By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
HERSHEY - Freshman Gavin Bradley scored a pair of takedowns and was dominant on top to win a 4-2 decision over Glendale freshman Suds Dubler in the opening round of the PIAA, Class AA wrestling championships here Thursday morning at the Giant Center.
"(Dubler) is a stud, he was 39-2," said Athens coach Shawn Bradley. "For (Gavin), everything is bonus now, but he wrestled to win, and that's huge.
"It is such a key to get that first win here," added Shawn Bradley. "He's put himself in good position. He's gotta win one more match, and he places - that's a huge win."
Bradley got in on a single-leg early in the first period for a 2-0 lead, then rode Dubler for the final 84 seconds to take a 2-0 lead into the second period.
Dubler evened the match with a double-leg takedown early in the second quarter, and showed his prowess on top as well, riding Bradley for the final 83 seconds to send the match into the third period at 2-2.
Bradley scored his second takedown midway through the third period, and was able to ride Dubler for the final 60 seconds to secure the 4-2 win.
Shawn Bradley said Gavin's work on top was the key.
"We had some arguments over the summer about this, some people didn't think I should teach him legs, but David (White) was tough as hell on top because of legs, it's a great equalizer.
"If he gets legs in, his core strength is so strong, I don't care who it is they are going to struggle to get out," said Bradley.
"Gavin is a hammer on top," added Bradley.
Bradley will now face unbeaten Southeast Region champ Lucas Haines (38-0) of Biglerville in the quarterfinals Friday morning. Haines won his opening-round match via first-period fall.
Friday's action begins at 9 a.m. with the quarterfinals.
IN PHOTOS: Athens freshman Gavin Bradley. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.