After a 51-18 win over Spring Grove with six pins during the first periods of matches, Dallastown is confident it can make another run at a title. York Dispatch
Dallastown beat Spring Grove nearly two weeks ago when the teams met on the Rockets’ home mat.
The Wildcats, however, left that meet believing they could’ve won in a more convincing fashion than that seven-point victory.
Tuesday, Dallastown (14-2) came through with the dominant victory it knew it could produce against Spring Grove in the District 3 Class 3-A quarterfinals, 51-18.
“We went in with a different mentality today,” Dallastown junior Brooks Gable said. “We didn’t go out there with the ferocity (in a 40-33 win on Jan. 16) we did today. It was all mentality. We knew we could do that, we just needed to go out there with that mentality.”
Make a statement: Gable was one of six Wildcats to earn first-period pins Tuesday. Before the showdown against Spring Grove, Gable pulled the Dallastown team together to make sure his teammates took advantage of their chance to show everyone what kind of team it can become.
“‘Guys, this is our time,’” Gable said to his teammates. “‘There’s no reason why we can’t make up for those lost opportunities last time.’ Everyone was ready to go and everyone was feeling it today.”
Dallastown coach Dave Gable said he didn’t need to offer much inspiration to his team ahead of Tuesday's first-round and quarterfinal matches. The team knew what was at stake. As the coach has become used to this season, the Wildcats showed up big in a big spot.
“They usually wrestle well when they need to,” Dave Gable said. “They’re pretty self-motivated and they’re a great group of guys that love to compete.”
Super sophomore class: One of the sources of motivation for the Wildcats, according to Brooks Gable, was the preseason doubt that the team had enough talent to make another postseason run after losing eight seniors from last season’s team that reached the PIAA state playoffs.
Brooks Gable praised the efforts of the sophomore class, which played a major part in the team’s success this season and in Tuesday’s success.
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Sophomores Caden Dobbins, Ashton Deller and Hunter Bisking all delivered wins for the Wildcats against the Rockets and have earned the respect of their teammates by continuing the successful formula that Dallastown had last year.
“I’m so impressed with our sophomore class,” Brooks Gable said. “I knew that they were doing exactly what the seniors had been doing. We stuck with the program, we kept doing what we were doing. They have exceeded everything we were hoping for. People definitely counted us out after we had that large senior class graduate, but we’ve done nothing but improve upon that.”
Ready to shine: As the Wildcats look ahead, Brooks Gable’s confidence in the young team’s ability to keep winning hasn't dwindled.
Dallastown will have to beat Central Dauphin (16-1) and then likely Gettysburg (19-0) to win a district crown, but Brooks Gable and the Wildcats believe they are made for the biggest matches.
“When the lights come on, I think we come on,” Brooks Gable said. “I’ve been surprised by this team many a time and I think other teams have been surprised by us as well, and that’s our big go-to, that’s our ticket. So, why not keep playing on that for the years and days to come.”
The scores: No. 3 seed Dallastown advanced to the quarterfinal match vs. Spring Grove with a 47-24 triumph over No. 14 seed Conrad Weiser in a first-round match on Tuesday.
The No. 11 seed Rockets, meanwhile, upset No. 6 seed Northern York in its first-round match, 38-31.
In it seminfinal at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dallastown faces No. 2 seed CD at Spring Grove. At the same time at Spring Grove, the Rockets (12-5) will take on No. 10 seed Chambersburg (12-6) in a consolation match. Spring Grove lost to Chambersburg in the regular season, 48-15.
Top-seeded Gettysburg, meanwhile, rolled to a pair of impressive wins on Tuesday on its home mat, beating No. 16 seed Solanco in the first round, 57-16, and No. 9 seed Exeter in the quarterfinals, 46-19.
The Warriors will face No. 4 seed Cumberland Valley (13-4) in the other 3-A semifinal, also set for 5 p.m. Thursday at Spring Grove.
The District 3 3-A title match is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Milton Hershey.
Hempfield 46, York Suburban 27: At Cumberland Valley, one of Suburban's most successful seasons in program history came to an end with a District 3 Class 3-A first-round loss. The Trojans made the district tournament for just the second time ever and also collected the program's first-ever outright division championship when they captured the York-Adams League D-II crown at 6-0. No. 12 seed Suburban finished at 15-6 overall. No. 5 seed Hempfield improved to 14-4.
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.