,” he said. “Everybody’s going through tough times now with Covid - they have a lot of injuries. That’s just the way it is.”

CUTLINE: Canton’s Derek Atherton-Ely works for the fall on Towanda’s Spencer Jennings at 189 pounds Tuesday…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING.


285: Alex Perez (T) dec. Mason Harold, 10-7

106: Cohen Landis (C) fall John Parker, 3:56

113: Isaac Landis (C) fall Dalton Lunn, :54

120: Miah Lehman (C) fall Mykee Nowell, 4:52

126: Brayden Wesneski (C) fft

132: Bailey Ferguson (C) fall Joey Vanderpool, 3:43

138: Hudson Ward (C) fall Dillon Gallagher, 1:15

145: Hayden Ward (C) fall Garrett Chapman, :56

152: Evan Johnson (T) fall Michael Davis, 3:33

160: Riley Parker (C) fall Zayne McPeak, :32

172: Brenen Taylor (C) fall Brandon Lantz, 3:22

189: Derek Atherton-Ely (C) fall Spencer Jennings, 1:03

215: Clay Watkins (T) fall Gage Pepper, 3:47

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