Muncy repeats its title at Bob Rohm

BLOOMSBURG — Denny Harer didn’t hide his frustration very well as both Jacob Blair and Joe Klock took forfeits in the final of the Bob Rohm Memorial Tournament at Bloomsburg University on Friday.

Hamburg was avoiding two of Muncy’s better wrestlers, strategically bumping people away for better opportunities to win the dual, and Harer was upset his kids were missing out on quality matchups. But the Indians had their coach’s back.

After each forfeit to Blair and Klock, Muncy picked up crucial wins from Mario Barberio and Ethan Gush to post a convincing 40-21 win over the Hawks and take the Bob Rohm title. Muncy was the lone team in the 10-team tournament to post a 5-0 record, and the tournament title kept the Indians’ record unblemished at 9-0.

North Penn-Liberty went 1-4, finishing in eighth place after a 45-27 loss to Mifflinburg in the placing rounds. The Mounties’ lone win was a 60-6 win over Sugar Valley Rural Charter.

“All of our kids wrestled really well against Hamburg,” Harer said. “All in all it was a good day. Nobody’s hurt, so that’s a positive. We’ll get back to work (today) and start correcting some things.”

Muncy was dominant on its way to its second consecutive Rohm championship. It opened with a 54-17 win over Penn Cambria, followed that with a 77-6 win over Tulpehocken, and a 54-18 win over Mount Carmel, which finished third in the tournament. It secured its spot in the final with a 54-18 win over Mifflinburg before dispatching of Hamburg in the final.

The Indians won its sixth consecutive bout since a 37-33 win over Warrior Run which had Harer disappointed with how the Indians wrestled. But Friday, some of the potential of Muncy started to shine through.

It’s hammers were hammers as Blair, Barberio, Klock, Coleman Good, Mike Kustanbauter and Hunter Poust all went 5-0, with Poust picking up five falls. But the positive results were deeper than just final records. Barberio looked as aggressive as he’s ever been. Kustanbauter knocked off a pair of state-ranked wrestlers at 182 pounds to dominant fashion. And Good looks like he’s starting to regain the form which had him just one win short of a trip to states a year ago.

Add in 4-1 day for freshman Ethan Gush, and a trio of wins for Noah Gush despite struggling with illness, and it was a day Muncy could be proud of.

“I like it, but we still have a lot of work to do, make no mistake about it,” Harer said. “We have a lot of work to do to be at the level that we want to be. Now we get a lot of practice time, and this is what we’ve been waiting for. We get another good week of practice and hopefully we can get better.”

“We’re getting our momentum going,” Kustanbauter said. “Early in the year we weren’t wrestling our best. But I feel like we’re starting to come together as a team.”

Kustanbauter had a big part of kicking off Friday with a bang. In just the third bout of the day, the junior defeated returning state qualifier Jarred Stoy of Penn Cambria, 10-5. He did it, despite giving up the first takedown, by scoring 10 of the final 13 points of the bout, including a pair of takedowns and a set of back points.

Kustanbauter’s first of five wins came after the Indians dropped the first two bouts and trailed 9-0. His win set off a run of seven wins in eight bouts to turn that deficit into a 39-14 lead.

His day was bookended with his second win over a ranked wrestler, this one against Hamburg sealed Muncy’s tournament championship. He took control of his bout against the Hawks’ Reese Mason with a first-period four-point move. He followed it with a brilliant 2-minute ride in the second period which kept his lead at 7-4 before an uneventful third period.

“It’s just another day of wrestling,” Kustanbauter said. “You just have to try your hardest to score every point you can. I don’t really put a lot of preparation into a match. I just try to get in the zone and see what happens.”

North Penn-Liberty head coach Eric Pequignot walked out of Nelson Field House pleased with the effort he saw from his wrestlers, but not pleased with the team results. He had written earlier this week on the team’s practice schedule that three wins Friday would earn them Monday off from practice.

But then the Mounties had multiple issues keeping them from being able to put their best team on the mat. It translated into a 1-4 day where Pequignot was still pleased with the effort, especially in early losses to Central Columbia and Hamburg.

“Team-wise, I think it was a disappointment. I had higher expectations. I still have higher expectations,” Pequignot said. “I think we could have hung with most of the teams here. I’m still very confident. We just have to get back to the practice room and get our weight where it needs to be.”

The biggest win of the day for North Penn-Liberty came in the first match when returning regional qualifier Justin Kriner gutted out a 2-1 win over Central Columbia district qualifier Kile Kauwell at heavyweight. Kriner used a second-period reversal and a devastating third-period ride on top to pick up the win.

It was a much-needed win for Kriner after losing his last time out to Northeast Bradford’s Owen Maryott in tie-breakers.

“I’ve told him about mental toughness because we’ve had some breakdowns in the past, and that’s what hurt us at regionals,” Pequignot said. “I knew that was a match he had to win. To get over that mental hump, that was a big hurdle for him.”

BOB ROHM MEMORIAL DUALS

FIRST ROUND

Pool A: Hamburg 51, Trinity 24; ;Central Columbia 78, Sugar Valley 3; North Penn-Liberty, bye

Pool B: Muncy 54, Penn Cambria 17; Mifflinburg 48, Tulpehocken 12; Mount Carmel, bye

SECOND ROUND

Pool A: Hamburg 78, Sugar Valley 6; Central Columbia 42, North Penn-Liberty 27; Trinity, bye

Pool B: Penn Cambria 69, Tulpehocken 12; Mount Carmel 50, Mifflinburg 30; Muncy, bye

THIRD ROUND

Pool A: Hamburg 51, North Penn-Liberty 27; Trinity 60, Sugar Valley 15; Central Columbia, bye

Pool B: Mount Carmel 42, Penn Cambria 32; Muncy 77, Tulpehocken 6; Mifflinburg, bye

FOURTH ROUND

Pool A: North Penn-Liberty 60, Sugar Valley 6; Trinity 40, Central Columbia 39; Hamburg, bye

Pool B: Muncy 54, Mount Carmel 18; Penn Cambria 45, Mifflinburg 30; Tulpehocken, bye

FIFTH ROUND

Pool A: Hamburg 55, Central Columbia 15; Trinity 38, North Penn-Liberty 28; Sugar Valley, bye

Pool B: Muncy 54, Mifflinburg 18; Mount Carmel 66, Tulpehocken 9; Penn Cambria, bye

PLACING ROUND

First place: Muncy 40, Hamburg 21

285: Austin Strunk, H, dec. Jacob Whitaker, 1-0. 106: Parker Davidson, H, pinned Colin Wertz, 1:45. 113: Jacob Blair, M, won by forfeit. 120: Mario Barberio, M, pinned Tyler Reimert, 3:05. 126: Bryce Vollman, M, dec. Kyle Vernon, 5-3, sv. 132: Shane Strausser, H, dec. Christian Good, 7-0. 138: Joe Klock, M, won by forfeit. 145: Ethan Gush, M, dec. Brant Mason, 5-2. 152: Coleman Good, M, dec. Andre Selesky, 6-4. 160: Noah Gush, M, maj. dec. Travis Colson, 13-5. 170: Brendan Hamilton, H, dec. Gavyn Eisenhower, 4-2. 182: Mike Kustanbauter, M, dec. Reese Mason, 8-4. 195: Ben Weidenhammer, H, pinned Josh Hall, 1:38. 220: Hunter Poust, M, pinned Logan Herber, 1:56.

Third place: Mount Carmel 37, Trinity 30

Fifth place: Penn Cambria 41, Central Columbia 30

Seventh place: Mifflinburg 45, North Penn-Liberty 27

Ninth place: Sugar Valley 30, Tulpehocken 18

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