Back-to-back: MC wrestlers repeat as Section Two champs

By on January 24, 2018
Manheim Central sophomore Brandon Kheuangthirath celebrates after pinning Lampeter-Strasburg’s Hunter Erb in 1:40 in Monday’s 106-pound bout. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Manheim Central sophomore Brandon Kheuangthirath celebrates after pinning Lampeter-Strasburg’s Hunter Erb in 1:40 in Monday’s 106-pound bout. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Tyler Dougherty is a wrestler that Manheim Central knows it can count on.

And the Baron junior heavyweight showed exactly why on Monday night.

Facing a tough customer in Lampeter-Strasburg’s Tyler Phenegar, Dougherty scored a 7-0 shutout.

That was Manheim Central’s sixth win in the first eight bouts and gave them a 19-7 lead at the time.

After getting Lampeter-Strasburg’s Ramon Estevez in a reverse cradle, Manheim Central senior Zack Zeamer records a fall in 3:12 in the 138-pound weight class.

After getting Lampeter-Strasburg’s Ramon Estevez in a reverse cradle, Manheim Central senior Zack Zeamer records a fall in 3:12 in the 138-pound weight class.

And it was never close from there, as the Barons clinched back-to-back Section Two crowns with a 48-19 win in a battle of unbeatens in Manheim.

“Right now, we’re focusing one match at a time,” MC first-year coach Billy Chamberlain said, “but (the win) helps not only for the Section, not only for seeding at L-Ls, but it helps us District Duals coming up next week. We don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but every day we just want to be a little bit better.”

The Barons, ranked No. 1 atop the District Three Triple-A power ratings, improved to 11-1 overall (5-0 L-L) with the win.

“This is huge,” Baron junior 120-pounder Cade Zeamer added, “because they were undefeated and then it helps us in the rankings for District Duals. Tomorrow is a new day, that’s what coach Chamberlain teaches us, so now it’s over, we’ve got to keep our focus for Wednesday for Lebanon.”

Dougherty certainly kept his focus against Phenegar, who bumped up from 220. A first-period takedown and second-period reversal put the MC grappler in the driver’s seat, and that was all he needed on his way to the 7-0 decision.

“(Phenegar)’s a stud,” Chamberlain said. “He’s tough as anything and Dougherty showed how much he’s matured since last year. He’s going to go out there, he’s going to battle no matter how good his opponent is. He’s going to go after him.”

In all, Manheim Central took 10 of 14 bouts, with bonus points in eight of those.

“There were several toss-ups in the match and I thought that if our guys wrestled to their potential, we could do well,” Chamberlain said. “But L-S is a strong team. They battle, they’re fighters and this is a team that has been coming up. They’re very senior heavy right now, so you never know really what to expect.”

It was the Pioneers (4-1 L-L, 10-1 overall), listed No. 8 in the District Three Triple-A power ratings, actually took an early 3-0 lead as Bryan McKim gutted out a 3-0 win at 152.

But Austin Sauder used a five-point first-period takedown to springboard him to a 12-1 major over the Pioneers’ Jeff Elser in the 160-pound bout, giving the Barons a lead they never lost, 4-3.

MC’s Andrew Siegrist capitalized on a reversal with 1:23 left to earn a 4-2 win over Connor Penry at 170, and then senior 182-pounder Garret Fittery — after getting a second-period scare in which Logan Davidson reversed him to his back to cut his deficit to 8-6 — went on to earn a 16-6 major decision, making it 11-3.

“I feel like the match turned at 182, that match, because (Davidson) looked pretty tough,” Zeamer said. “Fittery performed very well.”

So did Baron junior Keegan McCord in the 195-pound match, getting three late back points to clinch a 22-5 tech fall over Johnny Franklin in 6:00.

L-S answered with its second win at 220, courtesy of Jack Eckman, who built an early 6-2 lead and held on for a 14-6 major, narrowing the Pioneers’ gap to 16-7.

But Dougherty followed with his 7-0 win, then Brandon Kheuangthirath caught Hunter Erb in a reverse cradle for a fall in 1:40, stretching MC’s advantage to 25-7 and it was all Barons.

“When (Brandon) pinned, that was very uplifting to us,” Zeamer said, “and that’s when I got very hyped because then we were like, ‘Alright, here we are.’ And then Will, of course.”

As Zeamer noted, Will Betancourt, a returning State qualifier, didn’t disappoint, rolling to a dominant 17-2 tech fall in 4:42 against Arik Harnish.

That set up Zeamer’s match at 120, and he clinched the match for the Barons by flattening the Pioneers’ Riley Eckman in 1:26, stretching the lead to 37-7 with just four bouts remaining.

“I kinda flattened him from up top and then I got double legs in and pinned him,” Zeamer recalled. “It was more of a reverse-half with a cement mixer, I’d say pretty much.”

The Pioneers got their final two wins at 126 and 132, with Mason Blank (1:47) and Michael Hazboun (1:46) both recording first-period falls.

But Manheim Central’s Zack Zeamer decked Ramon Estevez in a reverse cradle in 3:12 in the 138-pound bout and then Ryan McKee flattened Nick Salgado in 1:46 with a cross-face cradle at 145, and that was the match.

“It’s huge,” Chamberlain said of the win, “and especially the way we were doing it — winning the third periods, trying to always push the action at the end. It’s one of those things where it builds — you want to do better than your teammate did at the weight before, and then the next and the next. And it gets everybody pumped up, it gets the crowd into it, and it was an awesome atmosphere tonight. Great crowd.”

 

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