DALLASTOWN — Week by week, as the York-Adams League wrestling season wears on, the top tier of teams in Division I grows smaller.
Ultimately, every team is competing to keep pace with perennial powerhouse Spring Grove, but one by one, the number of actual contenders with the Rockets is diminishing.
When Dallastown routed Central York a week ago, it left only the Wildcats and Rockets unbeaten in the division, potentially setting up a showdown for the division on Jan. 17.
Now, however, Dallastown will likely need to win that match if it even wants a share of the division crown. Tuesday night, the Wildcats suffered not only their first defeat in division competition, but first defeat in a dual match this season, losing a 32-31 to South Western at home.
“South Western wrestled hard,” Dallastown head coach Rob Jansen said. “Against our really good kids, they kept it close when they needed to, and against other kids, they pinned when they needed to. A lot of things came together for them.”
The loss for the Wildcats drops them to 8-1 overall and 3-1 in Division I, while the Mustangs keep their own Division I title hopes alive by improving to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in Division I.
With the match beginning at 113 pounds, it meant that Dallastown would be in position to grab the victory at the very end, with some of its best wrestlers closing out the match. That starts at 170 pounds with Drake Pew and then carries into 182 pounds with Cameron Green and then Bryce Shields at either 220 pounds or heavyweight.
Trailing 26-12 by the time it got to Pew, bonus points would be crucial for the Wildcats to come back, and Pew, typically, is the man to score them. However, he was held to just a 6-2 win over Tyler Osborne, and then Green couldn’t score a final takedown in his bout, and was forced to settle for a 14-1 major decision.
“That (bout) was big for (Osborne),” South Western coach Nate Murren said. “It’s big for the team in that situation where he knows his role is: ‘If I’m going to get beat, I can’t get beat by this much.’ So, that’s huge for him, understanding where he’s at in the match. He’s an experienced guy and wrestles smart and knows what to do on the mat.”
Had Pew scored even a major decision or Green managed to get one more takedown and earned a technical fall, it would’ve at least given Cael Turnbull a chance to tie the match in the final bout at 106 pounds. Instead, by the time the match got to him, it didn’t matter. South Western had sewn up the victory.
Cole Stremmel secured a crucial 8-6 win for the Mustangs at 195 pounds, and then, after Shields earned a forfeit at 220, Tom Aumen wrapped up the match for South Western with a 1-0 result over William Anderson, putting the team score at 32-25. Turnbull capped the night with a 38-second pin for Dallastown at 106.
Both coaches talked a lot about the significance of the pre-match coin toss. The Mustangs won it, and it allowed Murren to set up the match-ups in his favor.
“I just wanted the match-ups,” Murren said. “The match-ups that we needed to do what we did tonight was key. A certain amount of points, I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the points, it was the bouts that we needed to win that was going to get us the win.”
The match got off to a flying start with Kasey Doll opening things up with a pin in 46 seconds for South Western, only to have it quickly canceled out by Sam Druck of the Wildcats to make it 6-6 through two bouts. Chase Mowery scored a 3-2 win over Dalton Daugherty at 126 pounds to make it 9-6 Mustangs before John Ligon gave Dallastown its only lead of the night at 132 pounds with a first-period pin over Camden Conaboy.
After that, South Western won four consecutive bouts from 138 pounds to 160, opening up a 26-12 advantage, thanks to bonus-point results on a tech fall by Jordan Shepard (145) and a pin by Cavin Sullivan (160).
The Mustangs will host Spring Grove on Thursday night and try to pull off the upset, which would possibly create a three-way tie for first place in the division. Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ next division match isn’t until next Tuesday when they travel to face the Rockets in a match that will have Division I championship implications riding on it.
Central York 54, Northeastern 13: At Northeastern, the Panthers rolled in a match highlighted by a battle of possibly the best two heavyweights in York County. In that bout, the Panthers’ Michael Wolfgram was able to score a pin over the Bobcats’ Blaine Yinger in 4:37. The sophomore led 7-1 at the time of the pin. Yinger is the defending District 3 Class 3-A champ. Central York ended the match with four victories via pin and three from forfeits.
York Tech 51, Hanover 27: At Spry, the Spartans received pins from: Luke Kordaz (160), Zach Hagarman (182) and Isaiah Smith (220) to help them secure the Division III victory. For the Nighthawks, Justin Barnes (170), Coleman Weaver (113) and Trey Wolf (126) each captured a pin.
Gettysburg 66, York Suburban 9: At Suburban, the Warriors rolled past their hosts on the strength of five forfeits and two pins. Janner Torres (220) scored a 5-2 decision over Tyler Gallagher and Adoniyah Johnson (285) pinned Jared Manning in 3:14 to lead the Trojans.
West York 49, Eastern York 24: At West York, the Bulldogs, received pins from: Carly Gross (106), Giuliano Giambanco (113), Nathan Townsley (120), Trent Ketterman (132) and Luke Stine (145). For the Golden Knights, Dylan Prugar (152), Jahshim Snyder (182) and Carl Carbaugh (195) picked up pins.
Kennard-Dale 48, Dover 30: At Dover, the visitors rolled to the York-Adams Division II win. K-D improved to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the division. No other details were reported.
New Oxford 44, Red Lion 24: At Red Lion, the Colonials grabbed the York-Adams Division I win. No other details were reported.
South Western 60, York High 42: At Hanover, Taylor Geiman powered the Mustangs with 15 points. Lily Soullaird and Madisyn McMaster each knocked in 12 points for South Western. For the Bearcats, Madey-Zania Redman scored a game-high 21 points.
York Catholic 40, Littlestown 28: At York Catholic the Lady Irish won to improve to 7-3 overall and 6-0 in York-Adams Division III. No other details were reported.
Christian School of York 49, Linville Hill 6: At Christian School of York, Kendis Butler led the Crusaders with 18 points, to go with four assists and three steals. Teammate Bailey Stauffer knocked in 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The home team held the visitors to zero second-half points.
York High 96, South Western 64: At York, the Bearcats prepped for Wednesday's trip to the Wells-Fargo Center with a dominating York-Adams Division I triumph. Jacquez Casiano poured in 22 points for the Bearcats. He got double-digit support from Jeremiah McCarter (15), Marquise McClean (11) and Jayden Iturmendi (10). York used a 33-12 third-quarter surge to put the game out of reach. Ten Bearcats scored. The Bearcats will face Steel-High at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the home of the Philadelphia 76ers in a "Court of Dreams" contest. Job Brown had 15 points for South Western. Dhane Schmelyun added 14 and Chase Topper chipped in 10.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.