Siegrist stopped in Manheim Tourney finals Six place-finishers help Barons take eighth
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
, Staff Writer
Jared Siegrist’s bloodied face said it all.
With the 160-pound championship on the line Saturday night in the Manheim Lions Holiday Wrestling Tournament, the Manheim Central sophomore went toe-to-toe with J.W. Robinson senior Zak DePasquale for nearly eight minutes in a hard-fought clash.
While dealing with an unrelenting nosebleed, he still rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 to force overtime.
Unfortunately, DePasquale eventually pulled out a 5-4 ultimate tiebreaker victory and Siegrist took home silver for the second year in a row.
After suffering a 12-6 loss to Kiski Area’s Cole Landowski in the 145-pound finals last year, Siegrist was dejected while talking with a couple of reporters afterward.
"I’m not happy to place second … it’s just frustration and disappointment," said the soft-spoken Siegrist, who fell to 13-1 on the season.
"It was a heartbreaker. (Jared) wrestled his butt off," Barons’ coach Troy Sunderland said. "He wrestled really well. It was a lot of good high-level wrestling for six-plus minutes. It’s a hard one to take just the way it goes, but I think the nosebleed was a factor in giving some recovery time to (DePasquale). Jared’s in good shape and pushes himself hard, so it’s tough to get second place last year and this year. It will motivate him and get him focused for the rest of the season."
Although Siegrist came up just short in his bid to become the Barons’ first Manheim Holiday Tournament champ since Jordan Enck in 2007, he led a Manheim Central contingent of six-place finishers. Ben Metzler (145), J.J. Sanchez (195) and Rey Lasanta (220) all bounced back from tough semi-final losses to win bronze, while David Fantom (152) and Kyler West (120) placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
As a team, the Barons took eighth place out of 14 teams with 98 points, two ahead of L-L rival Manheim Township (96). North Allegheny, with two champs and five total finalists, won the team crown with 179 points.
"We’re getting there," Sunderland said. "It was a tough round (Friday) night, but the kids wrestled hard. We’ve got a couple guys under the weather and a couple injuries here and there. We’re looking forward to getting into January with some adjustments to our lineup and getting ready for the L-L League and some other duals that will be coming up."
Siegrist will certainly be a big part of MC’s plans as he looks to build off of his solid performance last weekend. Going 3-0 entering the finals with a fall (3:29) over Easton’s Chad Abel and a 9-1 major against Reynolds’ Kegan Miller, Siegrist was wrestling worthy of his No. 1 seed. But DePasquale, who earlier had two first-period falls, opened the scoring on a takedown with 1:30 left in the first.
"(DePasquale) kid was explosive and quick," Sunderland said of last year’s 160-pound bronze-medalist.
He was still up 3-1 until Siegrist scored an escape with 1:33 left in the third. Then the Barons’ grappler got rewarded for some relentless offensive pressure, forcing a second stalling call on DePasquale with just :9.0 to go, tying the match 3-3.
"You hope you get those calls like that," Sunderland said. "That’s what you sorta preach to your guys, to stay offensive and be the aggressor there and we were fortunate enough to get that call."
In the first OT period, Siegrist was close to ending it, countering DePasquale’s single-leg shot and trying to spin behind for the winning takedown. But it wasn’t to be.
"So close, so close … Just great wrestling back-and-forth," Sunderland said. "I thought, ‘Yeah, we got it,’ and DePasquale never gave up either so it was a good battle."
The two wrestlers traded escapes in the next two periods, and then DePasquale, by virtue of scoring the first points of the match, was awarded the down position in the ultimate tiebreaker. Finally, with :24.3 to go, DePasquale escaped to clinch the win.
"You’re just hoping (Jared) can get his hands locked on a leg again and get into a scramble situation that burns a lot of time in that 30-second period," Sunderland said. "Unfortunately, (DePasquale) got up, he got his hips out and broke the lock."
Metzler (14-1) had time on his side after his first-period takedown gave him the early advantage in the 145-pound bronze-medal match against Spring Ford’s Adam Dombrosky (6-4).
"Dombrosky had a close, hard-fought semi-final match, so I knew (Ben)’s takedown was key, especially with the one-minute period and Ben’s tough enough on top after getting a takedown that he only had to ride him for a little bit," Sunderland said. "So that 2-0 lead going up into the second period was big."
A third-period stalling point against Dombrosky extended Metzler’s lead to 3-0, and that’s how it ended, as the Central senior took home the third-place finish.
That helped to take some of the sting out of his tough 6-4 loss to Easton’s Kyle Baker in the semi-finals. Overall, the Barons had a tough 1-for-4 round in the semi-finals, with Fantom losing by fall in 1:47 to Kiski Area’s Jake Ardellitz and LaSanta suffering a 7-2 loss to Lower Dauphin’s David Wuestner. Siegrist’s 9-5 decision over Spring Ford’s Frankie Krauss was the Barons’ only semi-final win.
In the 195-pound weight class, Sanchez’s (11-4) third-period escape tied his match at 1-all against Reynolds’ Denton Zeronas, then the Barons’ senior won the bronze when an OT escape and a rideout stood up as the difference in a 2-1 decision. It was his fifth straight win after suffering a first-round 9-0 loss to Spring Ford’s Nick Perri.
LaSanta (14-1) also appeared to have a lot of work ahead of him after falling behind 2-0 early in the first period to North Allegheny’s Layne Skundrich in the 220-pound third-place match. But the MC senior turned the tables and decked Skundrich in 55 seconds, giving him the bronze medal for a second consecutive year.
"Rey is probably a little disappointed he didn’t win last night (in the semi-finals), but to come back against the North Allegheny kid, who’s a tough kid, and getting a pin was exciting. That’s the way Rey’s matches tend to go," Sunderland said.
At 152, Fantom was in control wire-to-wire over North Allegheny’s Blynn Shideler, getting takedowns in the first and third periods en route to a 5-0 shutout to lock up the fifth-place medal. Overall, he finished 3-2 in the tournament to improve his record on the season to 10-5.
"Making it to the semi-finals was big for (David)," Sunderland said. "Then to get fifth, I think that’s first time placing, so that was a big accomplishment for him."
It was also a big accomplishment for the Barons to go 4-for-5 in the third and fifth-place consolations after a tough round in the semi-finals just one day earlier.
"Just the way they came back and wrestled this round was encouraging after a tough loss (Friday night) for three of them," Sunderland said. "For them to come back and do that was exciting."
The Barons nearly got another fifth-place finisher with West (7-7). Trailing 1-0 going into the third period against LaSalle’s Sal Anderson, he got a break when a locked hands call tied the score at 1-1. Unfortunately, West was unable to break Anderson’s hold for what would have been a go-ahead escape, and the LaSalle senior eventually earned a 2-1 victory in overtime. Earlier in the tournament, Anderson had defeated West 7-1.
"That’s really where you’ve got to have that sense of urgency to get out and not go any further into overtime," Sunderland said. "But to come back and close the gap is definitely key. It’s positive steps in the right direction."
More BARONS, page B-6