Hembury pin lifts Muncy

MUNCY — Cael Hem­bury wanted the pin. A win of any kind would have given his Muncy wrestling team a win over Warrior Run on Tuesday night. But in front of a packed house in the freshman’s second varsity match, he wanted a fall.

It took three tries, but Hembury finally got it, scoring a fall in 5 minutes, 5 seconds at 170 pounds to keep Muncy undefeated with a 43-33 win. The Indians won the final four bouts of the dual – three by fall and one by forfeit — to turn a 33-19 deficit into a 10-point win.

“There’s a lot of people here and I wanted to look good in front of them, but I also wanted to do it for the team,” Hembury said. “I wanted to wrestle smart, but I wanted to get the fall.”

The freshman was in position a number of times last night throughout the five minutes of his match to get the fall against Warrior Run’s Austin Blair. But Blair fought off his back three times before Hem­bury finally squared his shoulders to the mat for the fall with less than a minute to go.

“What more can you ask of a kid than to fight off his back three or four times?” Warrior Run head coach Jeremy Betz said.

Freshmen won three of eight bouts last night, Hembury’s, of course, coming in the biggest spot. Jacob Blair and Mario Barberio posted back-to-back wins at 106 and 113 pounds to turn a match which was tied at 9-9 into a 19-9 Muncy lead.

But neither of them were in the position Hem­bury was. The 170-pounder took the mat with Muncy leading 37-33 thanks to pins from Dan Hall and Noah Gush, and a forfeit for Gaveyn Eisenhower. He admitted he was nervous, but he sure didn’t look like it.

He sent cheers through the gym when he recorded the first takedown to take a 2-0 lead 35 seconds into the first period. Hembury ad­ded three back points to close out the first period. He tied up Blair with arm bars in the second period for more back points, and finally got Blair settled to get the fall in the third period.

It was a position in which Muncy head coach Denny Harer had no hesitation about putting his freshman. This group of freshmen is the first in a line of young wrestlers Harer will be adding to the team over the next couple years which has an excitement brewing around Muncy.

Not to mention, Harer has had plenty of success coaching the Hembury family. Ron Hembury has been his assistant coach as the Indians have had a state placewinner every year since 2008. Ron’s oldest son Ryan, was a 2011 state champion and wrestled at George Mason. His middle son, Troy, was a three-time state placewinner and a 2013 state runner-up.

The three Hembury brothers have combined for 301 career wins under Harer. Of course, only two of those belong to Cael. But his 2-0 career record gives the freshman the best career winning percentage among the brothers.

“We’ve had a lot of success with the family, and Cael feels that kind of pressure,” Harer said. “But he went out there and wrestled great. He wrestled lights out. He comes in the room and his brother (Ryan) is working with him. And he’s not going to wrestle anybody better than his brother in the room.”

“It’s my first big match and it came down to me? I was nervous. It was a big match,” Hembury said. “It felt really good to win. It really helps my confidence. It helps me know what I can do because it’s tough being a freshman at such a big weight with a bunch of older kids.”

Muncy got a big start in the dual from Mike Kustanbauter, who bumped up a weight class to 182 and picked up an 8-3 win over Warrior Run’s Christian Wachter. Kustan­bauter was giving up weight and size in the bout, but stayed in good position and capitalized when Wach­ter wasn’t able to finish on a couple shots to score takedowns of his own.

The win was huge because of the importance of the first two bouts for Warrior Run, wrestling without starters Jorge Guillen and Ty Kirkner. Pacey Howard helped ease some of the hurt with a big win at 195 for Warrior Run. In his first match of the season, the junior trailed Muncy’s Tylor Rupert, 7-2, early in the second period.

But Howard never panicked. He chipped away at Rupert’s lead with a takedown late in the second period. He added two more in the third period and hung on for the final 53 seconds to win, 9-8.

“I just tried to keep my breath because I knew I was going to fight back and hopefully get a win,” Howard said. “The team really needed me, so I had to stay focused and do what I could do.”

“I think his confidence grew as he got into the third period,” Betz said. “He could see his training kicking in and he knew he could do it.”

106: Jacob Blair, M, pinned Noah Hunt, :34.; 113: Mario Barberio, M maj. dec. Keefer Goodspeed, 8-0.; 120: Trey Heiss, WR, pinned Christian Good, 2:10.; 126: Jeremy Hanford, WR, pinned Jacob Hill, 1:09.; 132: Dylan Kolenda, WR, pinned Sam Pepper, 1:13.; 138: Brandon Orwig, WR, pinned Chase Stark, :58.; 145: Dan Hall, M, pinned Dakota Baker, :44.; 152: Gaveyn Eisenhower, M, won by forfeit.; 160: Noah Gush, M, pinned Alex Brouse, 3:05.; 170: Cael Hembury, M, pinned Austin Blair, 5:05.; 182: Mike Kustanbauter, M, dec. Christian Wachter, 8-3.; 195: Pacey Howard, WR, dec. Tylor Rupert, 9-8.; 220: Hunter Poust, M, pinned Wyatt Fisher, 4:16.; 285: Hunter Bohannon, WR, won by forfeit.

*Match started at 182 pounds

Takedowns: Muncy 12, Warrior Run 10.

Official: Mark Dawson.

Records: Muncy (2-0, 0-0 HAC-III); Warrior Run (2-1, 0-0 HAC-II).

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