Bonus points key Barons in 43-25 win over Ephrata
By: BRUCE MORGAN Review Staff, Staff Writer
Manheim Central sophomore wrestler Joe Giffin will no doubt remember his first varsity dual meet for a long time.
Giffin’s teammates had given the Barons an early 21-4 lead on Ephrata last Thursday, only to see the Mounts gain some momentum with back-to-back wins from Bobby Nye and Cameron Eisenhauer to make the score 21-13.
After giving away a forfeit in the 220-pound bout, Ephrata was hoping to keep things moving in the right direction at heavyweight.
Giffin, though, had other ideas, and he pinned Jeremiah Kreider in 2:58 to help break it open for the Manheim Central grapplers, as they went on to defeat Ephrata 43-25 in a Section Two match in Manheim.
"I think (Giffin’s fall) just sorta kept the momentum going," Manheim Central coach Troy Sunderland said. "He wrestled in the tournaments for us a little bit, but that was his first dual meet, so that was nice for him, battling nerves for his first time getting out there and getting a big win for the team."
Giffin’s fall was one of four for the Barons in their win over Ephrata. Overall, MC scored bonus points in all nine of their wins, including three major decisions and one tech fall.
"That’s always the difference anytime you give up bonus points and you don’t get them — we always try to teach our kids about being greedy when points are there and being stingy when giving them up," EHS coach Josh Clair said. "We had some kids fight, but in the long run, the bonus points were the big difference."
Manheim Holiday Tournament finalists Ben Metzler and Jared Siegrist appeared to be ready for prime time following dominant performances against Ephrata at 138 and 145, respectively. Metzler recorded five nearfalls in less than two periods on his way to a 15-0 whitewashing in 3:43, while Siegrist followed with a fall in 3:10 over Ipsen Powers, putting the Barons in front 11-0.
"(Ben and Jared) wrestled some tough competition last week (in the Holiday Tourney)," Sunderland said, "and I think that helped them prepare for tonight and throughout the rest of the season."
Ethan Sipe got the Mounts on the board at 152, scoring a two-point tilt and a takedown in his five-point second period in a 10-2 major decision over Skyler Munoz.
But the Barons answered with two more solid wins at 160 and 170 to take command, 21-4. Tyler Rhoads capitalized on an eight-point first period to defeat Nick Hatch 15-1 and then J.J. Sanchez made quick work with a 44-second fall over Bryan Rohrbaugh.
That set the stage for a hard-fought battle at 182, where Ephrata’s Nye outdueled Central’s Brock Fittery, 2-0. Scoreless after one, the Mounts’ junior picked up the only point in the second period with an escape. A penalty point with just under one minute to go in the third doubled the lead, and although that appeared to be in jeopardy when Fittery nearly got back points at the edge of the mat in the final 20 seconds, Nye held on for the win.
"Bobby Nye is a guy that decided this year he was going to change up the way he wrestled and he wrestles all of his matches close and conservative," Clair said. "We want him to open up more because he’s got the ability, but he’s one of these guys that just does not like to lose. He’s only his third year wrestling, so he’s kind of afraid to open things up and he’s wrestling a lot of those close matches."
Eisenhauer wasted no time in opening up for the Mounts in the 195-pound bout and his first-period fall in 1:20 over Peter Michael got the Mounts within eight, 21-13.
But that’s as close as Ephrata would get.
Following Rey Lasanta’s forfeit win for the Barons at 220, Giffin followed with his varsity dual meet debut at heavyweight. He took a 2-0 first-period lead on a takedown and then finished off Kreider, a junior, with less than a minute elapsed in the second period, putting Manheim Central up 33-13.
From there, when the Barons’ Caleb Enck scored a pair of second-period three-point near falls and defeated Vince Evans by a 12-4 major at 106, followed by Kyler West’s fall in 5:57 over Thomas Evans at 113, Central put it out of reach with a 43-13 lead.
To the Mounts’ credit, however, they battled to the end, and Joey Sarmento broke his match open with McCormick with a seven-point third period on his way to an 11-6 victory Mike McCormick at 120.
"Coming in, some of our guys just had to wrestle good, smart matches knowing that they had some good kids," Clair said. "We have some young inexperienced guys that still are getting their legs underneath them in the varsity ranks and those guys had to go out and wrestle smart matches and not make mistakes. And then we have our guys that need to go out and take advantage of (opportunities). We had some guys who took advantage of points and got them when we needed them and we had other guys that wrestled tough matches and won close matches. You’ve got to give Manheim credit — those kids wrestled."
In the 126-pound bout, Ephrata’s Todd Dumas took a 6-2 first-period lead, mostly behind a four-point takedown in the final 10 seconds, and then he decked Central’s Jordan Esbenshade in 2:52 to make it 43-22.
"I thought Dumas did a nice job," Sunderland remarked, "and that was one of the matches that I’m not happy with the decision I made. When (Esbenshade) went down in the second period, I should have respected (Dumas’) ability on top more than what we did."
Ephrata’s Riley Eidemiller showed a lot of ability on his feet in the match-ending 132-pound bout. He scored a first-period takedown to go on top 2-1 after one against MC’s David Fantom, and then his takedown with just 18 seconds to go in the third period clinched a 5-3 win and completed the scoring.
"Eidemiller is one of those kids that he’s aggressive … he doesn’t have any quit in him and he always finds a way when it comes down to it," Clair said.
"We weren’t as crisp as what I’d like to be," Sunderland said. "I made some mistakes from the bench tonight which I’m not happy about. But we showed a lot of good effort again — the kids are fighting and scrapping and they know that they didn’t wrestle their best in a lot of cases. I’ve got a number of kids who are critical of themselves, which is nice to see, and they’ll make some adjustments to make themselves better."
The Mounts, meanwhile, turned their attention to meets this week against Lampeter-Strasburg and back-yard rival Cocalico as opportunities to continue to improve.
"We have our moments. We have our times where, yes, we wrestle very well and we do a lot of good things and then we have other times where you can tell we have a lot of (inexperience)," Clair said. "We have 10 juniors that start, so we’re still pretty inexperienced. We’re still working to get better … You can’t beat experience."
Tuesday night at L-S in that match against the Pioneers, Ephrata built an early 21-6 lead before the host team rallied to win eight of the remaining nine bouts to pull out a 45-24 victory.
Sarmento (120), Dumas (126), Eidemiller (132) and David Donnelly (138) all pinned to help give Ephrata its big early lead. Ethan Sipe added a 5-2 victory at 152 to close out the Mounts’ wins on the night.
Ephrata fell to 1-3 in Section Two (4-5 overall).
Cocalico, meanwhile, earned its first Section Two win of the season Tuesday night at home vs. Lebanon with a 48-21 victory.
John Fry (285), Zach Whittaker (120), Tyler Fichtorn (126), Mike Reitenbach (138) and Hilton Martin (145) all pinned to lead the Eagles in this one.
Last Thursday at Garden Spot, Fichtorn got the lone fall of the night for the Eagles in a 58-15 loss to the Spartans. Fry added a 4-2 win at 285 while Adam Miller picked up a forfeit win at 106 for Cocalico.
The Eagles also competed in the Hamburg Duals Tournament this past Saturday where they went 1-4 on the day.
Cocalico’s lone win came in a 51-30 victory over Tamaqua. Whittaker (120), Fichtorn (126) and Alec Whitsett (152) all earned falls to pace the Eagles.
The Eagles’ losses came by scores of 48-30 to Southern Columbia, 64-12 to Hamburg, 47-35 to Muhlenberg and 58-18 to West Perry.
Up next, Cocalico and Ephrata renew their rivalry Thursday night at Ephrata High School, beginning at 7 p.m. More WRESTLING, page B-4