19 from area advance to next weekend's District 4 tourney
MIFFLINBURG - Line Mountain's Seth Lansberry, who won his fourth straight title, led a group of four champions and 19 area wrestlers overall to qualify for next week's district championships Saturday at the Southern Sectional tournament.
Lansberry (31-2) won his fourth straight title by pinning Mount Carmel's Blake Panko in 3:44 in the 138-pound final. Lansberry's teammate, Cameron Newman, won the 106-pound title by beating previously unbeaten Corey Stauffer of Midd-West in the final.
Southern Columbia sophomore Kent Lane remained unbeaten at 32-0 with a 15-3 major decision in the 126-pound final over Midd-West's Tanner Ebright, and Shamokin Area's Anthony Anonia was
a surprise champion at 182 pounds, capping three straight wins from the fourth seed with an 8-4 victory over Milton freshman Gage Heller in the finals.
Line Mountain topped the area contingent in wrestlers advancing with seven, Southern advanced five wrestlers, Mount Carmel four and Shamokin three. Line Mountain, Southern, Mount Carmel and Shamokin finished fifth through eighth in the nine-team field, which was surprisingly competitive. Mifflinburg edged Midd-West for the team title, followed by Lewisburg and Milton.
Area runners-up included Line Mountain's Erik Smeltz (170), Southern's Brett Shepard (113), Blake Marks (152) and Jake Becker (285), Mount Carmel's Panko and Shamokin's Zach Biddiscombe (220). Third-place finishers who advanced included Line Mountain's Blake Carl (126), Britton Heim (152), Brady Renn (195) and Robert Cook (220); Southern's Diego Otero (132); Shamokin's Brett Long (120); and Mount Carmel's Tyler Wariki (145), Allen Yancoskie (182) and Seth Stablewski (285).
Lansberry had a quarterfinal bye, then pinned Midd-West's Dylan Hain in the semifinals before pinning Panko (24-7) in the final. The Line Mountain senior said he didn't make a big deal of winning a fourth straight title.
"It was just another day at the office," he said. "I wasn't too worried about it. I know I can always improve. I'm feeling pretty confident right now."
Newman (27-6) although the top seed and a returning state qualifier, said he wasn't sure what to expect from Stauffer (31-1) in the final.
"I wrestled him several times in elementary tournaments but I haven't wrestled him in a few years," Newman said. "He's a good wrestler and when you see he's unbeaten, you try not to let that get to you."
Newman had a takedown and backpoints in the first period and had a 4-3 lead after Stouffer got a penalty point for locked hands and scored a reversal, but the Line Mountain sophomore got a reversal of his own and three back points in the second period to take control.
Likewise, Lane was in total control of his 126 final. He took a 4-1 lead in the first period over Ebright (24-10) with two takedowns, increased it to 9-2 in the second with two more takedowns, and was never in difficulty.
Lane said he doesn't feel much pressure about being unbeaten and is on a mission to get back to states after he lost two bouts there last year as a freshman.
"It (states) didn't work out last year like I wanted but I'm going to try to do better this year," Lane said.
Anonia was only 10-16 entering the tournament but won all three of his bouts, beating Southern's Ben Clark 8-0 in the quarterfinals, Lewisburg's Storm Brown 11-4 in the semifinals and using a big second period, in which he had a five-point move with a reversal and back points for an 8-4 win over Heller (12-13).
Shepard (26-6) dropped a 9-5 decision in the 113 final to Mifflinburg freshman Cooper Wagner (19-9) and Marks (28-3), whose two previous losses were close ones to Benton's Zain Retherford and Colt Cotten, lost to Milton junior Ryan Preisch (23-4) 9-0 in the 152 final.
Smeltz (25-8) was pinned by Midd-West's Alex Lieberman (28-5) in 3:21 in the 170 final, and Biddiscombe (20-9) was pinned in the 220 final by Lewisburg standout Brandon Smith (27-1).