Caution point gives Deem district title

DAVE KENNEDY/Sun-Gazette Isaac Cory of Montoursville, rear, lifts Devon Deem of Montgomery during their 152-pound championship match Saturday night at Williamsport High School. Deem would go on to win the match, 2-1.

Official Jim Souto held up one finger on his left hand signaling a point for Montgomery’s Devon Deem. It took a second to sink in for everyone around the mat for the 152-pound final at the District 4 Class AA tournament on Saturday, but that one point was the winning one for Deem.

When Montoursville’s Isaac Cory was called for his third caution prior to the first whistle of the 30-second ultimate tiebreaker period, it gave Deem the decisive point in a 2-1 victory.

It was easily the biggest win in Deem’s career, but not just because it gave the junior his first district title. It was a win against Cory, who is ranked second in the state and had defeated Deem in last week’s sectional final.

The win came far from the way Deem expected it to come, but it’s not like he was giving it back.

“Yes, it’s a ‘W’, but it’s not how we like to get our ‘Ws’,” Deem said. “This is definitely a confidence-booster, but it’s not over. I’m sure we’ll be here next weekend and the weekend after that wrestling each other.”

Deem was one of six area wrestlers to win a District 4 championship Saturday at the Magic Dome. He was joined atop the podium by Montgomery teammate Conner Harer, who won the 138-pound title. They were the Red Raiders’ first district champions since Isaiah Bobotas won the 182-pound title in 2014. And it was also the first time Montgomery teammates won district titles in the same season since Corey Mowrey and Matt Bennett in 2001.

Montoursville’s Branden Wentzel (106 pounds), Cael Crebs (189) and Dylan Bennett (215), and Sullivan County’s Nate Higley (145) also won championships. Higley became the first multi-time district champion in school history, and Bennett became just the second four-time District 4 champion in school history, joining Luke Frey on the exclusive list.

In all, 32 area wrestlers finished in the Top 5 to qualify for next week’s Northeast Regional tournament. South Williamsport’s Bobby Gardner (113), Muncy’s Scott Johnson (126) and Ethan Gush (172), Lewisburg’s Kaiden Wagner (132), Canton’s Hayden Ward (138) and Hughesville’s Caleb Burkhart (285) joined Cory as district runners-up.

Grinding his way through a 1-1 match through the one-minute overtime period and two 30-second tiebreak periods isn’t exactly how Deem wants to work through his matches. He wants to be scoring points at a breakneck pace. But against Cory, getting takedowns is about as common as palm tree growing in Lycoming County.

So Deem was patient during the 152 final Saturday. He didn’t take any unnecessary risks but still tried to push his own pace which could lead to points.

When it came time for the 30-second ultimate tiebreaker period, Cory had choice and took the bottom position. But before Souto blew his whistle, Cory was called for his third caution as Deem settled on top. Cory put his arms out to the side in protest, but the call stood and the match ended in a huge win for the eight-ranked Deem.

It finished off an impressive day in which Deem pinned 23rd-ranked Nick Woodruff of Wyalusing in the quarterfinals in 4 minutes, 38 seconds. He followed it with a fall in 1:12 in the semifinals against 21st-ranked Troy Johnson of Central Columbia before grinding to a win in the final.

“My style before this year has always kind of been get the lead, sit on the lead, get the win,” Deem said. “But now it’s go, don’t stop, go, go, go, go, go. That’s definitely changed from last year.”

As much as Deem wants to run his offense at a pace which would make the Greatest Show on Turf St. Louis Rams envious, he also understands this time of year points can be hard to come by.

Cory has made his bones this year by always being in good position, building a strong base with his legs, and rarely getting knocked off that base. That’s how he pulled out a 3-2 win over Deem a week ago in the Central Sectional final.

“He makes it extremely tough,” Deem said. “He’s such a good wrestler that scoring points can be few and far between. But when I’m getting my set-ups, I have to continue with my technique and follow through. But this is going to be a huge confidence-booster for me throughout this week of practice to keep me focused on that next goal.”

The two champions were a big part of Montgomery’s fourth-place finish in the team standings. It was the Red Raiders’ first Top-5 finish at districts since 2005. Harer and Deem combined four bonus-point wins between them.

In his best test single-day test of the season, Harer passed with flying colors. He opened with a 21-4 technical fall over Wyalusing’s Skyler Manahan before beating 12th-ranked Ian Yoder convincingly in the semifinals, 8-2.

Harer then captured his first district title with a fall over state qualifier Hayden Ward of Canton in the 138-pound final in 32 seconds. It was a quick bout in which the two rolled around seemingly out of control from the first whistle.

But the third-ranked Harer came out on top with a cradle locked up tight and scored one of only two falls in the finals.

“In practice, Devon and I roll around all the time, so I’m comfortable in every position,” Harer said. “This motivates me to keep working. This isn’t where I want to be. I definitely feel great where I’m at, but there’s still work to do.”


Team standings: 1. Southern Columbia, 168.5; 2. Montoursville, 106.5; 3. Benton, 101.5; 4. Montgomery, 88.5; 5. Muncy, 65; 6. Line Mountain, 64; 7. Jersey Shore, 59.5; 8. Mifflinburg, 50; 9. Milton, 49; 10. Athens, 39; 11. Lewisburg, 38; 12. Central Columbia, 36; 13. Midd-West, 34; 14. Warrior Run, 31.5; 15. Danville, 30; 16. South Williamsport, 28; 17. Canton, 27; 18. Sullivan County, 26; t-19. Hughesville, 20; t-19. Williamson, 20; 21. Meadowbrook Christian, 19; 22. Bloomsburg, 17; t-23. North Penn-Liberty, 14; t-23. Troy, 14; t-23. Mount Carmel, 14; 26, Wyalusing, 12; 27. Shamokin, 10; 28. Towanda, 8; 29. Loyalsock, 0.

Team key: Athens, At; Benton, Be; Bloomsburg, Bl; Canton, Ca; Central Columbia, CC; Danville, Da; Hughesville, Hu; Jersey Shore, JS; Lewisburg, Le; Line Mountain, LM; Loyalsock, Lo; Meadowbrook Christian, MC; Midd-West, MW; Mifflinburg, Mf; Milton, Mi; Montgomery, Mg; Montoursville, Mt; Mount Carmel, MC; Muncy, Mu; North Penn-Liberty, NP; Shamokin, Sh; South Williamsport, SW; Southern Columbia, SC; Sullivan County, Su; Towanda, To; Troy, Tr; Warrior Run, WR; Williamson, Wi; Wyalusing, Wy.

Preliminary round

106: Blake Sassaman, Da, maj. dec. Cohen Landis, Ca, 17-6.

113: Blake Snyder, Mg, pinned Brody Long, LM, 2:59.

120: Andrew Johnson, Da, pinned Carter Gontarz, Wi, 1:20.

126: Jacob Courtney, At, dec. Lane Schadel, LM, 10-6.

132: Conner Heckman, MW, tech. fall Patriot June, NP, 16-0.

138: T.J. Walter, Mi, dec. Morgan Gavitt, Hu, 14-9.

145: Kayden Frame, Mt, maj. dec. Hudson Ward, Ca, 9-0.

152: Weston Whapham, Da, pinned Christopher Bathgate, At, :59.

160: Kaide Drick, Mg, pinned Karter Rude, At, 3:46.

172: Colby Springman, Mg, pinned Mason Woodward, Tr, 2:00.

189: Derek Atherton-Ely, Ca, inj. def. Aven Ayala, Mi, :19.

215: Dyllian Ross, JS, pinned Quentin Doane, Mf, 2:41.

285: Gunner Treibley, MC, dec. Alex Perez, To, 2-1.


106: Branden Wentzel, Mt, pinned Blake Sassaman, Da, :22; Nolan Baumert, LM, dec. Clayton Carr, Wy, 9-2; Chase Burke, Be, dec. Jace Gessner, 5-0; Brock Weiss, JS, tech. fall Josh Hill, Mu, 23-8, 5:22.

113: Gavin Bradley, At, pinned Blake Snyder, Mg, :52; Kaden Milheim, WR, maj. dec. Wade Alleman, Sh, 15-2; Brady Feese, SC, pinned Joseph Schwenk, Tr, 1:41; Bobby Gardner, SW, pinned Rocky Finnegan, Su, :41.

120: Ethan Kolb, Be, dec. Andrew Johnson, Da, 3-0; Aidan Kritzer, LM, pinned Mason Vanderpool, At, :33; Kaden Majcher, WR, maj. dec. Isaac Landis, Ca, 10-0; Mason Barvitskie, SC, maj. dec. Caden Finck, Mg, 11-2.

126: Gable Strickland, Be, tech. fall Jacob Courtney, At, 18-2, 2:55; Kole Biscoe, SC, pinned Hunter Manahan, Wy, 2:16; Scott Johnson, Mu, maj. dec. Seth Seymour, Tr, 16-6; Gabe Gramly, Mf, pinned Hunter Leet, Mg, :16.

132: Conner Heckman, MW, dec. Cade Wirnsberger, MC, 1-0; Mason Leshock, LM, pinned Bailey Ferguson, Ca, 1:41; Liam Goodrich, JS, pinned Bryce Vollman, Mu, 5:04; Kaiden Wagner, Le, dec. Dylan Granahan, Be, 6-5.

138: Hayden Ward, Ca, maj. dec. T.J. Walter, Mi, 13-3; Logan Bartlett, Le, dec. Isaac Kester, CC, 4-3; Ian Yoder, SC, maj. dec. Kaden Setzer, At, 15-4; Conner Harer, Mg, tech. fall Skyler Manahan, Wy, 21-4, 3:03.

145: Patrick Edmondson, SC, pinned Kayden Frame, Mt, 1:06; Gabe Andrus, JS, pinned Remington Morrow, Be, 3:51; Kyler Crawford, Mi, maj. dec. Kaden Rodarmel, Lo, 9-0; Nate Higley, Su, pinned Troy Bingaman, Mf, 3:00.

152: Isaac Cory, Mt, tech. fall Weston Whapham, Da, 19-4, 5:30; Brandon Gedman, SC, pinned Michael Davis, Ca, 4:59; Devon Deem, Mg, pinned Nick Woodruff, Wy, 4:38; Troy Johnson, CC, pinned Bryce Carl, LM, 5:20.

160: Avery Bassett, MW, pinned Kaide Drick, Mg, :50; Ty Nixon, Mu, dec. Tyler Bauder, JS, 7-4; Garrett Garcia, SC, pinned Riley Parker, Ca, 1:54; Nolan Lear, Be, pinned Brady Cromley, Le, 1:56.

172: Gavin Garcia, SC, pinned Colby Springman, Mg, 3:57; Stephen Roeder, Bl, dec. Zach Stafursky, At, 6-2; Kohen Lehman, NP, pinned Caden Hagerman, Da, 3:50; Ethan Gush, Mu, pinned Jason Valladares, Mi, 3:59.

189: Cael Crebs, Mt, pinned Derek Atherton-Ely, Ca, 2:53; Jacob Feese, LM, pinned Zach Shaffer, Wy, 1:02; Hayden Packer, JS, pinned Ben Marino, Mg, 1:11; Wes Barnes, SC, pinned Ryan Casella, SW, 1:14.

215: Dylan Bennett, Mt, pinned Dyllian Ross, JS, 1:21; Nathan Rauch, Mi, dec. Mikey Sipps, Wi, 13-6; Zach Poust, Be, dec. Clay Watkins, To, 3-1, sv; Damon Backes, MC, pinned Brad Leon, Mg, 1:13.

285: Emmanuel Ulrich, Mf, dec. Gunner Treibley, MC, 1-0; Logan McWilliams, CC, dec. Lee Springman, JS, 3-2; Kade Sottolano, Wi, pinned Nolan Loss, Mi, :32; Caleb Burkhart, Hu, pinned Ryan Weidner, MC, 1:28.

Championship semifinals

106: Branden Wentzel, Mt, maj. dec. Nolan Baumert, LM, 11-3; Brock Weiss, JS, dec. Chase Burke, Be, 5-1.

113: Gavin Bradley, At, dec. Kaden Milheim, WR, 4-3; Bobby Gardner, SW, dec. Brady Feese, SC, 4-2.

120: Ethan Kolb, Be, dec. Aidan Kritzer, LM, 2-1; Mason Barvitskie, SC, dec. Kaden Majcher, WR, 6-1.

126: Gable Strickland, Be, dec. Kole Biscoe, SC, 6-1; Scott Johnson, Mu, dec. Gabe Gramly, Mf, 3-2, UTB.

132: Mason Leshock, LM, dec. Conner Heckman, MW, 12-8; Kaiden Wagner, Le, dec. Liam Goodrich, JS, 6-5.

138: Hayden Ward, Ca, dec. Logan Bartlett, Le, 2-0; Conner Harer, Mg, dec. Ian Yoder, SC, 8-2.

145: Patrick Edmondson, SC, pinned Gabe Andrus, JS, 2:25; Nate Higley, Su, pinned Kyler Crawford, Mi, 2:25*.

152: Isaac Cory, Mt, maj. dec. Brandon Gedman, SC, 8-0; Devon Deem, Mg, pinned Troy Johnson, CC, 1:12.

160: Avery Bassett, MW, tech. fall Ty Nixon, Mu, 15-0, 3:55; Nolan Lear, Be, dec. Garrett Garcia, SC, 5-2.

172: Gavin Garcia, SC, maj. dec. Stephen Roeder, Bl, 11-1; Ethan Gush, Mu, dec. Kohen Lehman, NP, 4-2.

189: Cael Crebs, Mt, maj. dec. Jacob Feese, LM, 12-3; Wes Barnes, SC, dec. Hayden Packer, JS, 5-3, sv.

215: Dylan Bennett, Mt, pinned Nathan Rauch, Mi, 3:58; Zach Poust, Be, dec. Damon Backes, MC, 3-1, sv.

285: Emmanuel Ulrich, Mf, dec. Logan McWilliams, CC, 8-2; Caleb Burkhart, Hu, dec. Kade Sottolano, Wi, 8-2.

*-Sullivan County penalized one team point for unsportsmanlike conduct on the coaching staff

Consolation quarterfinals

106: Blake Sassaman, Da, maj. dec. Clayton Carr, Wy, 9-0; Jace Gessner, Le, dec. Josh Hill, Mu, 4-2.

113: Wade Alleman, Sh, pinned Blake Snyder, Mg, 3:36; Joseph Schwenk, Tr, pinned Rocky Finnegan, Su, 2:12.

120: Andrew Johnson, Da, pinned Mason Vanderpool, At, :59; Caden Finck, Mg, dec. Isaac Landis, Ca, 7-1.

126: Jacob Courtney, At, dec. Hunter Manahan, Wy, 7-3; Seth Seymour, Tr, pinned Hunter Leet, Mg, 2:46.

132: Cade Wirnsberger, MC, dec. Bailey Ferguson, Ca, 5-1; Bryce Vollman, Mu, dec. Dylan Granahan, Be, 3-1.

138: Isaac Kester, CC, dec. T.J. Walter, Mi, 6-2; Kaden Setzer, At, maj. dec. Skyler Manahan, Wy, 10-2.

145: Kayden Frame, Mt, maj. dec. Remington Morrow, Be, 12-1; Troy Bingaman, Mf, dec. Kaden Rodarmel, Lo, 7-0.

152: Weston Whapham, Da, pinned Michael Davis, Ca, 4:03; Nick Woodruff, Wy, dec. Bryce Carl, LM, 6-5.

160: Kaide Drick, Mg, dec. Tyler Bauder, JS, 6-4; Riley Parker, Ca, dec. Brady Cromley, Le, 11-4.

172: Colby Springman, Mg, pinned Zach Stafursky, At, 1:41; Jason Valladares, Mi, pinned Caden Hagerman, Da, :45.

189: Zach Shaffer, Wy, dec. Derek Atherton-Ely, Ca, 10-5; Ryan Casella, SW, pinned Ben Marino, Mg, 2:22.

215: Mikey Sipps, Wi, dec. Dyllian Ross, JS, 9-2; Clay Watkins, To, pinned Brad Leon, Mg, 4:59.

285: Gunner Treibley, MC, pinned Lee Springman, JS, 2:20; Nolan Loss, Mi, pinned Ryan Weidner, MC, 2:51.

Consolation semifinals

106: Chase Burke, Be, pinned Blake Sassaman, Da, 2:09; Nolan Baumert, LM, maj. dec. Jace Gessner, Le, 8-0.

113: Brady Feese, SC, pinned Wade Alleman, Sh, 2:08; Kaden Milheim, WR, tech. fall Joseph Schwenk, Tr, 17-2, 3:55.

120: Kaden Majcher, WR, dec. Andrew Johnson, Da, 3-1, tb; Caden Finck, Mg, dec. Aidan Kritzer, LM, 8-3.

126: Gabe Gramly, Mf, pinned Jacob Courtney, At, 2:23; Kole Biscoe, SC, pinned Seth Seymour, Tr, 2:26.

132: Cade Wirnsberger, MC, dec. Liam Goodrich, JS, 5-1; Bryce Vollman, Mu, dec. Conner Heckman, MW, 2-1.

138: Ian Yoder, SC, tech. fall Isaac Kester, CC, 15-0, 3:41; Logan Bartlett, Le, pinned Kaden Setzer, At, 2:33.

145: Kyler Crawford, Mi, pinned Kayden Frame, Mt, :36; Troy Bingaman, Mf, maj. dec. Gabe Andrus, JS, 9-0.

152: Troy Johnson, CC, pinned Weston Whapham, Da, 2:12; Brandon Gedman, SC, dec. Nick Woodruff, Wy, 2-0.

160: Garrett Garcia, SC, pinned Kaide Drick, Mg, :44; Ty Nixon, Mu, maj. dec. Riley Parker, Ca, 16-3.

172: Kohen Lehman, NP, dec. Colby Springman, Mg, 7-5, sv; Stephen Roeder, Bl, pinned Jason Valladares, Mi, 2:43.

189: Hayden Packer, JS, pinned Zach Shaffer, Wy, :56; Jacob Feese, LM, pinned Ryan Casella, SW, 4:15.

215: Damon Backes, MC, dec. Mikey Sipps, Wi, 5-1; Nathan Rauch, Mi, pinned Clay Watkins, To, 3:36.

285: Kade Sottolano, Wi, dec. Gunner Treibley, MC, 3-1; Logan McWilliams, CC, pinned Nolan Loss, Mi, :50.

Fifth-place consolations

(Winner advances to Northeast Regional tournament)

106: Jace Gessner, Le, dec. Blake Sassaman, Da, 8-3.

113: Wade Alleman, Sh, pinned Joseph Schwenk, Tr, 2:06.

120: Andrew Johnson, Da, dec. Aidan Kritzer, LM, 5-2.

126: Seth Seymour, Tr, dec. Jacob Courtney, At, 6-4, sv.

132: Conner Heckman, MW, pinned Liam Goodrich, JS, 3:53.

138: Kaden Setzer, At, pinned Isaac Kester, CC, 4:17.

145: Gabe Andrus, JS, dec. Kayden Frame, Mt, 5-4.

152: Nick Woodruff, Wy, pinned Weston Whapham, Da, 3:26.

160: Kaide Drick, Mg, dec. Riley Parker, Ca, 9-5.

172: Colby Springman, Mg, inj. def. Jason Valladares, Mi, 2:21.

189: Ryan Casella, SW, dec. Zach Shaffer, Wy, 8-7.

215: Clay Watkins, To, dec. Mikey Sipps, Wi, 3-1.

285: Gunner Treibley, MC, dec. Nolan Loss, Mi, 12-6.

Third-place consolations

(Both advance to Northeast Regional tournament)

106: Chase Burke, Be, pinned Nolan Baumert, LM, 1:54.

113: Kaden Milheim, WR, dec. Brady Feese, SC, 5-0.

120: Kaden Majcher, WR, dec. Caden Finck, Mg, 5-2.

126: Gabe Gramly, Mf, dec. Kole Biscoe, SC, 6-4.

132: Bryce Vollman, Mu, dec. Cade Wirnsberger, MC, 2-1.

138: Ian Yoder, SC, dec. Logan Bartlett, Le, 6-4, sv.

145: Kyler Crawford, Mi, dec. Troy Bingaman, Mf, 2-1.

152: Troy Johnson, CC, dec. Brandon Gedman, SC, 5-1.

160: Ty Nixon, Mu, dec. Garrett Garcia, SC, 2-1.

172: Stephen Roeder, Bl, maj. dec. Kohen Lehman, NP, 16-3.

189: Jacob Feese, LM, dec. Hayden Packer, JS, 3-2.

215: Nathan Rauch, Mi, won by forfeit Damon Backes, MC.

285: Kade Sottolano, Wi, dec. Logan McWilliams, CC, 1-0.

Championship finals

(Both advance to Northeast Regional tournament)

106: Branden Wentzel, Mt, dec. Brock Weiss, JS, 3-1, sv.

113: Gavin Bradley, At, dec. Bobby Gardner, SW, 7-1.

120: Mason Barvitskie, SC, dec. Ethan Kolb, Be, 4-0.

126: Gable Strickland, Be, dec. Scott Johnson, Mu, 9-4.

132: Mason Leshock, LM, dec. Kaiden Wagner, Le, 6-0.

138: Conner Harer, Mg, pinned Hayden Ward, Ca, :32.

145: Nate Higley, Su, maj. dec. Patrick Edmondson, SC, 11-1.

152: Devon Deem, Mg, dec. Isaac Cory, Mt, 2-1, UTB.

160: Nolan Lear, Be, dec. Avery Bassett, MW, 3-2.

172: Gavin Garcia, SC, dec. Ethan Gush, Mu, 9-2.

189: Cael Crebs, Mt, dec. Wes Barnes, SC, 5-0.

215: Dylan Bennett, Mt, pinned Zach Poust, Be, 1:54.

285: Emmanuel Ulrich, Mf, dec. Caleb Burkhart, Hu, 3-1, sv.

District 4 coach of the year: Kent Lane, Southern Columbia

District 4 assistant coach of the year: Bo Spiller, Southern Columbia

District 4 Official of the Year: Rocky Miller.

Max Shnyder scholarship award winners: Nate Higley, Sullivan County; Dylan Bennett, Montoursville; Kyler Crawford, Milton.


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