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Mounts edge Hempfield for fifth place in tourney
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
The Ephrata wrestling team found itself in a familiar position Saturday.
For the third straight year, Ephrata came out of the preliminary round of the Ephrata Duals at 2-2. And, for the third year in succession, the Mounts had to get past Hempfield to lock up fifth place in the 10-team tournament.
In their meetings in the previous two seasons, Hempfield went on to beat the Mounts and capture fifth.
Not this time, however.
Ephrata took a big step forward, gaining key pins from Ethan Sipe (132) and Nate Bradley (138) to build a 27-13 lead with five bouts to go. The Black Knights made it interesting with four-straight victories from 145 to 170 to momentarily go up 32-27. However, Jeff Halligan’s forfeit victory in the final bout of the day at 182 sealed the deal as the Mounts came away with an exciting 33-32 win to capture the fifth-place medal.
"Knowing the schools that were in our pool, Biglerville, Downingtown East, Cedar Crest, and Daniel Boone, (the fifth place match) is where I anticipated us being," Ephrata Coach josh Clair said. "Beating Hempfield, the first time in my seven years at Ephrata was a huge plus. We are still a very young team with 14 of the 28 guys in either 9th or 10th grade so I felt the kids stepped up after a sluggish start with Cedar Crest (a 39-33 win)."
In addition to Sipe, Bradley and Halligan, Riley Eidemiller came through with bonus points at 126 with a 12-3 major, and several others, including Brandon Smith (113) and Danny Matos (285), stepped up according to the coach.
"We had several big wins during the match," Clair stated. "Matos picked up a big OT win over a kid who he split matches with last year. Brandon Smith hit a five-point reversal in the last 20 seconds to win 6-2. Nate Bradley was in a close match, but once he got on top he cranked the kid over with a great power half in legs to earn the fall. And even David White was huge for us. He lost 9-1, but was wrestling with a high ankle sprain and wouldn’t default. Had he been unable to finish we would have lost 34-33 instead of winning 33-32, so it was a total team effort."
Ephrata opened the tournament with the 39-33 win over Cedar Crest. Halligan (182), Cameron Eisenhauer (220), Matos (285) and Eidemiller (126) all pinned to pace the Mounts in that one.
In their second match, Downingtown East flexed its muscles with a 45-18 victory over the Mounts.
Randy Wintersohl earned the lone pin of the match for Ephrata with a fall at 106. Todd Dumas added a technical fall victory at 120 while Sipe captured a 17-4 major decision at 132.
In the third round, the Mounts fell to eventual champion Biglerville by a 58-23 decision. Eisenhauer earned the only pin for the Mounts at 220 while Dumas tech falled at 120.
The Mounts then rebounded for a nice 55-24 victory in Round Four against Daniel Boone.
Eisenhauer (220), Matos (285), Eidemiller (132) and White (160) all pinned to lead Ephrata. Halligan added a 13-3 major at 182.
Individually, Wintersohl and Halligan paced the Mounts on the day as each went 4-1. Eidemiller, Dumas, Matos, Eisenhauer and Smith all finished at 3-2.
As mentioned, Biglerville captured the overall title with a 51-24 victory over Garden Spot in the first place match. Mifflin Co. earned third place with a 43-19 win over Downingtown East while Reading took seventh (37-33 over Cedar Crest) and Daniel Boone placed ninth (53-18 over Lebanon).
Ephrata hosts Garden Spot Wednesday in the regular-season opener, beginning at 7 p.m. More WRESTLING, page B-7