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Montgomery takes 2nd at COVID Duals; Williamsport has rough day

SELINSGROVE – As Montgomery broke down its team huddle following a 3-1 day at the COVID Duals on Saturday, coach Denny Harer looked at his wrestlers with two simple thoughts.

“Great job today. Let’s get back to work tomorrow,” the first-year Red Raiders coach said.

Saturday was another positive step for Montgomery under its new regime. Although it took its first loss of the season to Class AAA 11th-ranked Gettysburg, the Red Raiders also beat Selinsgrove, which came into the tournament with a 13-1 record. Montgomery has slowly put the rest of District 4 on notice early in the season because of its understanding there is still so much work to do to get where they want.

Look at sophomore 215-pounder Bradley Leon. He scored the biggest upset of his career against Selinsgrove, upsetting 21st-ranked Ryan Aument in a match the Red Raiders had to have to win the dual. He also didn’t much want to talk about it following the completion of the tournament. Instead, he looked back at a loss against Gettysburg where he felt he should have won, and an overtime victory against Juniata, where he wasn’t pleased with how he wrestled. No matter how big a part of Montgomery’s 3-1 day he was, he just wanted to focus on getting better.

“We have to get better every week,” Harer said. “Every time we step on the mat, we have to get better because we have a lot of improvements to make. We’re doing well, but we still got a lot of work to do. We’ll be back at club (Sunday) and get back to work.”

Montgomery opened the day with a 46-17 loss to Gettysburg, but rebounded with three consecutive victories against Selinsgrove (42-24), Palisades (50-9) and Juniata (57-12), to take second place in the tournament.

Williamsport went 2-2, beating Juniata (42-21) and Palisades (39-26), and falling to Gettysburg (48-18) and Selinsgrove (34-23). The Millionaires wrestled without a pair of starters who are in quarantine, including sixth-ranked 106-pounder Cael Nasdeo.

Gettysburg won the tournament, going 5-0.

“We wrestled horribly,” Williamsport coach Brian Nasdeo said. “I don’t know what is the issue, but I’m going to figure it out here real shortly. I don’t know what in the world was going on, but we certainly didn’t compete the way I expected us to compete.”

Montgomery improved to 12-1 Saturday, but it wasn’t so much the team wins which had Harer so happy. Instead, it was the individual improvement he sees on a match-to-match basis. Sure, the win over Selinsgrove was another feather in the cap of a program still trying to prove itself.

But freshman Conner Harer got his first real tests of the season and passed with flying colors, scoring a technical fall over AAA 19th-ranked Tyler Withers, and another over former regional qualifier Jon DeNato. Devon Deem earned a major decision against AAA state-ranked Jared Townsend and finished with four bonus-point wins.

Colby Springman bumped up to 189 pounds and earned a critical win against Selinsgrove and then held eighth-ranked Ben Haubert of Palisades to just a decision. And there was Leon, a sophomore who had only two wins over district qualifiers a year ago, but had two alone Saturday.

Those are the signs Harer wants to see that his team is growing as they succeed. This isn’t a team driven by one or two individuals, it’s a team collectively improving causing their success.

“We’re getting real confident,” Leon said. “We know we can beat some of the best teams in the state. This is just going to boost the whole team’s confidence a little more and show us that we’re pretty good.”

“They believe,” Harer said. “They expect to win now. They know when they step on the mat they have a job to do. Their job is to win, and if they don’t win, it’s to not give up bonus points.”

Leon opened the day losing by fall against Gettysburg’s Sam Rodriguez, who hit a big throw for the fall. But he didn’t get discouraged with the loss. A year ago Leon won 25 matches but didn’t get out of the sectional tournament. But he’s carrying with him a new confidence.

That’s how he was able to recover from that early loss and post the biggest win of his career. Even after Aument got in on a deep single with the bout tied 2-2 in the second period, Leon had the confidence to hit a funk roll and score the decisive takedown himself.

This is the new Montgomery. It’s a Red Raiders team which doesn’t hope to win, but expects to.

“I understood that my team needed points and I’m out there for them. That’s what fuels me,” Leon said. “I know what my full potential is, but I’m trying to work to it every day.”

“That win says a lot about him,” Harer said. “That first match was disappointing, and we’d like to wrestle that one over. But he’s getting better every time he steps on the mat. It’s a huge change for him from the first match to know. He’s made huge strides.”

Williamsport has made similar strides in recent years, including leading up to Saturday’s tournament. The Millionaires started the season ranked 25th in AAA and moved up to 15th after a season-opening win over Cumberland Valley. But Saturday’s performance was a step in the other direction.

Regardless of who was missing from the lineup or not, it was a rather listless performance from Williamsport. Even when Braden and Riley Bower earned back-to-back wins against state-ranked wrestlers from Gettysburg, the victories didn’t seem crisp. In matches where Nasdeo was expecting big bonus points, they often didn’t come.

“It’s been years since we wrestled like this,” Nasdeo said. “We’re too good to have days like this. I know teams do, but we have to have days like this and still find ways to beat the best teams. And I don’t care tat we’re down two good wrestlers. So what? We’ve been down good wrestlers before, but you have to go out and make up for it.”

Scores

First round

Gettysburg 46, Montgomery 17

Williamsport 42, Juniata 21

Selinsgrove 44, Palisades 6

Second round

Montgomery 42, Selinsgrove 24

Gettysburg 48, Williamsport 18

Palisades 33, Juniata 28

Third round

Gettysburg 53, Palisades 12

Selinsgrove 51, Juniata 0

Fourth round

Selinsgrove 34, Williamsport 23

Montgomery 50, Palisades 9

Gettysburg 66, Juniata 9

Fifth round

Montgomery 57, Juniata 12

Williamsport 39, Palisades 26

Gettysburg 54, Selinsgrove 12

Final records: Gettysburg 5-0; Montgomery 3-1; Selinsgrove 3-2; Williamsport 2-2; Palisades 1-4; Juniata 0-5.

Gettysburg 46, Montogmery 17

106: Reed Miller, G, pinned Brennan Emery, 1:11.

113: Blake Snyder, M, maj. dec. Gabriel Pecaitis, 10-2.

120: Caden Finck, M, maj. dec. Montana DeLawder, 10-2.

126: Jacob Fetrow, G, pinned Nevin Beachel, :35.

132: Dalton Redden, G, dec. Hunter Leet, 7-5.

138: Ethan Dalton, G, won by forfeit,

145: Conner Harer, M, tech. fall Tyler Withers, 16-0, 3:26.

152: Devon Deem, M, maj. dec. Jared Townsend, 10-1.

160: Jacob Cherry, G, dec. Kaide Drick, 7-2.

172: Nathan Ridgley, G, maj. dec. Colby Springman, 16-5.

189: Max Gourley, G, pinned Ben Marino, 1:29.

215: Sam Rodriguez, G, pinned Bradley Leon, :47.

285: Trevor Gallagher, G, won by forfeit.

Williamsport 42, Juniata 21

106: Casey Smith, J, won by forfeit.

113: Double forfeit.

120: Taylor Smith, J, dec. Alex Randell, 4-0.

126: Cameron Sweigart, J, tech. fall Austin Stugart, 20-4, no time given.

132: Carter Weaver, W, pinned Tye Jabs, 3:10.

138: Braden Bower, W, won by forfeit.

145: Riley Bower, W, won by forfeit.

152: Josh Bomberger, J, maj. dec. Santino White, 13-0.

160: Roman Morrone, W, pinned Noe Montesinos, :37/.

172: Sebastian Robinson, W, won by forfeit.

189: Ryan Dunlap, W, won by forfeit.

215: Jonathan Kauffman, J, dec. Charlie Lundy, 7-2.

285: Charles Crews, M, won by forfeit.

Montgomery 42, Selinsgrove 24

113: Blake Snyder, M, pinned Ryan Gavason, 1:16.

120: Caden Finck, M, tech. fall Leo Martinez, 17-0, 3:00.

126: Nevin Bechel, M, pinned Trent Turner, 3:37.

132: Aiden Gaugler, S, pinned Hunter Leet, :40.

138: Aaron Mann, S, won by forfeit.

145: Conner Harer, M, tech. fall Garrett Paradis, 17-2, 2:21.

152: Devon Deem, M, maj. dec. Tucker Teats, 15-5.

160: Kaide Drick, M, dec. Cale Bastian, 3-1, sv.

172: Coy Bastian, S, won by forfeit.

189: Colby Springman, M, dec. Steven Miller, 4-2.

215: Bradley Leon, M, dec. Ryan Aument, 4-3.

285: Nate Schon, S, won by forfeit.

106: Brennan Emery, M, won by forfeit.

Gettysburg 48, Williamsport 18

113: Gabriel Pecaitis, G, won by forfeit.

120: Montana DeLawder, G, pinned Devin Harris, 5:24.

126: Carter Weaver, W, maj. dec. Jaxon Townsend, 15-2.

132: Jacob Fetrow, G, pinned Austin Stugart, 1:12.

138: Ethan Dalton, G, pinned Martin Bryant, 4:55.

145: Braden Bower, W, maj. dec. Tyler Withers, 15-7.

152: Riley Bower, W, maj. dec. Jared Townsend, 11-2.

160: Jacob Cherry, G, pinned Roman Morrone, 4:23.

172: Sebastian Robinson, W, dec. Nathan Ridgley, 9-5.

189: Max Gourley, G, pinned Ryan Dunlap, 1:11.

215: Sam Rodriguez, G, pinned Charlie Lundy, 3:26.

285: Charles Crews, W, dec. Trevor Gallagher, 9-4.

106: Reed Miller, G, won by forfeit.

Selinsgrove 34, Williamsport 23

126: Austin Stugart, W, dec. Trent Turner, 6-2.

132: Carter Weaver, W, dec. Aiden Gaugler, 9-7, sv.

138: Aaron Mann, S, pinned Martin Bryant, 4:16.

145: Braden Bower, W, pinned Garrett Paradis, 2:45.

152: Riley Bower, W, maj. dec. Tucker Teats, 14-4.

160: Roman Morrone, W, dec. Cale Bastian, 3-0.

172: Coy Bastian, S, won by forfeit.

189: Steven Miller, S, maj. dec. Sebastian Robinson, 12-3.

215: Ryan Aument, S, pinned Charlie Lundy, 1:43.

285: Nate Schon, S, pinned Charles Crews, 4:40.

106: Double forfeit.

113: Ryan Gavason, S, won by forfeit.

120: Devin Harris, W, maj. dec. Leo Martinez, 14-1.

Montgomery 50, Palisades 9

126: Double forfeit.

132: Nevin Beachel, M, pinned Nate Armstrong, 2:45.

138: Hunter Leet, M, pinned Bela Pavlinski, 3:02.

145: Conner Harer, M, tech. fall Jon DeNato, 18-2, 1:38.

152: Devon Deem, M, maj. dec. Mason Smeland, 13-3.

160: Kaide Drick, M, dec. Dan Kelleher, 6-2.

172: Ben Haubert, P, dec. Colby Springman, 7-2.

189: Dan Haubert, P, pinned Ben Marino, :56.

215: Bradley Leon, M, dec. Austin Winters, 3-0.

285: Weston Pick, M, won by forfeit.

106: Brennen Emery, M, won by forfeit.

113: Blake Snyder, M, pinned James Cashman, :30.

120: Caden Finck, M, tech. fall Logan Winters, 16-1, 3:30.

Montgomery 57, Juniata 12

132: Hunter Leet, M, won by forfeit.

138: Tye Jabs, J, won by forfeit.

145: Conner Harer, M, won by forfeit.

152: Devon Deem, M, pinned Josh Bomberger, :30.

160: Kaide Drick, M, pinned Noe Montesinos, 1:38.

172: Colby Springman, M, pinned Kobe Bonnell, :34.

189: Ben Marino, M, won by forfeit.

215: Bradley Leon, M, dec. Jonathan Kauffman, 8-6, tb.

285: Weston Pick, M, won by forfeit.

106: Casey Smith, J, pinned Brennen Emery, 1:39.

113: Blake Snyder, M, dec. Taylor Smith, 4-2.

120: Oscar Huynh, M, won by forfeit,

126: Caden Finck, M, dec. Cameron Sweigart, 5-1.

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