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Bucks hand Barons first Section loss Bonus points lead MC over Ephrata Wrestling
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
As Manheim Central wrestling coach Troy Sunderland stood at the side of the mat last Thursday and looked ahead to this week’s challenges, it was easy to detect the concern in his voice as he talked about both Conestoga Valley and Garden Spot.
The Barons had just knocked off Ephrata to remain unbeaten at 3-0, but Sunderland knew that a couple of tough tests were waiting.
He was right.
In a Section Two showdown of unbeatens on Tuesday night in Witmer, the Buckskins handed Manheim Central its first league loss, rallying from a 32-14 deficit with falls in the final three bouts to 33-32 to win on Criteria H (most first points won in each match).
The loss dropped the Barons to 3-1 in Section (3-2 overall) heading into another tough challenge tonight (Thursday) at 7 p.m. when they host Garden Spot (4-0, 7-2).
Things seemed to be going the Barons’ way for most of the night against CV, as Kyler West opened it up with a 13-0 major win at 113 and Mike McCormick won by forfeit in the 120-pound bout to make it 10-0.
In a back-and-forth battle, the host Bucks took three straight from 126 to 138 to take their first lead of the night, 11-10. But the Barons answered Jared Siegrist’s 18-5 major at 145 and Mitchell Gingrich’s disqualification win at 152, putting the Barons up 20-11.
They also reeled off three straight wins from 170 to 195 behind Tyler Rhoads’ 4-1 decision, J.J. Sanchez’s 6-5 win, and Rey Lasanta’s 43-second fall, making the score 32-14 with just three bouts remaining.
But the Buckskins ended with falls by Christopher Orantes (4:43) at 220, Joseph Bragg (1:11) at 285 and Jose Morales (3:26) in the 106-pound bout.
Last Thursday, Manheim Central capitalized on key bonus points of their own in their 43-25 win over Ephrata. That match marked the varsity dual meet debut of sophomore wrestler Joe Giffin, and it will no doubt be one that he remembers for a long time.
Giffin’s teammates had given the Barons an early 21-4 lead on Ephrata last Thursday, only to see the Mounts gain some momentum with back-to-back wins from Bobby Nye and Cameron Eisenhauer to make the score 21-13.
After giving away a forfeit in the 220-pound bout, Ephrata was hoping to keep things moving in the right direction at heavyweight.
Giffin, though, had other ideas, and he pinned Jeremiah Kreider in 2:58 to help break it open for the Manheim Central grapplers, as they went on to defeat Ephrata 43-25 in a Section Two match in Manheim.
"I think (Giffin’s fall) just sorta kept the momentum going," Manheim Central coach Troy Sunderland said. "He wrestled in the tournaments for us a little bit, but that was his first dual meet, so that was nice for him, battling nerves for his first time getting out there and getting a big win for the team."
Giffin’s fall was one of four for the Barons in their win over Ephrata (1-2 Section Two). Overall, MC scored bonus points in all nine of their wins, including three major decisions and one tech fall.
"That’s always the difference anytime you give up bonus points and you don’t get them — we always try to teach our kids about being greedy when points are there and being stingy when giving them up," EHS coach Josh Clair said. "We had some kids fight, but in the long run, the bonus points were the big difference."
Coupled with their ..-.. win over Conestoga Valley this past Tuesday night, Manheim Central now holds a 4-0 league record (4-1 overall) heading into their showdown with Garden Spot tonight (Thursday) in what could determine the Section Two champion.
Manheim Holiday Tournament finalists Ben Metzler and Jared Siegrist appeared to be ready for prime time following dominant performances against Ephrata at 138 and 145, respectively. Metzler recorded five nearfalls in less than two periods on his way to a 15-0 whitewashing in 3:43, while Siegrist followed with a fall in 3:10 over Ipsen Powers, putting the Barons in front 11-0.
"(Ben and Jared) wrestled some tough competition last week (in the Holiday Tourney)," Sunderland said, "and I think that helped them prepare for tonight and throughout the rest of the season."
Ethan Sipe got the Mounts on the board at 152, scoring a two-point tilt and a takedown in his five-point second period in a 10-2 major decision over Skyler Munoz.
But the Barons answered with two more solid wins at 160 and 170 to take command, 21-4. Tyler Rhoads capitalized on an eight-point first period to defeat Nick Hatch 15-1 and then J.J. Sanchez made quick work with a 44-second fall over Bryan Rohrbaugh.
That set the stage for a hard-fought battle at 182, where Ephrata’s Nye outdueled Central’s Brock Fittery, 2-0. Scoreless after one, the Mounts’ junior picked up the only point in the second period with an escape. A penalty point with just under one minute to go in the third doubled the lead, and although that appeared to be in jeopardy when Fittery nearly got back points at the edge of the mat in the final 20 seconds, Nye held on for the win.
"Bobby Nye is a guy that decided this year he was going to change up the way he wrestled and he wrestles all of his matches close and conservative," Clair said. "We want him to open up more because he’s got the ability, but he’s one of these guys that just does not like to lose. He’s only his third year wrestling, so he’s kind of afraid to open things up and he’s wrestling a lot of those close matches."
Eisenhauer wasted no time in opening up for the Mounts in the 195-pound bout and his first-period fall in 1:20 over Peter Michael got the Mounts within eight, 21-13.
But that’s as close as Ephrata would get.
Following Rey Lasanta’s forfeit win for the Barons at 220, Giffin followed with his varsity dual meet debut at heavyweight. He took a 2-0 first-period lead on a takedown and then finished off Kreider, a junior, with less than a minute elapsed in the second period, putting Manheim Central up 33-13.
From there, when Barons’ freshman Caleb Enck scored a pair of second-period three-point near falls and defeated Vince Evans by a 12-4 major at 106, followed by Kyler West’s fall in 5:57 over Thomas Evans at 113, Central put it out of reach with a 43-13 lead.
"They’re young, they’re a good team, they’re well-coached and they’re very aggressive," Clair said of Manheim Central. "They don’t back away. I know they have a bunch of freshmen in the lineup and if those kids keep progressing, they’re going to be tough for the next few years."
To the Mounts’ credit, however, they battled to the end, and Joey Sarmento broke his match open with McCormick with a seven-point third period on his way to an 11-6 victory Mike McCormick at 120.
In the 126-pound bout, Ephrata’s Todd Dumas took a 6-2 first-period lead, mostly behind a four-point takedown in the final 10 seconds, and then he decked Central’s Jordan Esbenshade in 2:52 to make it 43-22.
"I thought Dumas did a nice job," Sunderland remarked, "and that was one of the matches that I’m not happy with the decision I made. When (Esbenshade) went down in the second period, I should have respected (Dumas’) ability on top more than what we did."
Ephrata’s Riley Eidemiller showed a lot of ability on his feet in the match-ending 132-pound bout. He scored a first-period takedown to go on top 2-1 after one against MC’s David Fantom, and then his takedown with just 18 seconds to go in the third period clinched a 5-3 win and completed the scoring.
"We weren’t as crisp as what I’d like to be," Sunderland said. "I made some mistakes from the bench tonight which I’m not happy about. But we showed a lot of good effort again — the kids are fighting and scrapping and they know that they didn’t wrestle their best in a lot of cases. I’ve got a number of kids who are critical of themselves, which is nice to see, and they’ll make some adjustments to make themselves better." More MC WRESTLERS, page B-4