Eisenhauer wins two, claims top eight position

By on February 26, 2014

Ephrata’s Cameron Eisenhauer (front) tries to escape the grasp of Tommy Rayhart of Big Spring during the first round of the District Three Tournament Friday in Hershey. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Ephrata’s Cameron Eisenhauer (front) tries to escape the grasp of Tommy Rayhart of Big Spring during the first round of the District Three Tournament Friday in Hershey. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cameron Eisenhauer’s first taste of Hershey was a bit bittersweet for the wrestler.

Sweet because the Ephrata senior performed admirably, going 2-2 overall in his first District appearance and finishing in the top eight of his 195-pound weight class this past weekend at Hersheypark Arena. The bitter part is the fact that Eisenhauer will not be moving on to States, meaning his high school season and career is over.

After winning his first two consolation bouts, Eisenhauer was officially eliminated Saturday with a loss to Adam Gilson of Cedar Crest in the consolation semifinals.

Gilson, who went on to finish fourth, led 8-1 in the third before turning Eisenhauer for the fall in 4:12.

With the loss, Eisenhauer, the lone local representative at Districts, closed out his senior season with a record of 30-10.

“Going (into the tournament) I thought Cam would win at least two matches,” Ephrata Coach Josh Clair said. “He has been ranked seventh or eighth most of the year in the district and he finished in the top eight.”

“Cam has been a product of hard work and drive,” he continued. “He only started wrestling in eighth grade and has spent a lot of time working on his technique. It really showed this year as he became only the third, 30-match winner in the nine years I have been at Ephrata (Jordan Becker and Blake Crowther are the others). He has been a team leader throughout the ups and the downs and it led to him having an outstanding season.”

Eisenhauer, who qualified for Districts after placing second at 195 at the Section Three Tournament a week ago, met Big Spring junior Tommy Rayhart (20-8) in Friday’s opening round.

And the Ephrata senior got off to a fast start, securing a quick takedown 22 seconds into the bout to take a 2-0 advantage. However, Rayhart quickly turned the tables on Eisenhauer, reversing him to tie the bout before securing three back points to suddenly lead 5-2. Then before the period came to a close, Rayhart tilted Eisenhauer for three more back points to open up a big 8-3 lead head to the second.

Rayhart closed it out early in the second. Starting from the bottom, he quickly rolled out and put Eisenhauer on his back, gaining the pin in a time of 2:13.

“Rayhart was a district runner-up last year and is very tough,” Clair said. “Cam kept the match where he wanted on his feet and got the takedown, but relaxed just a little too much on the mat where Rayhart is very tough.”

With the loss, Eisenhauer needed a win over West York sophomore Jake Ciechowski (13-10) to keep his season alive, and he did just that. After giving up an early takedown, Eisenhauer fought back and eventually locked in a cradle for a fall in a time of 3:15.

“(Cam) just kept grinding on the kid and started to put himself in the situations where he is strong,” Clair said. “He was able to get into a front headlock and lock up a cradle, which he has done so many other times this season.”

With his first District win under his belt, Eisenhauer advanced and picked up a second victory with a solid 7-3 decision over Eastern York junior Lucas Barshinger (25-9).

That win set up his showdown with Gilson, the L-L champion at 195. Trailing 2-1 after one period, Gilson gained the upper hand with three back points in the second period and cruised from there.

“Actually what did him in, just like the last match, was his head,” Clair explained. “Both Cam and Gilson tend to lead a little too much with their heads and Cam got a little dinged. He never quite recovered and Gilson is a tough wrestler who took advantage.”

Governor Mifflin’s Jan Johnson (40-1) captured the 195-pound weight class with a 3-2 ultimate tiebreaker victory in the finals over Shippensburg’s Dylan Herb (31-2). Both those wrestlers qualified for States, along with Hempfield’s Tommy Bennett, who defeated Gilson in the third-place match by a 3-2 score.

The 77th annual PIAA State Tournament will take place March 6-8 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Todd Ruth is the sports editor for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at truth.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4422

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