MECHANICSBURG — It’s not normal for returning PIAA placewinners to be seeded lower than No. 1 at a sectional wrestling tournament.
It has happened in two consecutive seasons for Chambersburg senior Luke Nichter.
But Saturday afternoon, No. 2-seeded Nichter turned the tables on No. 1 Clayton Ulrey of Lower Dauphin, taking a 3-1 victory in the final at 160 pounds at the District 3 Section III tournament at Mechanicsburg.
Nichter, his brother Tate Nichter (152) and Wyatt Hull (220) all won titles to help the Trojans capture the team championship. Chambersburg also had three runners-up, and advanced six to next weekend’s District 3 Championships at Spring Grove.
Shippensburg produced one champion — 285-pounder Sean Hess — as well as runner-up Dom Frontino and third-place Dylan Ramsey. All will complete at districts.
Luke Nichter lost in the section and district finals last year to Edmund Ruth, who was seeded above him. This year, he was No. 2 to Ulrey’s 1 thanks to an 11-7 loss to Ulrey at the Trojan Wars and the fact that Ulrey is a PIAA runner-up.
But he wrestled a fine defensive match against Ulrey, who had four takedowns in the Trojan Wars bout. This time the only takedown was by Nichter, who countered an Ulrey shot by scrambling out the back door for two points in the second period.
“I wanted to get in different positions with my hands,” Nichter said. “I couldn’t let him get to certain ties he got against me last time.”
Nichter lost a point for stalling early in the third, but got in on a single leg shot to eat some clock, then survived a deep double-leg attempt by Ulrey in the waning seconds.
“I saw him step and thought I could get his leg — and it was perfect timing,” Nichter said. “I was able to waste about 40 seconds doing that.
On the last shot by Ulrey, Nichter said, “At first I thought he got his hips around, but I popped into him and knocked him to his side, and then I thought I could hold on. It was close, though … I thought he might have had it.”
Tate Nichter said, “He about gave me a heart attack at the end. We’ve worked hard all week on some different things for that match.”
Tate Nichter eased through sectionals with three first-period pins, including a stick in 1:36 of the final against Pierce Feite of Northern York. He used a bar and a half to turn the Polar Bear.
“You have to treat every match the same, just like a match at states,” Nichter said. “I was ready to go the full six minutes, although it didn’t work out that way.”
Hull not only won the 220-pound title for himself, but his victory also clinched the team championship. Not that he was thinking about it.
“Earlier I figured it might be close (when I wrestled), but you can’t think about that when you’re wrestling your match,” Hull said.
Hull wrestled conservatively early and weathered several deep shots by Cumberland Valley’s Dontey Rogan, but did take a 2-0 lead on a single with 0:05 left in the first. There was a bunch of scoring in the third, but a takedown and nearfall put away a 10-4 victory for the Trojan senior.
Hull said, “I haven’t any full matches for a while and I felt a little out of shape. I was gassed. But I was waiting for the opportunity to shoot; I just needed to get the right angles first.”
The Trojans won the team title over CV, with the final spread a microscopic 192-191.5.
Chambersburg coach Matt Mentzer said, “I heard a couple of people mention the team race was close, but that just takes care of itself. It is nice for the fans and it’s nice to beat CV anytime. The kids wrestled well this weekend.”
Also for Chambersburg, Luke Mentzer (106), Karl Shindledecker (120) and Anthony Colangelo (132) reached the finals and were defeated.
Eli Gregoris of Big Spring collected four takedowns to beat Mentzer 8-3; Kody Evans of Susquehanna Twp. used an early penalty point against Shindledecker for fleeing the mat to win 2-1; and Red Land’s Bryce Brennan racked up six takedowns in a 15-6 major over Colangelo.
Matt Mentzer said, “Anthony came in as the six seed and beat the No. 2 and 3 seeds. But he ran into a very technical wrestler (Brennan), who took advantage of his openings.”
Shippensburg’s Hess met up with No. 1 seed Donovan Bair of Northern York in the final and neither wrestler scored in the first period. In the second, Bair escaped, but Hess took him down, threw in a half and flattened him for a pin in 2:39.
“I didn’t know what I thought coming into sectionals,” said Hess, who was the third seed. “I had a decent record (now 23-11), and I just figured to do my best. Once I was able to sink in that half, I was pretty sure I had him.”
His teammate, Frontino, put up a heck of a battle against heavily-favored Troy-Thomas Elhajj of Lower Dauphin. Trailing 4-2 after two periods, Frontino escaped and earned a takedown for a 5-4 lead with less than a minute left. But Elhajj immediately used a petersen for a reversal and held on for a 6-5 victory.
NOTES: Also for the Trojans, Rylan Carter (113), Kelby Mixell (138) and Zach Evans (195) placed fifth, and Ryder Davenport (145) took sixth … Greencastle-Antrim had two placewinners (Lorcan Wright at 126, Jared Miller at 145); both took fifth … Ship’s Jeffrey Russell was injured in a semifinal defeat at 126 and had to forfeit out.
District 3 Section III Tournament
Saturday’s Local Results
Team Standings: 1.Chambersburg 192; 2.Cumberland Valley 187.5; 3.Carlisle 183.5; 4.Northern York 166; 5.Red Land 133; 6.Cedar Cliff 114; 7.Big Spring 99; 8.Lower Dauphin 96; 9.Shippensburg 95.5; 10.Harrisburg 83; 11.CD East 48; 12.Mechanicsburg 47; 13.Greencastle-Antrim 35.5; 14.Susquehanna Twp. 29.
106 — Luke Mentzer (Chbg) d Taylor Hebenstreit (Car), 10-8; Eli Gregoris (BS) p Tristyn Keefer (Ship), 0:43
120 — Karl Shindledecker (Chbg) d Ruston Dzielak (CV), 4-2
126 — Evan Chapman (NY) p Jeffrey Russell (Ship), 2:52
132 — Anthony Colangelo (Chbg) d Gabriel Belga (CV), 9-5
138 — Dom Frontino (Ship) d Liam Strouse (NY), 4-3, UTB
145 — Sean Donnelly (LD) d Jared Miller (GA), 2-1
152 — Tate Nichter (Chbg) p Wyatt Hoffman (BS), 1:34
160 — Luke Nichter (Chbg) md Colton Zimmerman (Car), 11-2
195 — Xavier Evans (Har) p Zach Evans (Chbg), 3:42
220 — Wyatt Hull (Chbg) p Layton Schmick (Car), 3:20
285 — Shaun Hess (Ship) p Connor Mundis (CV), 4:23
106 — Eli Gregoris (BS) d Luke Mentzer (Chbg), 8-3
113 — Ben Monn (CV) d Aiden Lewis (CC), 3-1
120 — Kody Evans (ST) d Karl Shindledecker (Chbg), 2-1
126 — Evan Chapman (NY) p Ada Brunk (Mech), 2:13
132 — Bryce Brennan (RL) md Anthony Colangelo (Chbg), 15-6
138 — Troy-Thomas Elhajj (LD) d Dom Frontino (Ship), 6-5
145 — Sean Smith (Car) d Sean Donnelly (LD), 7-5
152 — Tate Nichter (Chbg) p Pierce Feite (NY), 1:36
160 — Luke Nichter (Chbg) d Clayton Ulrey (LD), 3-1
170 — Bay Blaschak (NY) p Tyriek Jackson (Har), 1:25
182 — Ben Snyder (LD) d Eddie Wells (NY), 7-2
195 — Jake Lucas (CV) p Xavier Evans (Har), 5:36
220 — Wyatt Hull (Chbg) d Dontey Rogan (CV), 10-4
285 — Sean Hess (Ship) p Donovan Bair (NY), 2:39
113 — Rylan Carter (Chbg) p Skyblue Brunelle (Har), 1:54; 120 — Garrett Keener (GA) won by forfeit; Reese Polulak (RL) tf Kobe Shauf (Ship), 17-1, 4:42; 126 — Tyler Smith (Chbg) md Angelo Todaro (BS), 13-5; Lorcan Wright (GA), bye; 132 — Dylan Ramsey (Ship) p Mayson Evans (ST), 2:11; 138 — Kelby Mixell (Chbg) p Aden Floyd (CDE), 1:59; Max Haas (CC) p Wesley Shubert (GA), 4:22; 145 — Ryder Davenport (Chbg) d Ben Belga (CV), 3-1; Kohl Holderbaum (Ship), bye; 152 — Adam Booze (GA) d Liam Anderson (CV), 5-1; Avian Vasquez (Ship) tf Tate Ingram (LD), 16-0, 3:22; 170 — Antonio Zeno (Mech) d Bryce McKenzie (Chbg), 7-2; Camryn VanValen (RL) d Diesel Koser (Ship), 8-6; 182 — Ayden Reed (Ship) p Albert Dzorkpev (CDE), 0:13; Mehki Williams (Chbg) p Rodney Yeager (BS), 2:02; 195 — Cam Metzel (RL) p Richard Morris (Ship), 1:57; Hunter Hertzog (NY) p Jack Sullivan (GA), 1:47; 220 — Nathan Smith (RL) d Nick Edwards (Ship), 8-2
113 — Carter (Chbg) p Nikolas Ledebohn (NY), 2:08; 120 — Polulak (RL) d G.Keener (GA), 6-4; 126 — Wright (GA) p Smith (Chbg), 2:38; 132 — Ramsey (Ship) d Marcel McDaniels (CDE), 4-2; 138 — Mixell (Chbg) p Haas (CC), 2:57; 145 — Davenport (Chbg) d Holderbaum (Ship), 6-4; 152 — Robert Rodgers (RL) p Booze (GA), 1:46; Jeremie Prograis (CC) md Vasquez (Ship), 12-5; 182 — Logan Rhoades (Car) p Williams (Chbg), 3:33
106 — Noah Groelly (CV) p T.Keefer (Ship), 0:28; 113 — Wyatt Fox (RL) p Carter (Chbg), 1:52; 126 — Azzy Ibrahim (Car) forfeit over Russell (Ship); 132 — Ramsey (Ship) d John Cunningham (CC), 5-1; 138 — Strouse (NY) d Mixell (Chbg), 3-2; 145 — Kaslem Gregg (Har) p Davenport (Chbg), 0:58; Creed Bogardus (CC) d J.Miller (GA), 6-2; 195 — Hertzog (NY) d Z.Evans (Chbg), 11-7
(For 3rd Place)
132 — G.Belga (CV) d Ramsey (Ship), 2-0.
(For 5th Place)
106 — Kyle Haverstick (NY) d T.Keefer (Ship), 8-2; 113 — Carter (Chbg) d Logan Schmidt (BS), 3-1; 126 — Wright (GA) forfeit over Russell (Ship); 138 — Mixell (Chbg) p Brandon Wells (Car), 2:29; 145 — J.Miller (GA) d Davenport (Chbg), 6-3; 195 — Z.Evans (Chbg) p Malik Miller (Car), 2:54.