WESTTOWN — It wasn’t about who was missing, it was about who West Chester Rustin still had left.
Down 25-19, after weathering the storm without state qualifier Dan Labus or freshman Charlie Baldesari, Rustin had it’s top three kids to finish the job.
That is exactly what Tyler Kaliner (152 pounds), Collin Hurley (160) and Ethan Harkins (170) did, scoring 15 points to help the No. 10 Golden Knights knock off No. 7 Neshaminy, 34-25, in the first round of the Class 3A District 1 Duals, Thursday at Rustin.
“I think we knew we were prepared,” Harkins said. “We work super hard in the room and the next guy up is almost just as capable as the varsity guy.”
The Knights will face No. 2 Downingtown West, who breezed by No. 15 Hatboro-Horsham, 51-20, next Friday evening at Upper Dublin in the quarterfinals. No. 13 Great Valley fell victim to No. 4 Boyertown, 52-11, and was eliminated.
Rustin pushed its streak of first of first-round wins to three, winning as the eighth seed last year and 12th the year before.
The Knights gave up just one pin, limiting the damage by the Redskins. Owen Walsh (195) and Zach Jones (220) pulled out early wins, and Josh Viarengo (106) and Nate Johnson (120), who was filling in for Baldesari, scored bonus at the turn of the lineup.
After Neshaminy won three in a row to take a 22-19 lead, Jackson Erb could only muster a 16-5 major decision over Bryan Hess, and the Redskin was docked a point for unsportsmanlike conduct after the match. Despite being down six, Rustin stole the momentum with the moral victory.
“I think these guys have a tendency to surprise me sometimes,” Rustin coach Brad Harkins said. “They rise to the occasion and I’m proud of their effort. They came ready to go to war with one another and that’s exactly what they did.”
Kaliner brought the contest within one with a technical fall, Hurley, who was wrestling just his second match of the season, scored a major and Ethan Harkins finished it with a second-period pin.
“We’ve been dealing with (injuries/illnesses) all year,” Brad Harkins said. “The next guy has to be ready to go. Nate Johnson was ready to go and these guys take pride in those situations, helping the team.”
West will be a different challenge, but now the Knights get into the double elimination part of the tournament with the top four advancing.
The Whippets had little resistance against the Hatters, tallying six pins from Chase Mielnik (182), Joe Shafer (195), Ethan Neimeyer (106), Doug Zapf (126), Nick Lilley (138) and Pat Cusack (160).
“Any time you get to this time of year, anything can happen,” West coach Brad Breese said. “To get out of here with no injuries and with the match pretty much going the way we thought, it’s a good night.”
West will look to get past Rustin to set up a semifinal date with either No. 3 Spring-Ford or No. 6 Owen J. Roberts. The Whippets defeated the Rams, 31-27, earlier this month.
“Next weekend we have to win the matches we have to win,” Breese said. “If we wrestle as well as we can we think we can be in the finals. That’s what the expectation is.”
Great Valley took its lumps but got a taste of what a top team in District 1 looks like, as well as garnering some experience heading towards the postseason.
In the feature bout of the dual, Boyertown’s Jacob Miller scored the lone takedown and staved off Ethan Seeley from a good takedown attempt in the third to win, 3-2.
“All of our guys had tough matches, which is great,” Great Valley coach Mike Semar said. “I was excited for that. We knew on paper we didn’t matchup well with Boyertown, but if that’s one of the best teams in District 1, at least we know we can compete with them.”
West Chester Rustin 34, Neshaminy 25
182- Leinbach (N) maj. dec. Crowe, 13-4 (0-4)
195- O. Walsh (WCR) pinned Magdelinskas, 3:15 (6-4)
220- Jones (WCR) dec. Monaco, 2-1 (9-4)
285- Soska (N) dec. G. Walsh, 4-2 (9-7)
106- Viarengo (WCR) pinned Marion, 1:22 (15-7)
113- Martin (N) dec. King, 3-0 (15-10)
120- Johnson (WCR) maj. dec. Ohler, 10-0 (19-10)
126- Jordan (N) pinned Lourido, 1:36 (19-16)
132- Saba (N) dec. Pratzner, 6-4 (19-19)
138- Natelli (N) dec. Ferraro, 5-0 (19-22)
145- Erb (N) maj. dec. Hess, 16-5 (19-25)*
152- Kaliner (WCR) tech. fall Rienzi, 5:17 (24-25)
160- Hurley (WCR) maj. dec. Spain, 10-2 (28-25)
170- Harkins (WCR) pinned Pascucci, 3:55 (34-25)
*Neshaminy was deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct
Downingtown West 51, Hatboro-Horsham 20
182- Mielnik (DW) pinned Jaffe, 4:33 (6-0)
195- Shafer (DW) pinned Grier, 2:17 (12-0)
220- Madanat (DW) dec. Flynn, 7-3 (15-0)
285- N. Chapman (HH) pinned Cook, 1:48 (15-6)
106- Neimeyer (DW) pinned Barberio, 2:17 (21-6)
113- Tol (HH) won by forfeit (21-12)
120- Negron (HH) dec. Wolf, 3-2 (21-15)
126- Zapf (DW) pinned Smith, 2:26 (27-15)
132- Hanak (DW) maj. dec. Kim, 11-1 (31-15)
138- N. Lilley (DW) pinned Vegas, 1:33 (37-15)
145- Mallon (HH) pinned Hayford, 2:40 (37-20)*
152- G. Hale (DW) maj. dec. Wheeler, 12-4 (41-20)
160- Cusack (DW) pinned P. Chapman, 2:55 (47-20)
170- M. Hale (DW) maj. dec. Needleman, 13-4 (51-20)
*Hatboro was deducted a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct
Boyertown 52, Great Valley 11
182- Miller (BT) dec. Seeley, 3-2 (3-0)
195- Jones (BT) pinned DiSanto, 1:01 (9-0)
220- Rek (BT) pinned Humphreys, 5:53 (15-0)
285- Lafferty (GV) dec. Sonder, 5-1 (15-3)
106- Maldonado (BT) maj. dec. Levin, 19-6 (19-3)
113- Smith (BT) maj. dec. Stahl, 10-2 (23-3)
120- Stehman (BT) maj. dec. Capetola, 18-4 (27-3)
126- Fisher (BT) pinned Thornton, 5:37 (33-3)
132- Hager (BT) maj. dec. Greiser, 9-1 (37-3)
138- Wilson (GV) tech. fall Himes, 4:46 (37-8)
145- Breidor (BT) won by forfeit (43-8)
152- Babb (BT) dec. Paolella, 6-2 (46-8)
160- Mortimer (BT) won by forfeit (52-8)
170- Neale (GV) dec. Sinclair, 5-1 (52-11)
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