CHAMBERSBURG — The teams entered Wednesday night’s Mid Penn Commonwealth wrestling match at CASHS Field House as the No. 11 state-ranked team in Class 3A (Cumberland Valley) and the No. 17 team (Chambersburg).
Two bouts featured wrestlers who were both ranked in the top 25 in the state.
So you expected some fireworks.
You got ’em, right in the middle of January.
The Trojans rallied from a 27-12 deficit in the final three bouts to tie the match, and then were declared the winners (28-27) by Criteria A of the tiebreaker rule, which gave Chambersburg the win because of a team point deducted earlier for CV.
“It was just a good high school dual meet between two good teams,” Trojan Matt Mentzer said. “It played out about like it did on paper, with both teams maybe thinking they could have won a couple of the bouts they didn’t.”
After quick pins by the Eagles’ Gabe Belga at 160 (0:36) and Dayne Miller at 172 (1:14), Cumberland Valley (16-1, 3-1 MPC) held a 27-12 lead with three bouts left.
And the 189-pound bout was the best matchup of the night — CV’s No. 13-ranked Anthony Bruscino vs. No. 8 Aiden Hight. But when Hight decked Bruscino in the first period with a tight headlock, the whole match flipped.
“For the team, I knew I needed a pin,” Hight said. “So I was looking for a headlock, because I probably got 90% of my pins with that. He went into a body lock and I felt it was there, so I hit it.”
Mentzer said, “That was the break we needed. Bruscino is a dangerous wrestler, but if you mess with Aiden up there, sometimes you’ll pay for it.”
Zach Evans followed suit with a second-period pin at 215, drawing Chambersburg (9-1, 3-1 MPC) with three points at 27-24.
That left it up to the 285-pounders, again with a pair of ranked wrestlers — CV’s Anthony Joppy at No. 22 and the Trojans’ Avery Kuhns at No. 17.
Kuhns had a fine start, collecting a takedown and later a nearfall to lead 4-1 after one period. Neither scored on their feet in the second and Kuhns was down for the third.
Joppy gave up a stalling point to make it 5-1, but then Kuhns aggravated a shoulder injury he’d been nursing. He couldn’t escape Joppy’s ride and absorbed two stalling points, but still won the bout, 5-3.
Kuhns said, “I didn’t know the situation (with criteria), so I just knew I had to win and my intention was to get a pin. But the first time I went down (to the mat while he was on bottom), I hurt my shoulder and I couldn’t get to my base.”
“When Avery took injury time is the first time I told him he just needed to finish the win,” Mentzer said. “He didn’t need bonus points. But I think that almost made it harder for him, because it changed the way he was wrestling.”
Chambersburg got a pin from Zach Sherman at 114, a decision from Rylan Carter at 121 and a decision at 145 from Tyler Frye.
The Eagles got decisions from Phil Montes at 107, Alex Tennis at 127, Jake Mitchell at 133, Patrick Kehoe at 152 and a 10-0 major from Waylon Kitzmiller at 139.
Tennis topped No. 9-ranked Luke Mentzer, 9-5, scoring three takedowns, with the go-ahead score with 50 seconds left.
Coach Mentzer said, “I think the match was won at 107, 133, 139 and 152 when we didn’t give up big bonus points.”
NOTES: Chambersburg and CV flipped spots in the District 3 power rankings behind No. 1 Central Dauphin; the Trojans are now No. 2 and the Eagles No. 3 … The team point lost by Cumberland Valley came at the end of the 145-pound match when an unsportsmanlike penalty was assessed during the handshake … Chambersburg hosts Gettysburg (12-3, 3-2 MPC) on Thursday at 7.
Chambersburg 28, Cumberland Valley 27
107 — Phil Montes (CV) d Ben Hoover, 6-1
114 — Zach Sherman (Ch) p Owen Whittaker, 2:40
121 — Rylan Carter (Ch) d Mason Wickersham, 9-3
127 — Alex Tennis (CV) d Luke Mentzer, 9-5
133 — Jake Mitchell (CV) d Ashton Romberger, 9-5
139 — Waylon Kitzmiller (CV) md Logan Mickey, 10-0
145 — Tyler Frye (Ch) d Ethan Whittaker, 6-3 (CV deducted 1 team point for unsportsmanlike behavior)
152 — Patrick Kehoe (CV) d Noah Valentine, 9-7
160 — Gabe Belga (CV) p Ivan Mixell, 0:36
172 — Dayne Miller (CV) p Jaccob Stoner, 1:14
189 — Aiden Hight (Ch) p Anthony Bruscino, 1:48
215 — Zach Evans (Ch) p Bryce Buetler, 2:40
285 — Avery Kuhns (Ch) d Anthony Joppy, 5-3
Note: The match ended in a 27-27 tie; Chambersburg won the tiebreaker by criteria A.