Betancourt, Zeamer win Sectional gold medals

By on February 21, 2018

Eight Barons advance to District Championships

A lot has changed for Manheim Central’s Cade Zeamer in two years.

Back in 2016, the Baron junior was on the wrong end of a lopsided loss to Central Dauphin’s Mitchell Arch.

Last Saturday night, Zeamer got a rematch.

And he didn’t disappoint.

Capitalizing on two takedowns in the first two periods, Zeamer — seeded No. 4 in the 120-pound weight class — went on to beat Arch 5-1 to claim his first District Three Triple-A Section Two championship at Hempfield High School.

“(Cade) returned the favor this time,” Manheim Central coach Billy Chamberlain said. “He did extremely well this weekend.”

Zeamer certainly wasn’t alone.

MC sophomore Will Betancourt repeated, claiming the gold at 113 pounds, while Zack Zeamer (132) and Keegan McCord (195) also reached the finals and took home silver medals.

In all, the Barons qualified eight for the District Championships — to be held this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22-24 — and placed second as a team with 181 1/2 points, behind only champ Central Dauphin (208). Conner Zeamer (126) and Ryan McKee (145) each won bronze, while Austin Sauder (152) and Garret Fittery (182) placed fourth to punch their ticket to Hershey’s Giant Center.

“I was pleased with how everyone battled,” Chamberlain said. “Any time you can get four into the finals and get eight to Districts, the one thing you really learn about the post-season is not much always having the best tournament every weekend. It’s just surviving and getting to the next weekend.”

Cade Zeamer (27-7) did more than survive, decking Hershey’s Logan Kreamer (1:17) and Solanco’s Sheldon Peiffer (4:48) in his first two matches, then upsetting McCaskey’s top-seeded Nevin Estevez 6-2 in the semis.

Facing Arch in the finals, Zeamer’s takedown 1:38 left in the first gave him a lead he never lost.

“When I started tying up with him, I felt like he wasn’t fast on his feet,” Zeamer recalled. “So I was like, ‘Alright, there’s my ankle pick,’ and that’s what I did. He was tough to turn on bottom because he’s very flexible, but I kept working.”

He added a second-period takedown, and then picked up a stalling point in the third to put it away.

“It’s a huge accomplishment because last year, it didn’t go as planned (placing sixth at 120) and then to come back the next year and win it, it feels amazing,” Zeamer said. “Small goals and small steps are what led me here.”

Betancourt (28-0), the No. 1 seed in the 113-pound weight class, took all the right steps too, dominating Lampeter-Strasburg’s Arik Harnish by tech fall, 16-0, in 3:22 for the title.

“It’s nice to win,” said Betancourt, who won the Sectional 106-pound crown last year, “but I just know that I have way bigger goals this season.”

It didn’t take long for the Baron sophomore to grab the driver’s seat against Harnish, scoring a quick first-period takedown, then getting a three-point near fall and two more back points at the buzzer to lead 7-0 after one.

“I’m just always trying to work and score points,” said Betancourt, who earned a 59-second fall over McCaskey’s Jose Tirado in the quarters and then scored a 15-0 tech fall in 4:29 over Central Dauphin’s Tye Weathersby in the semi-finals.

After getting a reversal early in the second period against Harnish to make it 9-0, Betancourt easily cruised to the win.

“Will is definitely pushing the pace every match and always looking to put up points,” Chamberlain said. “Your object is to impose your will out there, and not to use a pun or anything, but that’s what he does.”

Zack Zeamer (30-5) imposed his will while rolling to a 16-1 tech fall in Solanco’s Chase Charles in the 132-pound quarters and then beating Lower Dauphin’s Tyler Walters by a 9-0 major decision in the semis.

But Central Dauphin’s top-seeded Andrew Wert (37-3), who is ranked both nationally and No. 2 in the state, got four takedowns in the finals to notch a 10-2 major decision over Zeamer.

In the 195-pound brackets, Central Dauphin’s Mitchell Talbott snapped a 2-2 tie against McCord (28-5) with a third-period escape and held on to win 3-2. Following a scoreless first period, Talbott (31-8) scored the only takedown in the match in the middle stanza.

“I think (Keegan) gave him a little too much respect,” Chamberlain said. “Don’t get me wrong. Talbott’s tough, he’s ranked in the state, but I think it was a good match for Keegan to understand that’s he’s got to get more to his offense, and that he needs to get the kids to be more afraid to respect him, more than he respects them.”

Offense wasn’t a problem for Conner Zeamer (21-14) in the 126-pound consolations. After falling to eventual champ Chris Wright (41-1), of CD, in the semi-finals, Zeamer decked Solanco’s Spade in 29 seconds, then pinned Palmyra’s Nick Carroll in 4:23 for the bronze medal.

At 145, Baron senior Ryan McKee (26-12) also won back-to-back matches in the consolations, decking Donegal’s Dimitri Gonzales in 1:33 and then pinning Warwick’s Haydn Shreiner in 57 seconds in the third-place match.

Elsewhere, Sauder (19-13) gutted out a 5-4 win over Hempfield’s Ian Edwards in the consolation semi-finals to nail down a District berth, then ended his day with a 9-0 loss to Warwick’s Luke Hirtzel in the 152-pound bronze-medal match.

In the 182-pound brackets, Fittery (25-8) came up just short of a berth in the finals after dropping a 3-1 OT loss to Warwick’s Logan Boring in the semi-finals. But he clinched a spot at the Giant Center by battling for a 5-3 win over Hempfield’s Chase Mathias in the consolations before suffering a 6-3 defeat to Township’s Carter Hasson in the bronze-medal match.



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