By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
HERSHEY - Athens freshman Gavin Bradley scored a pair of takedowns, but unbeaten and nationally-ranked Levi Haines of Biglerville prevailed via third-period fall Friday morning in the quarterfinals of the PIAA, Class AA wrestling championships here at the Giant Center.
"He wrestled OK, but he has to wrestle better on bottom," said Athens assistant coach Jay White.
Haines, now 39-0, scored a takedown just 16 seconds into the bout, then rode Bradley the remainder of the first before finally turning him for two near-fall points at the buzzer for a 4-0 lead.
"We were afraid if Gavin hung in ties, he would get passed by, and that's what happened," said White. "He got stuck in a tie, couldn't get his arm out, and got passed for the first takedown."
Bradley scored a single-leg takedown 34 seconds into the second period, but got too high trying to tie in legs and Haines registered a quick reversal for a 7-2 lead. (Bradley was whistled for locked-hands just prior to the reversal.)
Bradley was penalized for stalling late in the second stanza and trailed 8-2 heading into the final two minutes.
The Athens freshman scored his second takedown 31 seconds into the third period, but Haines again recorded a quick reversal, finishing off the bout at 5:31.
"He took him down twice, but he got so panicked on top that he rushed some things and gave up two reversals he shouldn't have given up," said White.
"He should have taken advantage of those takedowns, but he rushed into legs, and got too high," added White. "Hopefully, we'll fix that problem."
Bradley, now 32-10, falls into the third round of wrestlebacks later this morning and will face freshman Hunter Robinson (35-7) of Hunter McLane.
White acknowledges it's never easy bouncing back from your first loss at States.
"It's hard, we'll see what Gavin is made out of," he said. "We just need to calm him down a little bit.
"He just needs to win one more and he gets a medal," added White. "Gavin's a different kind of kid, I think he'll be all right."
IN PHOTOS: Athens freshman Gavin Bradley. IN PHOTO 5: Athens coach Shawn Bradley (left) and assistant coach Jay White. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.
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