Barons foil upset-minded Ephrata

By on January 8, 2014


BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor

, Staff Writer

Photo by Mike Shullâ?©With his team trailing 24-16, Manheim Central 113-pounder Caleb Enck earns six team points by pinning Ephrataâ??s Cameron Terry in the first period in Monday nightâ??s match.

The boxscore showed a win for the Manheim Central wrestling team on Monday night.

The mood of the Barons, though, was a different story following their tight 37-30 Section Two win over upset-minded Ephrata.

"We weren’t at our best, we weren’t as sharp and crisp as I’d like," Manheim Central coach Troy Sunderland remarked. "We could have given a better performance, but it was an exciting match."

In what figures to be a key week in the race for the Section crown – with MC at Garden Spot on Thursday and then hosting Conestoga Valley on Saturday – the Central matmen are hoping to right the ship quickly. A year ago, the Barons were Section Two tri-champions with both the Spartans and Buckskins.

They earned a share of the crown thanks to a wild 34-31 victory over GS. Brock Fittery’s 8-7 decision at 182, his first varsity win, sealed it for the Barons.

Thursday’s showdown against Garden Spot could provide more drama, but Sunderland knows that their work doesn’t end with the Spartans.

"I don’t want to discount Conestoga Valley or L-S (in the Section race)," he said. "I don’t want to look past anybody or second-guess anything, but the biggest thing for us is we’ve got to wrestle better than we did (Monday) night overall as a team and not give up the bonus points and the pins as much as we did (against Ephrata)."

"Top to bottom," he added, "I think Garden Spot has a solid lineup and we can’t make those mistakes and expect to win."

Both Manheim Central and Ephrata claimed seven decisions in the match on Monday, and the Mounts had two falls, to the Barons’ three.

Ephrata, though, also finished 4-1 in bouts decided by four points or less against an MC lineup which had a couple of new faces in it. Jared Siegrist, a finalist in the Manheim Holiday Tourney, didn’t wrestle, however, Sunderland declined to elaborate on the reason.

The first of the close decisions came in the opening match, where 152-pounder Ethan Sipe held off Central’s David Fantom 1-0. Then when Ephrata’s Dakota Rohrbaugh won by forfeit at 160, the purple and gold had an early 9-0 advantage.

Tyler Rhoads got the Barons on the scoreboard in the 170-pound match, where he flattened Bryan Rohrbaugh in 1:12. J.J. Sanchez followed with a 14-3 major decision over Bobby Nye, which gave Manheim Central its first lead, 10-9.

It didn’t last long, however.

Cameron Eisenhauer defeated Brock Fittery 4-1 in the 195-pound match to put the Mounts back in front, 12-10.

After Rey Lasanta won by forfeit at 220 for the Barons, Ephrata’s Charles SanMartin pinned Joseph Giffin in 4:16 in the heavyweight battle. Giffin wrestled a solid match through two periods and was tied 3-3, but then with 16 seconds elapsed in the third, SanMartin took him to his back and ended it with a fall.

That, coupled with fall by Ephrata’s Austin Jones over Ryan Gandy in 4:51 in the 106-pound match, put Ephrata up 24-16 with six bouts remaining.

"We gave up a lot of points – a lot of pins that sorta gave Ephrata some momentum," Sunderland said.

The Barons’ Caleb Enck halted the Ephrata momentum in the 113-pound bout, flattening Cameron Terry in 47 seconds to get MC close.

Next, Kyler West capitalized on a third-period stalling point by Mount senior Joseph Sarmento, and that was the difference in a 3-2 win at 120. West had the upper hand early on, thanks to a first-period takedown, but two escapes by Sarmento tied it 2-2 going to the final stanza. There, the MC senior forced the issue on bottom, getting two stall calls against the Ephrata wrestler, and West’s one-point decision put the Barons ahead 25-24.

"That was probably a pretty critical match – one of those swing matches that could go either way," Sunderland said, "and we came out on top of that, which was big for us."

Yet, the back-and-forth action continued at 126, where Ephrata’s Thomas Evans snapped a 4-4 tie against Justice Prall with a four-point reversal in the third period, clinching an 8-4 decision and lifting the Mounts to a 27-25 lead.

Central’s Jordan Esbenshade won by forfeit in the 132-pound bout, and then the Mounts’ David Donnelly responded with a 2-0 win over Connor Pavlik at 138, bringing Ephrata within one, 31-30.

That brought everything down to the 145-pound match and Baron senior Ben Metzler finally secured the win for his team by pinning Michael Pacheco in 2:16.

Last Saturday, Manheim Central competed at the Cumberland Valley Duals and finished 1-3, defeating Mechanicsburg (40-24), but suffering losses to Boyertown (64-10), Cumberland Valley (57-10) and South Western (34-32). Metzler, Rhoads and Sanchez had three wins apiece to lead MC.

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