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Army West Point battles back to defeat Bucknell

LEWISBURG, Pa. -- The Army West Point wrestling team erased a 13-point deficit to complete the come-from-behind victory in thrilling fashion over Bucknell on Sunday afternoon, 22-19.

The Black Knights halted their six-match losing skid to improve to 2-6 on the season, while the Bison dropped to 3-13 on the year.

After a back-and-forth battle through the first two rounds of the lightweight bout, Mike Macklin caught Trey Chalifoux out of position and collected six points on a pin for the home squad. Rookie Lane Peters cut that deficit in half with a 6-3 decision over David Campbell, but two bonus point wins at 141 and 149 pounds lifted Bucknell to a 16-3 edge through the first four matches.

The tides turned from there, however, as Lucas Weiland put Army back in the fight in a big way with a 9-0 major decision over Christian Basolino for his first-career dual victory. The sophomore 157-pounder's win cut the deficit to 16-7, allowing a 16-0 technical fall by senior co-captain Andrew Mendel and a 10-3 decision by the 27th-ranked 174-pound wrestler in the nation, Ben Harvey, to bring the visitors within one at 16-15.

After a 7-2 upset victory at 184 pounds by No. 32 Drew Phipps over No. 30 Noah Stewart, the Cadets trailed by four with two matches remaining. Needing wins in both matches, head wrestling coach Kevin Ward got creative with his lineup, sending 184-pounder and team co-captain Jack Wedholm out on the mat to wrestle at 197 pounds. This is not out of the ordinary for Wedholm, who won matches at 174, 184 and 197 pounds last season.

Wedholm controlled the pace of the match from start to finish, picking up the 13-1 major decision over Chad Reese to tie the teams at 19 apiece heading into the final match. Winner takes all.

Enter Rocco Caywood. Army's normal 197-pounder, who is ranked 30th nationally at that weight, bumped up to wrestle his first collegiate heavyweight bout with the dual on the line. The Toledo, Ohio native got out to a 4-0 lead after the first period and maintained that margin at 6-2 heading into the final stanza of the dual. Caywood worked one more escape to come away with the 7-3 decision and give the Black Knights the victory.

ARMY HIGHLIGHTS AND GAME NOTES
The win was Army's first at Bucknell since the 2012-13 season.
The Black Knights have erased double-digit deficits in both of their dual wins this year.
Ward posted his 15th dual win at Army.
Peters picked up his team-leading 18th win of the season.
Weiland earned his first-career dual victory with a major decision.
Mendel documented his 25th-career bonus point victory with a technical fall.
It was also the senior co-captain's 15th win of the 2017-18 season.
Harvey collected the 10th dual victory of his career.
The sophomore from New Palestine, Ind., tied his dual win total from last season with five.
Wedholm gained his 65th-career victory in his first bout at 197 pounds this year.
He improved to 2-0 at that weight class with both wins coming in duals.
Caywood won his first-career heavyweight bout to secure the victory for the Black Knights.

Results:
125: Mike Macklin pins Trey Chalifoux at 5:14 (Bucknell leads, 6-0)
133: Lane Peters dec. over David Campbell, 6-3 (Bucknell leads, 6-3)
141: #12 Tyler Campbell maj. dec. over Austin Harry, 17-5 (Bucknell leads, 10-3)
149: Seth Hogue pins Will Lucie at 2:25 (Bucknell leads, 16-3)
157: Lucas Weiland maj. dec. over Christian Bassolino, 9-0 (Bucknell leads, 16-7)
165: Andrew Mendel tech. fall over Joey Schiele, 16-0 (Bucknell leads, 16-12)
174: #27 Ben Harvey dec. over Nick Stephani, 10-3 (Bucknell leads, 16-15)
184: #32 Drew Phipps dec. over #30 Noah Stewart, 7-2 (Bucknell leads, 19-15)
197: Jack Wedholm maj. dec. over Chad Reese, 13-1 (Tied, 19-19)
285: Rocco Caywood dec. over Brandon Stokes, 10-3 (Army leads, 22-19)

UP NEXT
The Black Knights head down to Annapolis, Md., on Friday for their annual Star Match against service-academy rival Navy. The dual is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.

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