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High School Wrestling Summary

3 teams compete in
sectional tourneys

By Tony Matter, CONTRIBUTING WRITER


Hanover’s Eli Hart (in stripes) and UDA’s Hayden McAllister duel at 170 pounds. (Sentinel photo by Todd Gearhart).

The high-school wrestling individual post season is upon us.

Three area teams  – Halifax, Line Mountain, and Upper Dauphin Area – competed in their respective sectional tournaments last weekend. In total, 19 wrestlers from those three squads advanced to this weekend’s district tournaments.

District 11 does not hold sectional tournaments. Grapplers from Tri-Valley and Williams Valley will start their post season march at this weekend’s District 11, Class AA individual tournament.

DISTRICT 3-AA SECTIONAL TOURNAMENT

Ten area wrestlers advanced to this weekend’s District 3-AA tournament, but none of those participants were able to claim a title at the District 3-AA Section 1 tournament Feb. 20 at Susquenita High School.

UDA freshman Bronson Garber had the best finish among local wrestlers, claiming second place in the 113-pound bracket.

Garber breezed through his first two bouts, collecting two falls en route to the finals where he met up with Boiling Springs’ freshman Kollin Myers in the evening’s marquee title match-up.

Garber started the tournament with a first-period fall over Camp Hill’s Jacob Coniglio and followed it up with a second-period fall over Tri-Valley League mate Isaiah Bryner from Newport. Myers also collected two falls heading into the finals, both occurring in less than one minute.

In the finals, Myers was too much for Garber. The Bubbler scored from the top, bottom, and neutral position to Garber with a 6-3 decision. The two talented freshman could possibly meet in this weekend’s District 3-AA championships.

UDA’s Evan Hoffman (138) and Donny Gelnett (195) both claimed third place for the Trojans. Hoffman started the tournament with a bye before pinning Camp Hill’s Anthony Rini in the quarterfinals. The Trojan grappler ran into Boiling Spring buzz saw – and eventual champion – Cole Wetzel in the semifinals, losing by technical fall to drop into the consolation bracket.

Hoffman bounced back with a 9-4 decision in the consi semis before winning by fall in the third-place consolation bout.

Gelnett started the tournament with a bye before dropping a close 3-1 decision to eventual champion Brady Herr of Newport. The Trojan freshman rattled off three straight wins in the consolation bracket to claim third place. Gelnett won by fall, 4-1 decision, and 3-2 decision in the consolation round.

Halifax’s Landon Bruner (120) and Cade Wilbert (170) and Upper Dauphin’s Tyler Wright (126) left Susquenita with fourth-place finishes.

After a first-round bye, Bruner dropped a 12-5 decision to Susquenita’s Bodee Tolbert. Bruner collected two straight falls in the consolations before dropping a 3-1 decision to Tolbert in the third-place match.

Wilbert collected an 11-2 decision before dropping a 7-1 decision to eventual champion Dakota Mackley in the quarterfinals. The Wildcat wrestler then collected a fall and a decision in the consolation round before getting pinned in overtime in the third-place consolation match.

Wright won his first two bouts to advance to the championship semifinals, where he was pinned by eventual champion Caleb Garland of Hanover. The UDA freshman then won a 5-2 decision before dropping a 12-6 decision to Newport’s Aaron Finicle, whom he had beaten 12-8 earlier in the day.

Other top-six place winners who advanced to this weekend’s district tournament are UDA’s Brock Welker, sixth at 106; and Zach Rupp, sixth at 120; Halifax’s Justin Brady, sixth at 113; and Jake Paul, fifth at 220.

DISTRICT 4-AA SOUTHERN SECTIONAL TOURNAMENT

Line Mountain advanced nine wrestlers to this weekend’s District 4-AA tournament.

Brian Earlston (126) and Garrett Kieffer (285) claimed individual titles for Line Mountain at sectionals held at Williamsport High School.

The Eagles claimed third place in the team race with 132.5 points. Southern Columbia Area won the team title with 175 points. Lewisburg was second with 148.

Earlston started the tournament with a first-round bye before pinning Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech’s Michael Miller in the first period. The Eagle grappler then topped Midd-West’s Kameron Kline 8-1 to earn a spot in the championship finals opposite Shamokin’s Devin Pietkiewicz.

Earlston, who beat Pietkiewicz via technical fall earlier in the year, beat the Shamokin wrestler 12-5 to claim his title.

Kieffer went virtually untested through the tournament, collecting three falls in just over six-and-a-half combined minutes.

The Eagle heavyweight started with a first-period fall over Midd-West’s Owen Hosler before planting SCA’s Connor Fullmer in 2:59. In the finals, Kieffer pinned Mifflinburg’s Sam Rishel in 2:36 to claim gold.

Collin Klinger (132) was the only other Eagle to make it to the championship finals, where he fell to SCA’ Todd Lane by 16-0 technical fall.

Klinger started the tournament with a second-period fall over Danville’s Kaiden Kurzawa before sneaking out of the semifinals with a 2-0 decision over Mifflinburg’s Eric Gessner. In the finals, Klinger was no match for SCA’s Lane, who halted the Eagle grappler from claiming his 97th career victory.

Four Eagle wrestlers claimed third-place finishes – Cole Hauck (120), Gary Laudenslager (145), Ethan Long (170), and Austin Baumert (182).

Hauck lost a tough 7-5 overtime decision to Midd-West’s Noah Ettinger in the championship semifinals before earning a 16-1 technical fall in the consolation semis. He followed that with a 3-0 decision over Mifflinburg’s Trevor Bingaman in the consolation finals to claim third place.

Laudenslager dropped a 4-2 decision in the championship semifinals before collecting a 6-1 decision in the consi semis and a 2-1 decision over Mifflinburg’s Owen Walter in the consi finals to earn third place.

Long dropped a 5-3 overtime decision in the quarterfinals that knocked him into the consolation bracket, where he won three straight matches (fall, fall, and 9-4 decision) en route to his third-place finish.

Baumert, like Smeltz before him, lost a two-point overtime decision in the championship semifinals that dropped him into the consolation bracket. Once there, Baumert collected a fall before topping Mifflinburg’s Kyle Gessner 2-0 to claim third place.

Griffin Smeltz (113) and Chris Koperna Jr. (138) claimed fourth place for the Eagles to advance to this weekend’s District 4-AA tournament.




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