WRESTLING: K-D keeps grip on first
It's commonly said that one of the hardest things to do in sports is defend a championship.
Kennard-Dale's wrestling team won its first-ever York-Adams League Division II crown last season, and has the honor of trying to repeat that feat this season. It hasn't been without hardships, however, with multiple wrestlers out for the season with injuries, forcing the Rams' coaching staff to juggle lineups nearly every match.
So, when K-D went into West York on Tuesday night in a battle between the only two remaining unbeaten teams left in Division II competition, creativity was again going to be essential when filling out a lineup. When it was all said and done, not even two forfeits late in the bout could slow down the Rams, who won the match against the Bulldogs, 40-30, to solidify their hold on the division lead.
"These kids wrestled hard," K-D assistant coach Pat Scarborough said. "We knew coming in that West York was going to be a tough team. We had a couple holes to fill in and knew they had good kids where we had good kids. We had to do some juggling and we knew this one would be a real tough one for us."
Scarborough was the mastermind in putting together the winning lineup, forcing some wrestlers to move up a weight class to fill in holes and give the team the best shot of winning. Every move he made worked, with the Rams (4-0 Division II, 9-5 overall) winning the first four bouts of the night, the first three of which came by pin, opening up a 21-0 advantage.
Knowing that it had a couple back-to-back forfeits late in the match, the fast start was crucial for the K-D, which needed to build a sizable lead so that the bonus points it was guaranteed to give up at 170 and 182 pounds wouldn't hurt the Rams in the end.
"It was huge in the beginning," Rams head coach Mike Balestrini said. "The beginning was the start. That's where it was big."
Kennard-Dale only wound up winning three of the remaining 10 bouts, but picked up bonus points in all of them. By the time the Bulldogs (2-1 Division II, 3-12 overall) got to the upper weights, the match was essentially out of reach.
West York needed pins in the final two matches to even tie the match at 36-36, but that possibility was put to bed when K-D's Austin McNamee earned a 14-0 major-decision at 195 pounds, the second-to-last match of the night. That result sealed the team win for the Rams and ensured that they would leave West York still atop the Division II standings.
"We usually don't have too much of a discussion before a match," Scarborough said. "But, we talked to them and got their heads straight and told them, 'Kennard-Dale's only won one division title ever and now we're going for two.' We're trying to defend our title and that was our game plan."
Tanner Harkins got the match started right for K-D with a pin at 285 and had his result matched at 106 by Dameon Davis and Camron Miller at 113. The Rams also got a pin from Andrew Barnett at 138 to account for all of the team's bonus point results.
The Bulldogs got pins from Josh Hirneisen at 126 pounds and by Paul Boiser at 220 pounds to conclude the match.
"We knew West York was going to be tough," Scarborough said. "But, we got Dover and Susquehannock coming up, so we haven't clinched anything yet."
Spring Grove 46, Dallastown 20: At Dallastown, the vistors improved to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in York-Adams Division I with the victory. The Rockets got pins from Dalton Rohrbaugh (120), Jake Meyer (132), Anthony Hinson (138) and Marcus Kehr (160). Dallastown got pins from Dalton Daugherty (126) and Ben Hyman (145). The Wildcats fell to 6-8 and 2-2.
Susquehannock 48, Dover 26: At Dover, Andrew Senft scored the only pin for the victorious visitors in the first period of the 285-pound bout. The Warriors were also the beneficiaries of five forfeit victories. The Eagles got the bulk of their points via three pins. Brandon Rodriguez recorded the fastest of the three in 10 seconds during the 113-pound match.
Central York 40, New Oxford 23: At Central, trailing 10-9 after the first five bouts of the match, the Panthers were able to go on a 31-4 run over the next seven match-ups to secure the victory. During that run, Central York picked up a pin, three tech falls, a major decision and a forfeit. Zachary Emswiler recorded the pin at 170 pounds. Joe Hoffman earned the Colonials' lone pin.
Gettysburg 53, Eastern York 19: At Gettysburg, the Warriors were able to record pins in five bouts on their way to an easy victory. John Halbrendt took the least amount of time to earn his pin in 36 seconds at 113 pounds. The Golden Knights were able to pick up a pair of pins of their own, with Jared Korb pinning Tyler Gallagher in the 220-pound bout in 1:52. That was two seconds faster than Conner Barshinger’s pin of the Warriors’ Josh Paul at 170 pounds.
South Western 51, Red Lion 13: At Red Lion, the visiting Mustangs improved to 9-4 overall and 3-0 in York-Adams Division I. They are tied for first place in the division with Spring Grove. Red Lion fell to 5-3 and 1-2. No other details were reported.
Bermudian Springs 78, York Tech 6: At Spry, the Eagles received pins from Landon West (106), Dylan Griffin (120), Austin Clabaugh (126), Ashton West (160), Nate McCollum (170), Isaiah Fannin (195) and Brady Linebaugh (285) to secure the victory.
Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com