Second-ranked Southern handles Muncy
MUNCY — No Muncy wrestler has had more success in dual meets with powerhouse Southern Columbia over the last four years than Mario Barberio. The senior has produced five wins against the Tigers in one of District 4’s most entertaining mat rivalries. What he hasn’t enjoyed in the stretch is a team victory. That trend continued Saturday night in the packed Muncy gym.
Barberio foiled three strong takedowns attempts by Southern’s Brandon Gedman in the third period of their 145-pound battle and picked up a hard-earned 3-1 decison but the Tigers, ranked second in the state by PA Power Wrestling, turned a blistering start that produced an early 28-0 lead into an easy 46-24 victory.
The Southern win was its sixth in the last four years over Muncy. In fact, the last time Barberio was on the winning side against the Tigers was during his seventh grade season in junior high.
“I’m always excited to wrestle Southern because they are a great team but we haven’t beaten them since I was in seventh grade,” Barberio said. “That was the last time I was on a team that beat them. I’ve always wanted to beat them so I always come into the matches with them with a little more aggression, I guess. But that team is one of the best and where they are strong, we aren’t. Where we are strong, they are strong, as well. It’s hard to compete with them.”
And when official Mike Millward drew 182 as the opening bout last evening it was especially bad news for the Indians. The Tigers have No. 2 Tyler Waltman at that weight and returning state champion Gaige Garcia at 195. Max Tillett has made the most of his opportunity at either 195 or 220 in his first year as a starter and Lear Quinton is ranked No. 3 at 285.
Waltman picked up an 18-second fall in the opening bout and Tillett was nearly as good with a 53-second effort at 195. After Garcia collected a forfeit at 220, Quinton racked four takedowns in 9-1 major decision over Cael Hembury at 285. Muncy never really recovered after they forfeited at 106 and fell behind 28-0.
“We knew when we drew that opening weight it would be a tough start and we’d be trying to come from behind,” said Muncy coach Royce Eyer. “We had to win a couple of matches on the other side and we just didn’t get it done.”
If Eyer and the Indians didn’t like the starting weight, Southern coach Jerry Marks certainly did.
“We knew it was a great starting spot for us,” Marks said after his team upped its record to 9-2. “We built on the lead and playing catchup (for Muncy) was hard to do. This is alway a fun match for us. It’s fun to get the butterflys in your stomach before the match and to come up here in this environment with a full house. I thought our guys performed well and it was pribably the best dual meet that we have wrestled all year long. We didn’t give up bonus points and we got them where we needed them. We wrestled tremendously hard.”
Still, the Indians (12-3) got some good efforts. Freshman Scott Johnson converted four takedowns at 113 before getting a fall in 4:44 and sophomore Chase Cawley was solid in a 5-0 loss to Garrett Krebs at 126. Bryce Vollman made a first period takedown stand up in a 2-0 decision at 138.
Barberio’s effort was similar in his win over Gedman. He converted a first period takedown and then fended off a strong shot from Gedman at the edge of the mat late in the second period. He escaped to start the third period and shutdown Gedman’s takedown attempts later in the period. Christian Good earned Muncy’s only fall of the night when he pinned Greyson Shaud in just 54 seconds.
“We knew bonus points were going to be huge but we’ve got some forfeits in the lineup, and some injuries, and some inexperience,” Eyer said. “We knew they had hammers and that made it tough.”
In the only head-to-head meeting of ranked wrestlers, Southern’s Cade Linn, ranked No. 2, blanked No. 10 Ethan Gush, in the final bout of the evening.
Eyer wasn’t ready to predict a meeting in the finals of the district duals for the third consecutive year — just yet.
“We’ve got some work to do before that,” Eyer said. “We’ve got to get there so it’s one match at a time.”
Southern 46, Muncy 24
182: Tyler Waltman, SC, pinned Christian Niemczyk, 0:18. 195: Max Tillet, SC, pinned Tristan Ditzler, 0:53. 220: Gaige Carcia, SC, by forfeit. 285: Lear Quinton, SC, maj. dec. Cael Hembury, 9-1. 106: Toren Cooper, SC, by forfeit. 113: Scott Johnson, Mu, pinned Brady Feese, 4:44. 120: Kole Biscoe, SC, pinned Alex Maiorana, 0:51. 126: Garrett Krebs, SC, dec. Chase Crawley, 5-0. 132: Jacob Blair, Mu, by forfeit. 138: Bryce Vollman, Mu, dec. Ian Yoder, 2-0. 145: Mario Barberio, Mu, dec. Brandon Gedman, 3-1. 152: Wes Barnes, SC, by forfeit. 160: Christian Good, Mu, pinned Grayson Shaud, 0:51. 170: Cade Linn, SC, dec. Ethan Gush, 6-0.
Takedowns: Southern 11, Muncy 6.
Records: Muncy (12-3), Southern (9-2).
Official: Mike Millward.