Freedom’s Bryson Miller Starts and Finishes Strong in Decision over Garrett McClintick

HERSHEY, Pa.: Freedom’s Bryson Miller hasn’t been himself the last two months of the high school wrestling season.

It wasn’t a technique issue. There was no slump. Miller tweaked his calendar during the MAC Tournament in early January and has been dealing with some pain and inability to train as needed.

That’s made it difficult, at times. Especially when the match is on the line heading into the third period.

Miller didn’t have that issue in his opening-round match Thursday at Hershey’s Giant Center. The Patriots ace started strong and had enough in the tank at the end to finish off Brockway’s Garrett McClintick in a 7-2 decision during the Class 2A portion of the PIAA Championships.

“I always seem to gas in the third period,” Miller said “My ankle has been messed up, so I haven’t been able to run as much as everyone else. It’s pretty good. I taped it up today for extra support, and it hasn’t bothered me much.

“It was a good [win]. I’m right up there with those guys. There should be no reason why I’m not being them.”

It’s not like Miller fell off the cliff with his ankle troubles. After spending some time at 195, Miller entered the match as the No. 6-ranked 182-pound wrestler in the state, according to PA Power Wrestling.

But an opening round bout against the No. 3-ranked McClintick was no easy task. Miller was going to have to start fast, and did so, latching on to a single in the opening moments of the match.

Miller didn’t finish, but he set the tone. He was able get another single and trip McClintick for the takedown and a 2-0 lead at the end of one period.

“I come out here and wrestle the best I can,” said Miller, who placed sixth at the weight a year ago. “I feel like I wrestle better up here than anywhere else because of the atmosphere.

“Getting that first takedown takes a little weight off your shoulders and gives you something to work with. If the single is there, I take it. I’m not really looking for certain things, just opportunities.”

Miller escaped with 39 seconds left in the second period, which set him up for the third. McClintick escaped five second in, but Miller scored on a go-behind off a shot to build a 5-1 advantage.

McClintick couldn’t penetrate Miller’s defense. He tried another shot in the closing stages, but the Patriots senior countered with another go-behind and earned a spot in Friday morning’s quarterfinal round.

“My goal was to score as much as I could and not let the match get close to point where I could lose,” Miller said. “Just score points.

“I feel like I’m right there with the top three guys, the top five guys. I should have no issues the rest of the tournament to medal in the top five.”

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