Mounts struggle but get past Eagles Ephrata 46, Cocalico 30
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
Despite putting together a bit of a clunker last Thursday against an undermanned Cocalico squad, Ephrata and Coach Josh Clair were satisfied with the result at the end of the day.
While the Eagles won four of the eight bouts that were contested, Ephrata won on the scoreboard thanks to four forfeit wins which was a difference in a 46-30 dual meet victory.
"It wasn’t the outcome that we wanted but in the long run a win is a win," Clair said.
With the victory, Ephrata not only improved to 2-3 in Section Two play (6-9 overall) but also claimed the Cocalico Creek Backyard Brawl trophy, which goes to the winner of this annual contest.
The Mounts, who came into the match battling injuries and sickness, faced a short-handed and inexperienced Eagle squad that wasn’t going to go down easily.
Cocalico (1-4 section, 3-13 overall) got out of the gates quickly, opening up an 18-0 lead thanks to pins by John Fry (285) and Adam Miller (106), and a forfeit win by Andrew Weston at 113.
But the Mounts responded with three quick falls to tie the match at 18-18, and appeared to right the ship. First at 120, Joey Sarmento flattened the Eagles’ Zach Whittaker in 1:09 to get the Mounts on the board. Todd Dumas, who needs just seven wins for 100 in his career, followed with a 29 second fall at 126 before Riley Eidemiller tied the match with a pin at 132.
Then at 138, Ephrata’s David Donnelley appeared to be in control against Mike Reitenbach, taking a commanding 4-1 lead into the second. However, Reitenbach first worked a tilt from the top for two back points to cut the deficit to 4-3. Then, he hit another tilt and finished it off for the second-period fall to put his team up, 24-18.
"I was pleased with all of the guys who got the pins," Cocalico Coach Matt Fittery said. "John got us started off right and then Adam followed up with his. Mike showed a lot of heart coming back and getting the fall. That was great and really gave us some confidence."
At 145, Ephrata’s Ibsen Powers led Alec Whitsett 2-0 after one, but he was only getting started. Powers opened the second with a reversal and quickly earned a pair of back points to open the lead up. After Whitsett escaped, Powers secured a takedown late in the period to lead 8-1 heading to the third.
In the final period, Powers chose down and reversed again, and later worked in three more back points for a convincing 13-1 major decision.
"I was probably most pleased with Ipsen Powers," Clair said. "He only came out at Christmas time and didn’t wrestle last year, but he’s a grinder. He’s not a flashy kid. He does the little things and he works hard. He wrestles up a weight class, which he always does, and he’ll never stop."
Trailing 24-22, Ephrata looked to maintain the momentum as Ethan Sipe and the Eagles’ Hilton Martin squared off at 152. This one didn’t last long, though as Martin countered a shot by Sipe, slapped on the cradle and held on for the fall just 56 seconds into the first.
"That pin was big, especially since it was against a tough kid," Fittery said.
Clair added, "Ethan knows what he did wrong. He put himself in a bad position on a shot. The kid slapped on the cradle, and that was a very tight cradle."
The Martin win put the Eagles on top 30-22, but unfortunately for them they didn’t have any wrestlers left. Ephrata’s Nick Hatch (160), Bryan Rohrbaugh (170), Bobby Nye (182) and Cameron Eisenhauer (195) all received forfeits to give the Mounts 24-unanswered points to clinch the match.
"It’s been that way all year," Fittery said of his squad, which has just 11 total wrestlers on the roster. "We had a couple guys we could have gone to but we just don’t have enough guys to cover all the weights and that’s just the way it is. We just try to encourage the individuals (in dual meets). Individually I think we are wrestling really well. We have four freshmen in the lineup and they are all wrestling hard each time. We only return two guys from last year so considering that I’m very proud of what the guys are doing. I think we gave up too many falls tonight but our guys wrestled hard. I’m really proud of them for going out there and giving their best effort every time."
Clair said the rest of the regular season is about getting healthy and continuing to improve.
"Obviously we are getting better but right now we have to get healthy," he said. "We had two open weights tonight because of illness and injuries… If we can get healthy and get back into the flow of things, we’ll work to improve from there."
In addition to Thursday’s match, Ephrata also was in action Saturday as the Mounts traveled to the Harrisburg area to compete in the Bishop McDevitt Duals.
As a team, Ephrata placed seventh, going 1-4 on the day. The lone win of the day for the Mounts came in a 42-36 victory over the host Crusaders.
Ephrata’s losses came against Blue Mountain (18-56); Penn Cambria (36-37); Annville-Cleona (25-48); and Elco (24-49).
Individually, Dumas, Eidemiller and Eisenhauer all went 5-0 on the day to lead the Mounts. 285: Fry, C, p. Kreider, :48 (0-6).
106: Miller, C, p. V. Evans, 3:02 (0-12).
113: Weston, C, by forfeit (0-18).
120: Sarmento, E, p. Whittaker, 1:09 (6-18).
126: Dumas, E, p. Fichthorn, :29 (12-18).
132: Eidemiller, E, p. Ebelhar, 3:04 (18-18).
138: Reitenbach, C, p. Donnelley, 3:18 (18-24).
145: Powers, E, m.d. Whitsett, 13-1 (22-24).
152: Martin, C, p. Sipe, :56 (22-30).
160: Hatch, E, by forfeit (28-30).
170: Rohrbaugh, E, by forfeit (34-30).
182: Nye, E, by forfeit (40-30).
195: Eisenhauer, E, by forfeit (46-30).
220: No contest (46-30). More WRESTLING, page B-2