Hempfield gains revenge with 41-28 win over Mounts
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Ephrata opened the wrestling season back on Dec. 10 with a solid 3-2 showing in the Ephrata Duals Tourney.
One of the teams the Mounts knocked off that day was Hempfield, which Ephrata edged 33-32 in the fifth-place match. Well, the Black Knights returned to Ephrata this past Saturday, looking to avenge that earlier loss in non-league dual meet action.
Trailing 24-21, Hempfield took four of the remaining five bouts and got bonus points in three of its four wins during that stretch to indeed gain sweet revenge with a 41-28 victory over the Mounts.
"The first time around we won most of the toss-up matches," Ephrata Coach Josh Clair said. "This time around they happened to win all of the toss-up matches and that ultimately that was the difference."
In the first meeting, Ephrata got key wins at both 113 and 285 which helped propel the Mounts. This time around, Ephrata’s Joey Sarmento dropped a tough 8-5 decision to Remy Mahosky at 113. And at 285, Zach Price, who was beaten by Ephrata heavyweight Danny Matos (3-1) in that first meeting, made it a nine-point swing at that weight when he pinned Matos on Saturday.
Ephrata actually fell behind 21-6 after the first five bouts (they started at 198 pounds) with the Mounts’ lone win during that stretch coming on a Randy Wintersohl forfeit at 106. But the Mounts eventually rallied to take a 24-21 lead as Chad Lammer ended a string of four-straight Ephrata wins with a fall at 138.
Riley Eidemiller (125) and Ethan Sipe (132) both earned wins by decision during that run, but the biggest win came at 120 where Todd Dumas built a 9-0 lead on Dakota Minnich, the third ranked wrestler in the District, before the Hempfield senior was forced to default at the end of the second period because of a shoulder injury.
"I am not sure exactly how (Minnich) got hurt," Clair said. "Dakota beat Todd earlier this year at the Ephrata Duals, 6-2. (Saturday’s bout with Minnich) was one of the best matches that Todd has wrestled in a very long time."
Unfortunately for the Mounts, they couldn’t hold the lead. After Ephrata gave up a pin at 145 to fall behind again, Mike Lammer earned a 13-3 major at 152 to put the Mounts back on top at 28-27.
But that was it as the Black Knights won the final three bouts to clinch the impressive win.
With the loss, Ephrata, which was considered a dark horse to challenge this year in Section Two, fell to 3-5 overall and is 0-2 in section play. Clair was asked if he feels his team is still making progress despite the losing record.
"We still have been improving and have been competitive in all of our matches," he said. "There are times that our youth shows through with having upwards of eight or nine freshmen/sophomores in the starting line-up. Even with that youth we have been competitive, which bodes well for the future."
"We still want to win out in our matches, which is definitely a possibility," he said when asked about the remainder of the season. "We will be very competitive with all of our opponents. We still want to finish out all of our section matches with victories to finish at least in third place."
Cocalico, meanwhile, dropped a 43-33 decision to visiting Garden Spot in a key Section Two dual meet last Thursday in Denver.
Despite being close throughout, the Spartans were able to keep the Eagles at arm’s length and led from start to finish. In a match that featured six forfeits (four by the Spartans), Hilton Martin (138), Teddy Wolf (152) and Kam Mueller (170) all pinned to pace Cocalico. Austin Fromm added a win by decision (7-4) at 195, while Ed Pooley (106) and Ethan Miller (113) each added forfeit victories for the Eagles.
In addition to Thursday, Cocalico competed in the Hamburg Duals this past Saturday, going 2-2 on the afternoon. The Eagles defeated both Tamaqua (49-22) and Muhlenberg (33-31) but lost to Abington (46-26) and host Hamburg (49-25).
Mike Reitenbach (132-138), Wolf (152), Nick Reitenbach (170) and Mueller (182) all went a perfect 4-0 in those four matches.
Cocalico returns to action Wednesday night when the Eagles travel to Manheim Central (7 p.m.) for a key Section Two dual. Ephrata also is in action Wednesday, hosting Lebanon at 7 p.m. More WRESTLING, page B-3