WRESTLING: Bermudian tops Dallastown
Sometimes, the way a wrestling match ends all hinges on how it begins.
That was the case Wednesday night when Bermudian Springs visited Dallastown in a York-Adams League cross-division battle between traditional wrestling powers. The Eagles won the match 35-25, but had it started somewhere else in the upper weights, rather than at 285 pounds, the result may have been different for a young Wildcats program.
Instead, Bermudian (5-1) opened up a quick 3-0 lead with a 3-0 decision from Brady Linebaugh over William Anderson at heavyweight, and then saw the match wrap back up to the lightweights, where it clearly had an advantage over Dallastown (4-2). Landon West won another decision for the Eagles at 106, and then after a Bermudian forfeit at 113 and a thrilling come-from-behind ultimate-tiebreaker victory by the Wildcats' Gerald MacDonald at 120 pounds, the Eagles took over.
After MacDonald's win, which gave Dallastown a 9-6 lead and had seemingly swung momentum on its side, Bermudian rattled off six straight bout victories from 126 pounds to 160 pounds, five of which earned the team bonus points, coming by either major decision or pin.
"We knew coming in that we were going to need bonus points," Eagles head coach Dave McCollum said. "I didn't say much to the team about it because once you start telling them: 'Hey, we need six here, six here and six here,' it never happens. So, I said: 'Let's just go wrestle tonight and see how it goes.' So, we got some bonus points that I thought were huge."
By the time Drake Pew snapped Bermudian's six-bought streak at 170 pounds, it was too late for the Wildcats. The Eagles had already built a 35-9 advantage, one large enough that Dallastown couldn't erase the deficit over the final three matches, the point in the bout where the Wildcats finally felt they had the advantage in the upper weights.
"Anytime you have a wrestling match, they do a random draw before you start," Dallastown head coach Rob Jansen said. "I knew we had more wins coming toward the back end, and I also knew we had to keep it close before then, and we just weren't able to keep it close enough."
Jansen said that had the random draw wound up more in his team's favor, starting around 160 or 170 pounds, where he knew his team could jump out to a sizable cushion, it would've influenced some of his match-ups at the lighter weights.
"If it had started at 160, we talked about it beforehand that there was a couple of moves we would've made differently right around the 126, 132 area," he said. "But, we said we were going to go for as many wins as we could and we did. The guys wrestled tough."
Overall, Bermudian finished the match with three pins compared to the Wildcats' zero. Brady Sanders (132), Jarod Miller (138) and Lucas Gladfelter (160) all scored falls for the Eagles during the pivotal stretch of matches between 132 and 160 that helped them regain the lead and clinch the victory. Austin Clabaugh (126) and Ashton West (152) also earned major decisions for Bermudian.
Aside from Darin Wise earning the forfeit at 113, MacDonald's triple-overtime win at 120 and Pew's overtime decision at 170, Dallastown also got back-to-back, 15-0 tech falls from Cameron Green and Bryce Shields at 182 and 195, respectively.
The match was a crucial win for an Eagles squad that is returning a number of wrestlers that made it to districts and states last year. The Eagles are the favorites to win the Y-A League Division III crown and hope to contend for a District 3-AA crown. As for the Wildcats, the close result to a strong opponent that featured several tight bouts proved that, despite the team's youth, it has the wrestlers to make some noise in Division I.
"We only have two seniors in the starting lineup," Jansen said. "So, I'd say they're improving very well and I hope it keeps going. We have a lot of tough matches coming here in January and this is just the first of many."
Littlestown 51, York Tech 24: At Spry, the Thunderbolts received pins from Corbin Brown (126), Jason Penton (132), Carl Harris (160), Ben Stauffer (170), Connor Heindel (182) and Matt Guilday (220). The Spartans received all their points by way of forfeit.
Biglerville 68, York Suburban 9: At Suburban, the Canners received pins from Michael Southerly (182), Colton Sentz (195) and Mitchell Thomas (126). The Trojans received a pin from Colin Shelton (120).
Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.