By on March 14, 2012

By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer

When Tom Devenney lost his first-round match at the State Triple-A Wrestling Tourney last Thursday, his goals changed.

And it wasn’t as though he didn’t have a blueprint to follow, either.

At the District Three Triple-A Championships two weeks earlier, the Warwick junior lost in the quarterfinals, but bounced back to win four straight to capture the bronze medal.

For awhile, it seemed like Devenney might indeed wrestle back to put himself in position for a State medal at the Giant Center in Hershey. He kept his hopes alive with a 3-2 conquest of St. Joe’s Prep Paul Johnson in his first consolation match and then took a 2-0 second-period lead on Bellefonte’s Garrett Poorman in his next bout.

Unfortunately, however, it wasn’t meant to be, as the Red Raiders’ junior reversed Devenney and scored a fall in 2:46, ousting him just one win shy of State hardware.

"That’s the heck of it — you make one mistake, drop your hips and that’s all it takes," Warwick coach Ned Bushong said. "It only takes one mistake and it’s not a forgiving sport. That was the way it goes."

Still, looking back on his first-ever trip to the State Tournament, Devenney could walk away knowing that he lost by just one point in overtime to the eventual silver-medalist (Josh Duplin of Westmont Hilltop) and held the upper hand at one point against Poorman, who finished with a seventh-place medal.

"Not too bad," Bushong said, "but that could have been him there at sixth or seventh. He had a very good season … the ending was disappointing, but that’s the way it goes. He got there and he will be one of the top-ranked heavyweights coming in next year. That’s a year away and he’ll be getting a lot better, but so will everybody else coming back."

Overall, Devenney finished the season with a 35-5 record and he was one of 10 underclassmen competing in the State heavyweight brackets at the Giant Center.

Duplin (37-2), however, was a senior who had the edge in experience on Devenney going into their first-round bout. Not only was Duplin a four-year State qualifier, but he also had clinched a fifth-place State medal in 2011.

In a low-scoring battle, Duplin jumped on the board first on an escape with 1:30 left in the middle stanza, and then Devenney got off bottom to tie it up with 1:19 left in the third. The Warwick junior then fought off a single-leg shot and continued to work for an opening, but it remained deadlocked 1-1 going to OT.

"Tommy was trying to pass by and go for a high single," Bushong said. "He didn’t want to shoot and get caught under him. As a heavyweight, you don’t want to get in on a leg shot and have a 260-pound guy sprawl on you."

"(Duplin) was doing a good job of keeping his hips back and not letting anything like that open up," Devenney said. "So I was just trying to pass and see what he would give me, and he squared off and kept his distance so there really wasn’t much I could do."

There, neither wrestler could decide it, so the match proceeded to tiebreakers. In the first of those two 30-second periods, Duplin’s reversal with :10 remaining put him up 3-1.

"I think he stood up and I went to try to break him down," Devenney said, "and he turned toward me and grabbed my leg and ended up pulling it in and ended up on top … Sometimes it ‘s one of those situations where you either have to let him go or just try to fight in there and not give up the two and I think sometimes it’s a lot smarter to just let him go. That’s probably what I should have done."

Devenney, though, continued to battle and thought he had an escape at the buzzer, but the call didn’t go his way and Duplin maintained a 3-1 advantage.

"It was a real close call," he said. "It really could have gone either way and it didn’t go my way. Sometimes that happens and you’ve just got to work through it."

In the second of the two tiebreakers, Devenney escaped with :18 to go, and then tried a desperation headlock in the final second, but Duplin was able to hold on, 3-2.

"(Duplin) is definitely one of the best (I’ve faced this season)," Devenney said. "He had real strong legs and he was tough on top and he was hard to break down when I was on top. He was just a good wrestler. I felt like I wrestled pretty close to my best match and sometimes when you wrestle your best match, it still doesn’t go your way and it happens. You’ve just got to work past it and keep your head up."

That attitude paid off against Johnson (25-3) in his first consolation match. The two grapplers traded escapes through the first 3:16 of the match, but then Devenney’s takedown with :41 left in the third period put him in front to stay, 3-1.

"I sort of caught (Johnson) off balance and I had better head position than him," Devenney said. "He tried to shrug me off, so I was able to just circle around behind."

Johnson climbed within one with an escape, but that’s as close as he would get.

"It’s a huge relief (to get a State win)," Devenney said. "Not a lot of people in PA get wins at the State level, so it’s definitely a confidence builder and it’s hopefully something that I can just keep the momentum going and keep working … At Districts, I lost the first day and was able to fight back, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to do the same."

Knowing that he had pinned Poorman in 3:00 at the New Oxford Tournament in late January certainly had to be a confidence-booster for Devenney going into his next bout, and following a scoreless first period, he reversed the Bellefonte junior with 1:03 left in the second for a 2-0 lead.

"We were in good shape," Bushong said, "but again, it’s a very unforgiving sport when you make a mistake against somebody of comparable ability."

That mistake happened later in the second period, and Poorman (38-8) was able to capitalize, recording a fall in 2:46. Later, Poorman fell to Coughlin’s Brad Emerick 8-1 and then defeated Council Rock South’s Tom Trampe 2-1 for the seventh-place medal.

"(Tom) was breaking Poorman down and he dropped his hips, and Poorman drove across when he had his hips down and caught him there," Bushong said. "When you’re 260 pounds or whatever and you get on top of somebody, that’s a heck of a lot of weight to get off of you. It was just a matter that he made a mistake, dropped his hips and didn’t recover fast enough and Poorman recovered a little bit faster."

Fortunately, however, Devenney still has his senior season ahead of him with an opportunity to return to the Giant Center.

"When you go out there, somebody has to win, somebody has to lose and you hate like heck when it’s you," Bushong said. "Overall, he had a 35-5 record for the year … that’s good. And he’s a junior, so he’ll be back next year. All we can do is hope that he gets bigger and stronger for next year." 285: Damon Sims Jr., Hopewell, p. Paul Johnson, St. Joes Prep, 2:37; Josh Duplin, Westmont Hilltop, d. Tom Devenney, Warwick, 3-2 TB; Dawson Peck, Chambersburg, p. Matt Gould, Interboro, 3:19; Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area, d. Chris Wesolowski, Pittston, 6-2; Brad Emerick, Coughlin, d. Scot Augustine, McDowell, 1-0; Averee Robinson, Susquehanna Twp., p. Andrew Vanbuskirk, William Tennent, 1:36; Cody Klempay, p. Tom Trampe, Council Rock South, 1:38; Garrett Poorman, Bellefonte, d. Tyler Peerson, Freedom, 4-2 OT. 285: Devenney d. Johnson, 3-2; Wesolowski d. Gould, 3-1 OT; Augustine d. Vanbuskirk, 1-0; Trampe d. Peerson, 9-2. 285: Duplin d. Sims Jr., 2-0; Kuhn p. Peck, 5:27; Robinson d. Emerick, 6-1; Klempay p. Poorman, 1:19. 285: Poorman p. Devenney, 2:46; Emerick m.d. Wesolowski, 11-0; Peck p. Augustine, 2:05; Trampe d. Sims Jr., 9-4. 285: Emerick d. Poorman, 8-1; Peck p. Trampe, 2:20. 285: Duplin d. Kuhn, 3-2; Robinson by def. over Klempay, 3:00. 285: Kuhn d. Emerick, 5-3; Peck by forfeit over Klempay. 285: Robinson d. Duplin, 3-1. 285: Peck d. Kuhn, 1-0. 285: Emerick by forfeit over Klempay. 285: Poorman d. Trampe, 2-1. 106: Ethan Lizak, Parkland, d. Michael Kemerer, Franklin Regional, 4-2.

113: Billy Rappo, Council Rock South, m.d. Matt Grossmann, Manheim Twp., 12-0.

120: Godwin Nyama, Brashear, d. Conner Schram, Canon-McMillan, 3-1, OT.

126: Corey Keener, Blue Mountain, d. Tyson Dippery, Central Dauphin, 5-2.

132: Mackenzie McGuire, Upper St. Clair, d. Shyheim Brown, Central Dauphin, 3-2.

138: Steve Spearman, McDowell, d. Chris Vassar, Cedar Cliff, 7-3.

145: Garett Hammond, Chambersburg, d. T.C. Warner, Cumberland Valley, 12-9.

152: Garrett Peppleman, Central Dauphin, d. Rustin Barrick, Mechanicsburg, 5-4.

160: Chance Marsteller, Kennard-Dale, m.d. Brian Brill, Central Mountain, 17-7

170: Cody Wiercioch, Canon-McMillan, d. Shane Springer, Norristown, 7-4

182: Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area, d. Khlique Harris, McDowell, 2-1, TB.

195: Perry Hills, Central Catholic, d. Jake Hart, Hampton, 5-1.

220: Thomas Haines, Solanco, m.d. Aaron Bradley, Nazareth, 10-2.

285: Averee Robinson, Susquehanna Township, d. Josh Duplin, Westmont Hilltop, 3-1. 106: Dom Forys, North Allegheny, d. Scott Parker, Pennridge, 4-2.

113: Sam Krivus, Hempfield (7), d. Dalton

Macri, Canon-McMillan, 3-2.

120: Grimaldi Gonzalez, Liberty, def. over Chase Zemenak, Nazareth, 3:00.

126: C.J. Palmer, Delaware Valley, d. Patrick Duggan, Cumberland Valley, 5-2.

132: Devon Lotito, Liberty, d. John Dutrow, Council Rock North, 5-1.

138: Solomon Chishko, Canon-McMillan,

d. Matt Cimato, LaSalle, 4-2.

145: Mitchell Minotti, Easton, d. Heath Coles, Norwin, 2-1.

152: Casey Kent, LaSalle, d. Cole Sheptock,

Northampton, 3-0.

160: Brett Harner, Norristown, d. Mike Shermot, Governor Mifflin, 9-3

170: Jacob Taylor, Bald Eagle, d. Connor

Moran, Solanco, 5-1.

182: Tyler Wood, West Chester Rustin, d. Josh Thomson, Mechanicsburg, 2-1.

195: P.J. Steinmetz, Council Rock South, m.d. Nicholas Shawley, Bellefonte, 9-0.

220: Tyson Searer, Mifflin County, d. Bryton Barr, Mechanicsburg, 3-1.

285: Dawson Peck, Chambersburg, d. Shane Kuhn, Kiski Area, 1-0. 106: Zach Fuentes, Norristown, d Jake Gromacki, Cathedral Prep, 4-2.

113: Zach Valley, Northampton, m.d. Zach Ulerick, Middletown, 12-0.

120: Tyler Smith, Franklin Regional, d. Tommy Stokes, Bensalem, 3-1, OT.

126: Josh Maruca, Franklin Regional, d. Michael Dahlstrom, 5-2.

132: Joe Galasso, Father Judge, d. Josh Shields, Franklin Regional, 3-2.

138: Zach Ross, Northern York, d. Jason

Stephen, Northampton, 3-1.

145: Ty Lydic, Greater Latrobe, p. Raymond

Nicosia, Pocono Mountain East, :54.

152: Tyler Manion, Central Catholic, d. Dillon Gavlock, Central Mountain, 7-1.

160: Jake Wisener, Ringgold, d. Austin Wilding, Upper St. Clair, 3-2.

170: Geno Morelli, DuBois, default over Zach Towers, Meadville, 1:28.

182: Chris Jastrzebski, Central Bucks West, d. Ryan Burnheimer, Westmont Hilltop, 7-1.

195: Chad Hoffman, Hazleton Area, p. Aaron Varner, Bald Eagle, 4:16.

220: Alex Campbell, Canon-McMillan, d. Evan Kauffman, Freedom, 5-3.

285: Brad Emerick, Coughlin, by forfeit over Cody Klempay, Canon-McMillan. 106: Joseph Vincenzo, Central Catholic, d. Dan Martoccio, Council Rock South, 1-0.

113: Tanner Shoap, Chambersburg, d. Derek Gulotta, Owen J. Roberts, 5-0.

120: Thomas Traxler, Bellefonte, d. Corey

McQuiston, West Chester Rustin, 6-4.

126: Josh DiSanto, Pennsbury, m.d. Colt Shorts, Canon-McMillan, 10-2.

132: Ethan Kenney, Connellsville, d. Daniel King, Susquehanna Township, 2-1, TB.

138: Tim Wheeling, General McLane, d. Mikey Springer, Norristown, 3-2.

145: Dario Dobbin, Canon-McMillan, d. Brandon Arnsberger, Octorara, 7-5, OT.

152: Zach Voytek, Greensburg Salem, d. Garrett Chase, Cathedral Prep, 3-2, TB.

160: Mark Granaham, Scranton, by forfeit over Zack Zavatsky, Greater Latrobe.

170: Joey Krulock, Mechanicsburg, d. Adam Nickelson, Belle Vernon, 6-4.

182: Tyler Greene, Easton, d. Danny Hockensmith, Big Spring, 6-1, OT.

195: Dennis Zaitsev, Cumberland Valley,

d. David Wilke, Nazareth, 4-0.

220: Ben Balish, Pine-Richland, d. Matt Jorgensen, Quakertown, 4-3.

285: Garrett Poorman, Bellefonte, d. Tom Trampe, Council Rock South, 2-1. More DEVENNEY, page B-6

About lititzrecord