Lefever’s silver leads the Barons MC finishes 4th at L-L Tourney
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Aaron Lefever saw an opening against Garden Spot’s Josh Bloom and attacked.
It didn’t work out the way he hoped, though.
While trying to finish his shot, the Manheim Central sophomore instead got taken to his back and was pinned by Bloom in 1:20 in the heavyweight championship match at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Wrestling Tournament last Saturday at Conestoga Valley High School.
"It would have been nice to finish that with a win, but (Aaron) will use that for motivation down the road," Barons coach Troy Sunderland said.
With key Section Two dual meets against Lampeter-Strasburg and Garden Spot this week, that’s not such a bad thing for the Barons, who are tied with the Spartans for the top spot in the standings.
Plus, Manheim Central seems to be rounding into form, carrying momentum from a 43-21 win over CV last Wednesday, Jan. 18 into the L-L Tourney. Although Lefever was the Barons’ only finalist, they had eight place-finishers while taking fourth place in the team standings with 123 points. Solanco easily captured the title with 258 points, with Manheim Township (199.5) a distant second.
For the Barons, sophomore Kyler West (106), seniors Cody Bucher (132) and Ben Wise (152) and sophomore Rey LaSanta (195) all placed fifth, while junior Manny Del Carpio (220) took sixth, sophomore Ben Metzler (126) was seventh and senior Reid Pavlik (160) added an eighth-place finish.
"We’ve been wrestling pretty well," Sunderland said. "We wrestled our best match against CV and we’ve had some kids out that have returned to help stabilize our lineup a little bit, like LaSanta and Del Carpio. Obviously anything can happen. All in all, it would’ve been nice to get a champion, but that will get the guys fired up for the two dual meets that we have this week."
Lefever (21-4) was originally the number two seed at heavyweight, but then he moved up to the top spot when Warwick junior Tom Devenney dropped out due to medical reasons.
But the adjustment didn’t bother the reigning Brandywine Tournament champ, who scored falls in his first three bouts against Penn Manor’s Sam Knisely (:38), Pequea Valley’s Jordan Crouse (3:45) and Donegal’s Mason McCoy (3:05).
"With the Warwick kid (Devenney) not being in, it was a little bit less than what it could have been," Sunderland said. "We would have certainly liked to see him for things to work on in the post-season."
They did get a chance to see Bloom (16-6), a senior who brought solid credentials of his own into the finals with three falls in his first three bouts in a combined time of 7:20.
Bloom, of course, got his fourth and final fall against Lefever, capitalizing on a little bit of leverage to end it with :40 left in the first.
"We saw an opening there, and in the process of trying to finish the shot, he got down and Bloom was able to get his weight on Aaron and just sorta hipped him over and was able to capitalize on Aaron on his back," Sunderland said. "It’s something we can work on, and like I said, Aaron will be fired up and ready to go on Thursday (vs. Garden Spot)."
In other action, the Barons had five wrestlers in the consolation semi-finals with an opportunity to wrestle for the bronze. Unfortunately, however, they finished 0-for-5 in those matches.
West (18-15), after winning back-to-back matches in the 106-pound consis, dropped an 8-1 loss to Warwick’s Josh Charles, then rebounded to defeat A-C’s top-seeded Matt Darok 2-1 in the fifth-place match.
Bucher, who improved to 16-13 with a record of 4-2 at the L-L Tourney, suffered an 8-4 setback to A-C’s T.J. Renninger in the consolation semis, but dominated E-town’s Shane Olson for a 15-0 tech fall in 4:35 to clinch the 132-pound fifth-place medal.
Elsewhere, Wise (22-13) suffered a tough 5-3 loss to Cocalico’s Teddy Wolf in the quarterfinals, then came back with two wins in the consis before suffering a 6-4 defeat to Cedar Crest’s Mike Fiore. In the 152-pound fifth-place match, Wise battled Garden Spot’s Tanner Leid to an 8-8 tie through regulation, then prevailed for a 9-8 decision in OT.
At 195, LaSanta (6-2) had a long road back after a loss in the first round. But he won three straight in the consis before Solanco’s Bo Spiller pinned him in 1:46 in the final four. LaSanta, however, bounced back to deck Cedar Crest’s Lukas Gerdes for fifth place.
Del Carpio (6-5), meanwhile, lost by fall to CV’s Brad Erb in 4:12 in the consi semi-finals, then lost by fall to Columbia’s Vanyel Peterson in 2:39 in the fifth-place match.
"(Ben Wise) has just had some really close matches that haven’t gone his way, so it was nice to see him finish with a win there," Sunderland said. "LaSanta ending on a winning note … there were a lot of positives to draw from. We were in a couple matches there with Del Carpio and Erb from CV where it was a nip-and-tuck match and Erb pinned him in a dual meet and it easily could’ve been reversed today, but Erb did a nice job to get the win against Del Carpio again. I thought West had a pretty good tournament at 106." More BARONS, page B-6