Sunday, February 18, 2018
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Spartans outduel Mounts


There's nothing like senior leadership.
 
A truism neither Garden Spot coach Brian Schilling, nor Ephrata coach Josh Clair could dispute Tuesday evening.
 
Schilling's senior leaders -- tri-captains Nick Cook, Tanner Leid and Matt Christie -- came through in a large way in the league opener in New Holland.
 
Each of the three scored falls, Leid's the clincher, and the Spartans (1-0 L-L Section Two, 4-2 overall) claimed an early-season test with a 48-24 victory that was the proverbial closer-than-the-final-score-indicated.
 
"The toss-up matches," Clair offered. "Unfortunately, they all went Garden Spot's way. We had a couple opportunities we didn't take advantage of."
 
"We came out strong tonight. A lot of good effort from the younger guys," Leid said.
 
In all, six Spartans harvested six-pointers to pace the victory.
 
Christie got the festivities off on the right note for the home side at 170, taking Brian Rohrbaugh to his back 10 seconds in, holding him there through a valiant, but futile, 86-second fight.
 
Jake Riehl made a third-period escape stand up in a 1-0 win over Bobby Nye at 182 and, after the Mountaineers forfeited to Ben Swarr at 195, and Cameron Eisenhauer got the Mounts on the board with a fall at 220, Mike Bressi reversed Charles SanMartin into a third-period fall at 285 for a 21-6 Spartan advantage.
 
Ephrata (0-1, 3-3) made a run, picking up forfeits at '6 and 120 and decisions from Todd Dumas and Riley Eidemiller at 126 and 132.
 
Dumas and Eidemiller, the only seniors in Clair's lineup, held off Chance Norris, 7-5, and Zac Martin, 8-5, respectively, to pull the Mounts within three, 27-24.
 
Then Cook, a returning L-L League champion, needed 1:34 to clamp David Donnelly with a power-half at 138.
 
"I kind of worked it in there," Cook said, "and once I got it sunk, he wasn't going anywhere. I made sure of that."
 
Leid needed a little more time at 145, 3:01, to finish off a cross-wrist-and-turk to a bar-and-half on James Welch. The fall gave the spot an insurmountable 15-point lead with two bouts to go.
 
"I wasn't really thinking of (clinching) at the time," Leid said. "Just getting bonus points for the team."
 
"I really wanted to see Tanner wrestle (Ethan) Sipe tonight," Schilling said. "But Finkey did a great job in a great match."
 
Bumping to 152, Sipe met Wil Finkey, who scrambled out the back door off a low ankle shot, came up with a cradle for a 5-point move with 38 seconds left and claimed an 8-5 victory.
 
"Wil absolutely wrestled a great match," Schilling said. "That's what we wanted to see."
 
Freshman Dan Swarr rang down the curtain with a 35-second fall at 160.
 
Aware of how competitive each night in Section Two will be, Schilling observed, "We need these guys to step up like they did tonight every single night."