Defenders earn D4 home dual
TURBOTVILLE — Christian Wachter heard the whistle blow and assumed he had just been pinned. He was fighting for his life trying to get out of the cradle by Milton’s Colton Aikey when the whistle blew.
The Warrior Run senior was relieved to hear the official was calling the action out of bounds. The five-point deficit Wachter was now staring at early in the first period didn’t seem so bad. So he began methodically working his way back into the bout.
By the end of the third period, Wachter had scored 12 consecutive points for a decision victory in a matchup of state-ranked wrestlers, and it was crucial in helping the Defenders defeat Milton on Saturday afternoon, 47-21.
Milton head coach Josh Anspach argued vehemently for a moment that Aikey and Wachter should never have been called out of bounds, but it was to no avail. The restart allowed Wachter to take a deep breath and gather his thoughts. It was just what he needed.
“I cleared my mind,” Wachter said. “Just take it one move at a time. Don’t try to rush things. Just take your time.”
The win by Warrior Run means it’ll host Milton on Wednesday in the first round of the District 4 Duals tournament. A win by Milton could have given it the chance to host that first-round matchup. Instead, after a hotly contested dual meet which saw the Defenders win 10 bouts, they’ll do it all again in a do-or-die match Wednesday night.
“Any time a team loses they get to go back to the drawing board and see how things are going to go next time,” Warrior Run head coach Jeremy Betz said. “For us, it’s to try and continue what we did today.”
“We were looking at the standings and we knew the possibilities (of wrestling again) and we were trying to toy with our lineup to see what we could do,” Anspach said. “I think we had the best approach about it, but we lost the toss to start, so that gave them the ability to dictate some matchups. But that’s wrestling. You have to go out and compete.”
Wachter’s comeback win couldn’t have come at a better time for the Defenders. Milton had won back-to-back bouts and had cut its early 25-point deficit in half. And when Aikey locked up his cradle in the first period, it looked like he was in prime position for six points which nobody expected.
Wachter’s fresh start stopped that comeback in its tracks. He got the score tied at 5-5 by the end of the first period, then he just pounded away at a broken Aikey.
“We were fortunate to see what we wanted from a kid who has aspirations of making it to states,” Betz said. “Because in the postseason you’re going to be down by four or five points at some point and you can’t panic. Earlier in his career, Christian would have panicked. But he just seemed calm. He went back to work.”
“Colton did the same thing with the Stoltzfus kid from Mifflinburg,” Anspach said. “He had him taken down and on his back in about 30 seconds. And then, unfortunately, we ended up losing the match. But if I can get him to wrestle six minutes, he’s going to be pretty tough to beat.”
Although that 182-pound bout was crucial to the outcome, it was Warrior Run’s ability to win a handful of toss-up bouts which sealed its eighth win of the season. Noah Hunt earned a major decision to open the dual, and Keefer Goodspeed followed with a 2-1 win in the first of those toss-up bouts.
Brandon Orwig came up with a strong 9-2 win at 152 pounds. Alex Brouse and Wyatt Fisher followed Wachter’s win with falls to push the dual out of reach.
And they did it with a precise patience. The Defenders countered off Milton’s aggressiveness on their feet to the tune of 33 takedowns.
“We lost some bouts where our aggression was a little too much,” Anspach said. “(Warrior Run) waited to see what we were going to do. But we have to finish. We’re not going to wait backand see what they’re going to do. We’re going to be aggressive and fix the finish.”
113: Noah Hunt, WR, maj. dec. T.J. Walter, 14-6. 120: Keefer Goodspeed, WR, dec. Chase Hoffman, 2-1. 126: Jeremy Hanford, WR, pinned Tanner Walter, 1:44. 132: Dylan Kolenda, WR, pinned Colton Taylor, 4:59. 138: Justin Wagner, WR, pinned Nate Scholl, :47. 145: Noah Stamm, M, pinned Damein Moser, 1:56. 152: Brandon Orwig, WR, dec. Jason Valladares, 9-2. 160: Josh Rodriguez, M, pinned Sam Crawford, 3:26. 170: Joe Rodriguez, M, dec. Ty Kirkner, 16-13. 182: Christian Wachter, WR, dec. Colton Aikey, 12-5. 195: Alex Brouse, WR, pinned Hoyt Bower, 2:43. 220: Wyatt Fiher, WR, pinned Brent Mitch, 1:03. 285: Nevin Rauch, M, pinned Jeff Burkhart, 1:42. 106: Kaden Majcher, WR, maj. dec. Zane Neaus, 9-1.
Takedowns: Warrior Run 33, Milton 16.
Official: Blaine Fessler.
Records: Warrior Run (8-3); Milton (12-6).