Governor Mifflin tops South Western in District 3 tournament

Nate Murren wants opponents of his South Western wrestling team to know nothing will come easy.

“We want to fight for every point,” he said. “I hope people know we don’t give up stuff (easily).”

The Mustangs had another opportunity to fulfill his goal Thursday in the consolation bracket of the District 3 Class AAA team tournament at Spring Grove.

After South Western advanced with a 40-25 victory over Kennard-Dale in the first round, the YAIAA Division I champs dropped a hard-fought 38-26 match with Berks County champion Governor Mifflin.

The loss left the Mustangs 17-5 for the season and one win short of reaching the PIAA Class AAA team championships next week.

District 3 advances four teams to the state event. Governor Mifflin and Exeter will meet in Saturday’s consolation final while Cumberland Valley and Central Dauphin face off for the championship at Milton Hershey.

The match against the Berks champs went almost as Murren had anticipated.

“(The match) didn’t really surprise me. I knew we had to wrestle (well),” he said. “It didn’t turn out the way we wanted.”

With heavyweight Scotty Dickmyer out of the lineup, Murren moved Seth Janney, his standout 220-pounder, up to heavyweight to face Keith Miller. Miller tipped the scale at the 285-pound limit.

Janney used a big third period to pull out a 7-3 decision and start a streak of four consecutive wins.

Ben Doll (106) and Chase Mowery (113) came up with pins while Derek Wilson (120) turned in a major decision to keep the Mustangs within striking distance at 21-19.

But Governor Mifflin junior Zach Sheetz scored the lone point of the 126-pound match on a third-period escape to win a 1-0 decision over Gavin Smith in a toss-up match South Western needed.

The teams traded victories until Ben Maack pinned South Western’s Tyler Osborne 59 seconds into their 160-pound bout to ice the win for Mifflin.

“I’m happy with my kids,” said Murren. “We wrestled tough competition all year. We really grew together as a team this year.”

In the earlier match, the Mustangs found themselves in a battle with fellow YAIAA squad Kennard-Dale. The Rams held a 22-6 lead after the first six bouts of the match, getting a major decision from Elliot Stauffer (182) and a fall from Harley Eagle (195).

However, South Western was just hitting the strength of their lineup and finished the match with seven wins in the eight remaining bouts.

Only Mike Bracey prevented the Mustangs from closing out the meet with eight straight wins. Bracey earned a tough 4-3 decision over Gavin Smith at 126 pounds, making a third-period escape stand up.

Rams coach Mike Ballestrini knew the YAIAA Division I champions were going to be a tough hurdle to clear for his Division II champions.

“They match up really well with us,” he said. “It came down to South Western and us for the whole league (in team districts). I told them I’m proud of them.”

The loss ends the team season for Kennard-Dale at 14-5 but it included the first-ever division title and initial appearance in the team district event, giving the squad two of its team goals.

“This is the best team by far we’ve had because it is a team,” said Ballestrini. “They’re not complaining when we ask them to work (hard). They got the taste of winning. Kennard-Dale is no longer a whipping post.

“It was a great year.”

South Western 40, Kennard-Dale 25

at Spring Grove

160 — Chris Hurt, KD, dec. Tyler Osborne, 10-6; 170 — Nate Stewart, KD, dec. Mike Harris, 9-4; 182 — Elliot Stauffer, KD, maj. dec. Colby Teal, 15-2; 195 — Harley Eagle, KD, pinned Tommy Aumen, 3:37; 220 — Seth Janney, SW, pinned Tanner Harkins, 0:59; 285 — Cody Gladstone, KD, won by forfeit; 106 — Ben Doll, SW, pinned Cameron Miller, 1:05;113 — Chad Mowery, SW, won by forfeit; 120 — Derek Wilson, SW, maj. dec. over Andrew Barnett, 14-3; 126 — Mike Bracey, KD, dec. Gavin Smith, 4-3; 132 — Owen Wherley, SW, won by forfeit; 138 — Cory Stanton, SW, dec. Wade Rose, 10-3; 145 — Clint Wright, SW, dec. Austin McNamee, 11-7, TB; 152 — Gage Thomas, SW, won by forfeit.

Governor Mifflin 38, South Western 26

at Spring Grove

170 — Dylan Harr, GM, pinned Mike Harris, 2:26; 182 — Carlos Conde, GM, pinned Colby Teal, 2:26; 195 — Wilson Fontenez, GM, dec. Josh Martin, 5-2; 220 — Jan Johnson, GM, won by forfeit; 285 — Seth Janney, SW, dec. Keith Miller, 7-3; 106 — Ben Doll, SW, pinned Alex Centeno, 2:30; 113 — Chase Mowery, SW, pinned Elijah Horst, 1:20; 120 —Derek Wilson, SW, maj. dec. over Robert Karmonick, 9-1; 126 — Zach Sheetz, GM, dec. Gavin Smith, 1-0; 132 — Owen Wherley, SW, dec. Cameron Dotterer, 8-3; 138 — Colin Johnson, GM, maj. dec. over Cory Stanton, 15-5; 145 — Allen Arentz, GM, maj. dec. Clint Wright, 12-4; 152 — Gage Thomas, SW, maj. dec. Dillon James, 20-10; 160 — Ben Maack, GM, pinned Tyler Osborne, 0:59.

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