DOVER — Tuesday night was a wrestling match that both Susquehannock and Dover had circled on their calendars for a while.
Entering the night with identical 3-0 records in York-Adams Division II, the winner of Tuesday’s showdown knew that it would be in the driver’s seat for the division title.
Neither team disappointed.
With nine of the 13 contested bouts ending in pins, the action was quick and efficient. And the momentum shifted back and forth several times.
In the end, however, the Warriors were able to escape.
Thanks to back-to-back falls from Brock Hofler (195) and Luke Ohmann (220), the visitors took the lead for good with just four bouts remaining. Despite that, it still came down to freshman Garrett Bortner in the final bout of the night at 120. Bortner was able to get the better of Dover standout Tanner Linker to ice a 39-34 triumph with an 11-5 decision.
“I think when we coaches sat down, we saw some matches that we thought we looked at,” Susquehannock coach Aaron Trimpey said. “But you never know until the kids weigh in.”
Trimpey was a little more nervous at the outset when the Eagles won the opening toss. In the end, however, it didn’t matter. The Warriors were able to win eight of the 13 contested bouts.
“I was a little concerned at the beginning, but the boys stepped up and wrestled to their abilities tonight,” Trimpey said. “And that made all of the difference in the end. It was definitely a team win tonight because everybody rose up to the occasion.”
Freshman comes up big: Probably none more so that Bortner, who improved to 11-9. The Warrior freshman overcame an early takedown by Linker by earning a takedown and nearfall points of his own to end the first period ahead 8-3.
Bortner appeared to be in position to score one final pin after he locked up a cradle, but Linker was able to quickly slip out of it, putting the Susquehannock freshman in serious danger on his back.
“Garrett is still learning varsity wrestling,” Trimpey said. “And tonight I think he got a good lesson early-on that he can’t stop moving. But he wrestled his way back.”
Trimpey, however, believes that the sudden turnaround from a near fall to almost getting pinned was a good testament to Bortner’s talents.
“To not panic and to know what to do to get out of it (was big),” Trimpey said. “He did a very nice job there.”
Winning that bout and lifting his team to victory is surely a moment that Bortner won’t soon forget.
“For sure,” he said. “I was almost gassed out at the end and he caught me when I tried to cradle him.”
Looking for first title since 1992: Bortner survived to earn the victory for his team. Taking down the Eagles was a big goal for the Warriors (11-5 overall), who are looking to capture their first divisional crown since taking the Division I title back in 1992.
“We haven’t won a championship since 1990-something,” Bortner said. “So we’re all pretty hyped.”
The Warriors still have two more divisional matchups — Thursday at Eastern York and next Tuesday against West York — remaining, but they figure to be favored in each of those contests.
Susquehannock's two unbeaten junior hammers, Ohmann (20-0) and Colby Romjue (16-0), both remained perfect with pins. Romjue got his pin at 170. The Warriors' other pins came from Owen Bortner (138) and Ben Gillispie (160).
Dover (9-5) got pins from Mason Leiphart (113), Mason Lewis (132), Mason Torney (145) and Brandon Lawyer (182). Leiphart, a freshman, improved to 22-1.
Spring Grove 36, South Western 25: The Rockets’ hopes for a Y-A D-I title remained alive after the victory.
Spring Grove is now 10-5 overall and 3-1 in D-I. The Rockets will travel to Dallastown on Thursday to take on the undefeated Wildcats (12-0, 4-0) in a match that will likely decide if Dallastown wins the division outright or if there’s a three-way tie for the crown among Spring Grove, Gettysburg and Dallastown.
The much-anticipated bout between Spring Grove’s Anthony Hinson and South Western’s Ethan Baney at 160 pounds didn’t happen. Baney took a forfeit at 160 and Hinson won by forfeit at 170 pounds.
The Mustangs trailed by only five points heading into the last bout — a 195-pound match-up between Spring Grove’s Eric Glass and South Western’s Nathan Hawkins. Glass pinned Hawkins midway through the second period, however, to secure the victory for the Rockets.
South Western fell to 10-7 overall and 1-4 in D-I with the loss.
Gettysburg 65, Red Lion 9: The Warriors only lost two bouts in the rout over visiting Red Lion.
Nine of Gettysburg’s victories came by fall or forfeit. The Warriors led 27-0 after five bouts, with Dru Hartman, Robert Hatfield, Jacob Fetrow and Montana DeLawder all winning by fall early in the match. Nathan Ridgley and John Halbrendt also won by fall at 132 and 138 pounds, respectively.
Gettysburg improved to 13-3 overall and 4-1 in Y-A D-I. Red Lion fell to 0-6 and 0-4.
York Suburban 41, Eastern York 28: The Trojans jumped out to a 29-6 lead and coasted to the victory vs. visiting Eastern.
Suburban had four pins in the victory, and Andrew Frey’s second-period win by fall at 220 over Drake Brown started the Trojans’ run. At 120 pounds, Zach Emory pinned Matthew Thomas midway through the first period, and Noah Rice then won by fall late in the third period over Hailu Barrow at 132. Jamal Lewis wrapped up the victory with a second-period pin over Nicholas Spotts at 170.
Two of Eastern’s three non-forfeit victories were pins. Magnus Krissinger opened the match with a pin in 1:07 over Brock Ahrens at 182 and Neijon Gonzalez won by fall with one second left in the first period against Moustafa Elhasany at 160.
New Oxford 43, Central York 21: At New Oxford, the Colonials triumphed behind pins from Dylan Forbes (182), Omar Figueroa (195) and Timothy Uhler (120).
Central got pins from Michael Wolfgram (285) and Tanner Schaller (160). Wolfgram is 22-0 on the season.
New Oxford improved to 10-4 overall and 3-1 in Y-A D-I. Central dropped to 3-6 and 0-4.
West York 51, Northeastern 21: At West York, the Bulldogs kept their Y-A D-II title hopes alive, improving to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in the division.
West York faces division-leading Susquehannock (4-0) on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in Glen Rock. Northeastern fell to 2-9 and 0-5.
Frank Veloce (220), Allen Bailey (285), Bryce Weaver (120) and Luke Stine (152) had pins for West York. Northeasetern got pins from Garrett Staub (126), Cole Wilson (132) and Ryan Hussey (138). Wilson is 24-1 on the season.
ELCO 51, York Catholic 46, OT: In a nonleague contest at York, the Irish got outscored 6-1 in overtime to end their seven-game win streak.
ELCO improved to 12-2. York Catholic fell to 11-4.
Drew Kile led the Irish with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Gabby Coley added 12 points for Catholic.
Christian School of York 47, West Shore Christian 32: At York, Emma Bell pumped in 28 points to power CSY, which improved to 4-8.
WSC fell to 1-9. A 17-2 second-quarter surge sparked CSY.
Pequea Valley 50, Kennard-Dale 44: At Pequea Valley, the Rams' eight-game winning streak was halted in a nonleague affair.
K-D fell to 15-2. Pequea Valley improved to 12-2.
The Rams led 22-15 at halftime, thanks to a 10-2 second-quarter surge, but couldn't hold on.
Megan Halczuk (12), Lexie Kopko (10) and Megan Thomas (10) each hit double digits for the Rams.
Kennnard-Dale 65, Pequea Valley 25: At Fawn Grove, the Rams rolled behind 19 points from Carter Day.
K-D is now 6-9 overall. Pequea Valley fell to 0-15.
Christian School of York 81, West Shore Christian 62: At York, CSY erupted for 49 second-half points.
CSY improved to 7-5. WSC fell to 5-6
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.