Newman, Lane win regional titles
WILLIAMSPORT - Line Mountain's Cam Newman and Southern Columbia's unbeaten Kent Lane will travel to the PIAA Class AA state championships as Northeast Regional champions, and be joined by three other area wrestlers.
Newman won the 106-pound title and Lane the 126-pound title Saturday at Williamsport Area High School. Line Mountain's Seth Lansberry (138) and Southern's Blake Marks (152) were runners-up and the Tigers' Jake Becker (285) placed third to earn a trip.
Southern finished in a tie for third in the team standings with Milton with 45 points. Benton, with three champs and two runners-up, ran away with the team title with 93 points, followed by Mifflinburg (61.5).
"To finish third in the team standings here with seven kids (on the team) is something," said Southern head coach Jerry Marks. "We came here with four kids and three are going to states and I think all three have a shot to place. Hopefully this will generate some interest in the program in our male student body. It would be nice to have a full team."
Newman (34-7) used a third-period reversal for the only points he needed to beat Lewisburg's Brian Friery 2-0 in the 106-pound final, earning his second straight state berth.
The Line Mountain sophomore had an equally big win in the semifinals, handing District 4 champion Zack LeBarron his first loss of the season, 4-3. LeBarron took third and also advanced to the state meet.
"I felt like I had pressure on me to win (in the afternoon)," Newman said.
He said Friery (32-9), who beat Newman in the district tournament, is tough for him to figure out.
"He knows how my offense goes," Newman said. "He gets down low and wrestles good defense against me."
Newman said he wanted to get the reversal instead of an escape because he knew he had stalling warnings hanging over him after he rode Friery in the second period.
Lane (37-0) remained unbeaten but seemed to have trouble getting out of second gear offensively in both his semifinal and final wins.
He was a 5-3 winner in the semifinals over Montoursville's Keith Batkowski (33-9), who finished fourth, then downed Wyoming Area's Andrew Schutz (25-3) 3-0 in the final.
"It seems like they have an idea of how to wrestle me," said Lane. "It's almost like they know what I'm going to do before I do it and they're executing their plan well."
Lane was taken down and trailed Batkowski early in their bout and talked about that for next week.
"I can't get taken down at the start like that next week," he said. "But I like the offensive and it's hard to slam the brakes on sometimes and you get hurt."
Lane said he was hoping to draw some unfamiliar opponents so he could just wrestle his match, and said he wasn't concerned about having a bullseye on his back as an unbeaten.
"You try not to worry about that stuff," he said. "You can only control what you do so you try not to worry about what other people think."
Lansberry (35-4) lost for the second week in a row to former teammate Zain Retherford (43-0) of Benton but again wrestled a solid bout.
Neither wrestler had scored after two periods and Retherford had a stalling warning against him. But Lansberry surrendered a point in order to start the third period on his feet, and Retherford quickly took him down for what proved to be the win.
"I did a little better on the bottom than last week but he caught me flat footed on the takedown," Lansberry said. "I really wasn't ready but I started a shot and he countered."
Lansberry won his semifinal 8-3 over District 2 champion Nick Heck of Wyoming Area.
For the third straight week Marks (34-5) lost in the finals to Milton junior Ryan Preisch (29-4), who pinned the Southern senior in 5:15.
"I think it's all a matter of styles," Marks said in explaining how he can look so impressive against all comers, but has now been outscored 25-2 before the pin by Preisch. "I'm a wide-open wrestler and a lot of other guys are defensive. I beat (Kyle) Barnes, Preisch only beats him 1-0, but he handles me. That's because Barnes is a defensive wrestler.
"I tried to slow the match down a little bit but he's real tough on top, and once he got me turned, I knew it was over."
Still, Marks said he was anxious to go to Hershey. His dad was a four-time qualifier and two-time state champ.
"I'm really excited to go," Blake Marks said. "I've been going down to Hershey to watch since about fifth grade and I'm really looking forward to it."
"We really can't quite figure (Preisch) out," Coach Marks said. "It's just one of those things but he's a very good wrestler."
Becker (36-4) lost his semifinal to defending state champ Nazar Mironenko 5-3 but came back to beat Lake-Lehman's Dustin Jones 2-1 in the consolation semifinal, then downed North Penn's Nate Kriner 5-1 in the consolation final.
Becker had a 1-0 lead after two periods in the latter bout but scored three back points from the top position in the third period.
"That was huge," Becker said. "In most heavyweight bouts there are three or fewer points scored. It was good to get a cushion like that.
"It feels great to take three kids to states and I think we all have the potential to place."
Consolation semifinals marked the end of the road for Southern's Brett Shepard (113) and Shamokin's Zach Biddiscombe (220).
Shepard had a 13-2 major decision over Hanover Area's Brad Glazenski in the consolation quarterfinals but dropped a 4-2 decision in the next round to Warrior Run's Eric Hunt. Shepard finished the season with a 29-10 record.
Biddiscombe pinned Lake-Lehman's Kody Pachamovitch in 1:13 in the consolation quarterfinals, then was pinned in the consolation semifinals by Central Columbia's Eric McCracken in 1:38. He completed his season 25-13.
Mount Carmel's Blake Panko (138) lost in the consolation quarterfinals to Western Wayne's Morgan Fuller 12-4 and finished his season 28-11.