The 2010-2011 season has been nothing but a battle for the No. 7 Archbishop Curley Friars, who have been tested repeatedly over the first half of the season against tough in and out-of-state competition.

And while not always being so charitable to the team’s record, the lumps and scars earned in those battles has prepared the Friars for the remainder of the season, starting with a 42-33 win over Mount St. Joe, Wednesday.

“I am really proud of these guys tonight,” Curley coach Gregg Kessler said.  “They really pushed themselves, the guys weren’t satisfied and we knew we had to pin at a couple weightclasses in a close bout, so the guys really understood the situation and capitalized.”

The slate was essentially cleared 10 bouts into the night with Mount St. Joe coming back to tie the match at 27-27, but the pinning power of Brett Przywara (135) and Chuckie Blankenship (152), added with an Erik Meyer decision at 140, was a winning combo for the team.

“This was just recently my first match and I know our team has been struggling,” Przywara said.  “But we were able to come through, pin a couple of their kids, and that’s what won this match today.”

The Friars won eight matches on the night, with five of those wins coming by big-time falls from Purnell Summers (171), Avery Williams (189), Kyle Masemore (103), Przywara and Blankenship, but it was the final pin of the night that most likely came with the most pressure.

Leading by just three team-points into the final bout of the night, Blankenship ran onto the mat knowing that he had to win in the 152-pound contest.  Not only would a loss have sent the meet to tiebreaker criteria, but getting pinned would have likely lost the match.

“I was pretty confident about going over the mat,” Blankenship said.  “I beat the kid by a decision over the weekend, and I just had to go out there and win it for my team.”

Doing more than necessary, Blankenship worked a solid lead over his Gael opponent and stacked him in the third period for the team win.

“This has been a tough season for our squad,” Kessler said.  “We have been in every event and we haven’t missed a beat of competition.  So to beat another great team, this was not like, “Hey this is easy, we’ve got St. Joe.” We look at this like it is the toughest part of the season.”

chuckieDespite dropping to a 12-3 deficit early in the match with the back-to-back falls from Summers and Williams, St. Joe retook a lead at 15-12 with a tight win by Tyler Rill at 160, a fall at 215 by Tyler Tippett and forfeit to Keith Waddell at heavyweight, but even the added falls from Cole Mattson (119), Kevin Johnson (130) and Brady Massarro (145) wasn’t enough to overcome Curley’s pins and decisions by Jordan Brigman and Erik Meyer at 125 and 140, respectively.

“We are obviously rebuilding this year and our young guys are still kind of making the same mistakes they have been making all year,” Gael coach Paull Tripplett said.  “In tight matches like this, it comes back to bite you a little bit, and we need to work on correcting those mistakes.

“I think we have to get our starting lineup back in, so hopefully we will get healthier, and with a young team you just have to keep plugging away.”

Both teams are heading into the heart of their MIAA competition, with Curley next hosting No. 13 Loyola, Jan. 21, and Mount St. Joe hosting Gilman, Jan. 26.

“To pull a win tonight and for motivation, this nothing but motivates us for the end of the year,” Kessler said.  “Our team has gone through the storm and we have the battle scars, but I feel like we are on the rise, and I hope we cane keep the momentum going.”

No. 7 Archbishop Curley 42, No. 5 Mount St. Joe 33

160- Tyler Rill (MSJ) dec 3-2 Brett Brigman (AC) [3-0]
171- Purnell Summers (AC) fall 4:16 Kevin Nixon (MSJ) [3-6]
189- Avery Williams (AC) fall 3:31 Matt Lucas (MSJ) [3-12]
215- Tyler Tippett (MSJ) fall 1:17 Melvin Cross (AC) [9-12]
285- Keith Waddell (MSJ) forfeit [15-12]
103- Kyle Masemore (AC) fall 3:14 Sean Jones (MSJ) [15-18]
112- Vince Scarinzi (AC) forfeit [15-24]
119- Cole Mattson (MSJ) fall 4:48 Phil Robinson (AC) [21-24]
125- Jordan Brigman (AC) dec 3-2 Jimmy Klose (MSJ) [21-27]
130- Kevin Johnson (MSJ) fall 2:57 Fred Johnson (AC) [27-27]
135- Brett Przywara (AC) fall :56 Russ Parish (MSJ) [27-33]
140- Erik Meyer (AC) dec 9-3 Jimmy Sarbanes (MSJ) [27-36]
145- Brady Massaro (MSJ) fall 1:13 Morgan McColga (AC) [33-36]
152- Chuckie Blankenship (AC) fall 5:02 Daniel Salmon (MSJ) [33-42]