Spring-Ford sent out of PIAA Class AAA Duals by General McLane

HERSHEY — The number 1 came up quite often Friday.

Too many times for Spring-Ford, as it turned out.

The Rams were dogged by that digit through their second match at the PIAA Class AAA Duals tournament. They were one loss away from elimination after being handled by Franklin Regional Thursday, 49-18.

They saw a couple bouts against General McLane go the other way by that slimmest of margins, too. One of those one-pointers, coming after it mounted a rally down the stretch to get within one point of a comeback, ended up the streak-breaker in Spring-Ford’s 29-25 loss to the Lancers. That left the Rams two-and-out at the Giant Center.

“We’ve fought hard all year,’ Spring-Ford head coach Tim Seislove said. “Losing that match leaves us with a sour taste in our mouths. We let that one get away.’

The District 1 third seed Rams (22-4), which beat Exeter Tuesday to advance to Hershey, found themselves in a considerable hole after nine bouts, McLane scoring 23 unanswered points off a six-weight run. A pin and technical fall were the big scores for the District 10 champs as they effectively erased Spring-Ford’s initial 7-3 lead.

“We knew they were strong in the middle,’ Seislove said. “I was hoping we could get one or two in there, but they swept from 138 to 170.’

Spring-Ford’s promising start featured Ryan Hayes’ 15-4 major decision of GM’s Carmine Ciotti in the 120-pound opener, and Jonathan Westlake posting a 6-2 decision at 132. But the Lancers took charge at that point, cutting the Rams’ lead to one point after 138 and going ahead at 145.

The locals faced their first one-point heartbreaker at 182, where Steven Rice was edged by McLane’s Kyle Suit 3-2. Their next one came in the 113-pound finale, where a third-period escape was the difference in Leno Ciotti’s narrow 1-0 win over Jimmy Frank.

“I thought we had an advantage at the end,’ Seislove said, “but you can’t get that far down. You can’t put it all on Jimmy Frank.’

To their credit, the Rams made it a contest by taking the four weights between 195 and 106. That took a considerable bite out of GM’s lead, reducing it from 26-10 to 26-25 prior to the finale.

Ryan Yanulevich started it off with an 8-6 decision of Riley Vaughn at 195, six third-period points enabling the Ram sophomore to overtake Vaughn’s 3-2 lead. Brendan Zimmie followed with a pin at 220, his body-pressing of Ian Mallory at 4:51 getting the deficit down to 10 points.

Zach Dorsey then blanked Kendrick Storm-Bailey at 285, scoring all the points in his 4-0 decision in the second period. Brandon Meredith then dominated the Lancers’ Tony Damore, a body press combination good for the slap at 2:01.

The 113-pound capper had the Spring-Ford fans on the edge of their seats, Frank and Ciotti going scoreless through the first two periods. Try as he did, though, Frank was unable to get the pivotal takedown that could have secured a different fate for the Rams.

“I hope the kids got a taste for being here,’ Seislove said, “and it motivates them to get back here for the individual (tournament).’

NOTES — The Rams have one more Pioneer Athletic Conference dual with Upper Perkoimen prior to next weekend’s league tourney. “Upper Perk will be no easy feat,’ Seislove said. “We have to get back and regroup.’ … The Spring-Ford coaching staff confirmed Frankie Krauss is two wins, not one, away from the 100-victory mark for his scholastic career. When he reaches the mark, Krauss will follow in the footsteps of Hayes, who hit the century mark during the Rams’ Tuesday duel with Exeter.

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