Lewisburg wins D4 south sectional

MIFFLINBURG – Veteran Lewisburg coach Jim Snyder can’t exactly remember where his itinerant wrestling team has won it’s sectional championships. Over the years the Green Dragons have performed in the East tournament, the West, and closer to home in the South.

But Snyder knows that Saturday night his team lugged home another sectional crown – the Green Dragons’ fourth title in the last 14 years – with an impressive run that began in the pigtail round and wrapped up when Brian Friery and Dante Taylor collected championships Saturday night and seven other Lewisburg wrestlers climbed on the podium and moved to the District 4 tournament at Williamsport next weekend.

The Green Dragons topped the team race from start-to-finish and – with five in the finals – finished with 154 points, well ahead of runner-up Southern Columbia (138) and Line Mountain (130).

Milton’s young team finished off the pace in fifth place with 114.5 points but crowned four champions and will take five wrestlers to the district tournament.

“In the one pigtail bout and the quarterfinals we had 11 wins and 10 pins to start the tournament,” Snyder said. “That set the tone for the day. We told the team that’s what we needed to do to win this tournament. Those two extra points we got in those matches made all the difference.”

Friery lived up to his No. 1 ranking at 106 by Off The Mat, staying unbeaten (30-0) with a 3-0 day that ended with a 20-4 (5:52) in an easy final against Collin Klinger of Line Mountain.

Taylor, a senior in just his third year of wrestling, lost to Mifflinburg’s Noah Kuba in the 120-pound final last year. He reversed that this time with a solid 6-2 decision over the Mifflinburg senior Saturday night.

“Dante is just an athlete,” Snyder said. “You don’t get many three-year kids who developed like he has, winning sectional titles. That was a big win for him.”

The Green Dragons got runner-up finishes from Max Reed (160), Nick Bernstein (182), and Jon Ward (220), and thirds from Jordan Gessner (113) and Trey Delbaugh, whose win over Line Mountain’s Gary Laudenslager in the consy final at 138 clinched Lewisburg’s title. Logan Aikey (170) and Skyler Anderson (132) added fourth place finishes.

Milton sent four wrestlers to the finals and each produced titles. Zack Bennett blanked Line Mountain’s Kenny Boyer, 6-0, at 145, and Ryan Presich bounced Reed, 14-2, at 160.

Sophomore Gage Heller headlocked Bernstein for a first period fall at 182 and sophomore Brandon Stokes continued his successful late-season return from a broken collarbone with a with a 5-3 win over Danville’s Gunnar Feldmann at 195.

“We wanted those guys to wrestle to their (No. 1) seeds and they did,” said Milton coach Mike Snyder. “There are a lot of tough kids in this tournament so you have to show up for every match or you get knocked off but those four guys wrestled well all day, they found ways to win.

“Stokes got four or five matches in last weekend (at Salisbury) to knock off the rust. We’ll back off a little this week and I think he will be even better next week.”

Milton sophomore Logan Bennett advanced with a 16-1 technical fall in the consy final at 120.