SHARON — The Saegertown wrestling team’s run at the District 10 Class AA championship duals came to an end in the
And, later, any doubts about the Reynolds wrestling team came to an end as well.
The Raiders of coach Casey Taylor had one of its most dominating performances ever in the finals as they routed Corry 70-0 Saturday at Sharon High School, claiming an eighth straight team championship and their 18th overall. That win came after Reynolds notched a 76-0 rout of Mercer in the semifinal round.
The red-hot Raiders’ next stop is Hershey on Thursday where they will be shooting for a fourth straight PIAA state crown.
“Did I ever expect that, no,” Taylor said about the final. “You want to come out on top in some of the close ones and we had our fair share, but I was impressed with our kids. Corry is a good team and has three, four or five of their better kids ranked in the state or district.
“Every year our team starts to have a bonding moment, usually in the middle of the season. That’s when we really develop a family atmosphere. Today was one of the moments when I saw our kids cheering each other on. It was good to hear.”
Corry, as district runner-up, also moves on to the state tournament. The Beavers (16-2) will host District 7 third seed Quaker Valley in a preliminary round match on Monday
at 6 p.m.
General McLane also kept its postseason hopes alive, taking third place after a 50-14 win over Mercer in yesterday’s consolation match.
The Lancers’ rebounded nicely from a heartbreaker in the semifinals against Corry. Corry was up on McLane 30-26 going into the final bout at 113 pounds. McLane’s Gunnar Gage had worked up a 10-0 lead over Kayden Reyda, which would have tied the match score had Gage held on for the major decision.
However, just before time ran out Reyda managed to tilt Gage for three back points, making Gage’s win a regular decision and allowing Corry to escape with the one-point team victory.
Regardless, the Lancers (14-2) live to fight another day. They will travel to District 6 runner-up Westmont Hilltop on Monday at 6 p.m.
Reynolds will open at Hershey on Thursday against the winner of a wrestle-in match between Notre Dame GP and West Perry.
Lancers top Panthers
McLane and Saegertown had met each other just a couple weeks ago at the Clearfield Bison Duals. McLane won that meeting 38-26. So, the Panthers knew that if they wanted to turn the tables that a few bounces would to have to go their way.
One big bounce already skipped over Saegertown before the match even started, since McLane had an even more complete team than the first time the two had met.
“We’ve had two guys that were out for a month,” said Lancers head coach Ryan Cook. “This was their first action back — (Jackson) Spires and (Seth) Yarger.”
Spires would pick up a win by fall at 145, and Yarger would do the same at 195.
The coin flip didn’t favor Saegertown either, allowing McLane to have a little more say on the matchups.
That really paid off at 145 pounds. Saegertown sent out their stud, Kenny Kiser. McLane answered with Aric Sweet, who Kiser pinned in 30 seconds. And McLane moved Jackson Spires to 152 where he pinned Matt Posego in 49 seconds.
“We needed that flip,” said Saegertown head coach Jim Mulligan. “If we get the flip, I get Kenny on Spires. They didn’t want that matchup. Instead of going 6-6 there, I think we go 9-0 there.”
McLane also got a bounce in a pivotal 170-pound bout — a literal bounce, in this case.
Midway through the first period, Saegertown’s Jacob Reisinger planted Scott Litz onto his back from a standing position and was called for a slam. Lutz went on to win the bout 4-1.
“I didn’t think it was a slam,” said Mulligan. “If we get that single-leg takedown, that was a lot of points. Even if we don’t pin him, we’re up 5-0 there. That’s a big momentum swing.”
After the win by Litz, McLane won the next three bouts with pins by James Laird at 182 and Yarger at 195, and then a decision by Wilson Spires over Josh Perrine at 220.
That gave the Lancers a 39-18 lead, and they were able to forfeit the next two weights, saving some energy for the following rounds.
“We knew what we were going to get,” said Cook. “We knew it was going to be back and forth. Jimmy always has those kids ready to wrestle. But we knew that we were stronger up top. We just needed to weather the storm down low and give our upper-weight guys a chance to hammer home the match.
“I thought we achieved that.”
According to Mulligan, “They had a couple more horses than us.”
The Panthers did get a couple early bounces.
For instance, after the Lancers took a 6-0 lead thanks to Gunnar Gage’s pin of David Deets late in the first period of the 113-pound bout, Saegertown got on the board with an exciting win at 120.
The Panthers’ Brandon Gaus and McLane’s Gabe Bayle ended regulation tied at 1-1, with Gaus scoring an escape with 29 seconds left in the third to force overtime.
Gaus went up by a point in the first tiebreaker when Bayle was penalized for locking his hands around Gaus’ ankle while Gaus was trying to pull away. Bayle then tied it in the second tiebreaker, recording an escape with 18 seconds left.
Gaus only had a scant 47 seconds of ride time over Bayle for the match. But in the ultimate tiebreaker, he crucially got 30 more, keeping control of one of Bayle’s legs as he the Lancer tried to free himself with time running out.
Saegertown then tied the match at 6-6 when Alex Kightlinger scored a 9-3 decision over GM’s Beau Caro.
Later came the win by Kiser.
And Landon Caldwell gave Saegertown its final big bounce of the day at 160. He had run up a big 14-1 lead over McLane’s Elijah Schreiber heading into the third period. A takedown, and Caldwell would have won via technical fall. But the Panther wanted more that that.
He chose neutral for the third period. A half a minute in, he managed to deliver Schreiber’s shoulders to the mat, flatting him for the fall in 4:37, narrowing McLane’s lead to 21-18.
“We told Landon: feet-to-back. And he did it,” said Mulligan. He went feet-to-back and got the pin.”