Frontino wins Dist. 3 mat title; Trojans send 4 to states

SPRING GROVE — Six wrestlers from Franklin County have made their way to the PIAA Championships in two weeks.

But only one is a District 3 Class 3A champion, Dominic Frontino of Shippensburg, and he did it in dominating fashion, putting up a technical fall, 15-0, in just 3:32 over Brett Barbush of Manheim Central at 160 pounds.

Zach Evans

Chambersburg, which finished fourth in the team standings Saturday at Spring Grove H.S., will advance four wrestlers to states — Zach Evans (runner-up at 189), Luke Mentzer (3rd at 127), Aiden Hight (4th at 189) and Avery Kuhns (4th at 285).

Shippensburg’s Diesel Koser placed third at 215 and will make his second trip to Giant Center.

Frontino made short work of Barbush, taking him down twice and putting him on his back four times in a cross body ride.

“I’ve worked on that move for a while,” Frontino said. “I know scoring on top is super important. I’m just wrestling my match every match — I’m not changing for anyone. I’m just having fun and taking it all in, because this is my last year.”

In the semifinals, Frontino dominated Mike Beers of Central Dauphin 8-2, with four takedowns and a strong ride, including all of the final 2 minutes.

Chambersburg had a good day, getting four wrestlers to states (the second-most ever for the Trojans), but three of them lost their final bout Saturday.

Avery Kuhns

“You get to this level and the kids have ceilings,” Chambersburg coach Matt Mentzer said. “It’s our job as coaches to make those ceilings higher and for more kids.”

In the 215 final, Evans started out in grand style against unbeaten Jose Garcia of McCaskey, using an upper body throw to take Garcia to his back and nearly pin him.

But Garcia wiggled out, and at the end of the period was able to reverse Evans to his back to tie the bout 5-5.

“I knew I’d have to beat him in neutral and I got into some good positions,” Evans said. “I think he was close (to being pinned). On top and bottom, though, he’s good and he got into his positions.”

Coach Mentzer said, “That was a heck of a technical move by Zach to put him on his back, but giving up those five points at the end of a period is five points you won’t get back against a state-caliber kid.”

Evans had to work hard in the semifinals to edge Ryan McMillan of Wilson, 3-2. A first-period slide-by takedown put Evans in control, and he staved off McMillan’s good shot over the last 10 seconds.

Mentzer dropped a 9-4 decision to Tyler Adams of York Suburban in the semifinals, but came back to beat Ian Longenberger of Boiling Springs 7-3, and then edge Liam Flanagan of Central Dauphin 4-3 for third place.

A takedown — questioned by the Chambersburg coaches — was awarded to Flanagan with 1:02 left to put him up 3-1. But Mentzer escaped and with less than 10 seconds left spun around behind Flanagan. The official called them out of bounds with no points, but when coach Mentzer asked him to confer with his assistant, the takedown was awarded.

“There was 20 seconds left and I needed a takedown,” Luke Mentzer said. “We practice 30-second sprints in that situation, which is exactly what that was. And it worked.”

Coach Mentzer said, “I could see right when Luke changed his mindset from defense to offense and that’s when he’s at his best. I think he just wanted that takedown more.”

At 189, Hight could not find an opening against Tyler Withers of Gettysburg and was defeated 6-1 for third place. He lost in the semifinals, 10-3 to unbeaten Tucker Hogan of Daniel Boone, then had a pin in the consys.

“Withers just keeps coming after you,” Hight said. “I’m happy with the weekend, but just not how it ended.”

Kuhns had three straight pins in the consolations to reach the bout for third place, but he ran into Michael Hershey of Spring Grove and was pinned in 1:58.

Kuhns said, “I lost my match yesterday (in the quarterfinals) and I wasn’t sure how it would go today. But I just kept wrestling. Getting to states was always my goal, so that’s good.”

Koser had a rough consy semifinal against Ryan McMillan of Wilson, but he pulled it out, 3-1, with a counter takedown in sudden victory. In the bout for third, he crushed Spring Grove’s Teague Conover, 9-0.

NOTES: The PIAA Championships are March 9-10-11 at Giant Center … Chambersburg scored 91 points and finished behind CD (136), Gettysburg (103) and Boiling Springs (94.5).

District 3 Class 3A Wrestling
Saturday’s Area Results
Team Standings
1.Central Dauphin 136; 2.Gettysburg 103; 3.Boiling Springs 94.5; 4.Chambersburg 91; 5.Central York 83; 6.Wilson 68; 7.Daniel Boone 60.5; 8.McCaskey 59; 9.(tie) Cumberland Valley and Northern York 56.

127 — Tyler Adams (York Suburban) d Luke Mentzer (Chbg), 9-4
160 — Dominic Frontino (Ship) d Mike Beers (Central Dauphin), 8-2
189 — Tucker Hogan (Daniel Boone) d Aiden Hight (Chbg), 10-3
215 — Zach Evans (Chbg) d Ryan McMillan (Wilson), 3-2
160 — Frontino (Ship) tf Brett Barbush (Manheim Central), 15-0, 3:32
215 — Jose Garcia (McCaskey) p Evans (Chbg), 3:22

Third Round
114 — Drew Scherer (Boiling Springs) d Zach Sherman (Chbg), 5-2
145 — Wyatt Dillon (Central York) md Tyler Frye (Chbg), 10-0
215 — Diesel Koser (Ship) p Bryce Phillips (Red Land), 2:39
285 — Avery Kuhns (Chbg) p Mason Musser (Garden Spot), 2:35
127 — Mentzer (Chbg) d Ian Longenberger (Boiling Springs), 7-3
189 — Hight (Chbg) p Robbie Sterner (South Western), 3:29
215 — Koser (Ship) d McMillan (Wilson), 3-1 SV
285 — Kuhns (Chbg) p Treson Spahr (Lampeter-Strasburg), 1:49
For Third Place
127 — Mentzer (Chbg) d Liam Flangan (Central Dauphin), 4-3
189 — Tyler Withers (Gettysburg) d Hight (Chbg), 6-1
215 — Koser (Ship) md Teague Conover (Spring Grove), 9-0
285 — Michael Hershey (Spring Grove) p Kuhns (Chbg), 1:58