Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Spartans share title in Two Defeat CV, create three-way draw Spartans share title in Two BY DAVE BYRNE, Sports Staff
Ofttimes the outcome of a contest rests in the actions of the unlikeliest of heroes.
So it was Wednesday evening in New Holland as, five weeks after breaking from the gate, the sprint that is the L-L League wrestling season crossed the finish line.
And what a finish.
Garden Spot forced a three-way tie for the Section Two title, defeating visiting Conestoga Valley 32-27.
The victory dropped the Buckskins (6-1 league, 12-5 overall) out of sole possession of first place, elevating the Spartans (6-1, 13-4) and Manheim Central (6-1, 9-5) --a 74-3 winner Wednesday over Elizabethtown -- into the championship deadlock.
Shared title or no, the championship is CV's first-ever section crown. An accomplishment that will gain appreciation as time moves forward.
"It just doesn't taste the same when you're not in sole possession of it," offered Bucks coach Trent Turner.
"It doesn't take away from a good season. There's such a fine line between a good season, which we're having, and a great season. We wanted to make it a great season."
With Garden Spot leading by 11 with three bouts to go -- and the probability that the Bucks would take the final two bouts, scoring bonus points in the process -- the spotlight fell on CV sophomore Michael Kneisley (8-13) and Spartan junior Mike Bressi (9-6), the adversaries at 220 pounds.
After a scoreless first period, Kneisley hook-rolled Bressi into a reversal.
Kniesley controlled the action for 40 seconds, but as they grappled towards the outer circle, Bressi secured Kneisley's wrist and rolled Kneisley to his back.
"It just came to me, from out of nowhere," Bressi said.
With both wrestlers right on the edge, Bressi adjusted to keep himself, and Kneisley, in bounds.
"I knew I had to stick him, that was the mission," he said.
Kneisley battled, but his fate was ordained.
"It came down to ... he had to do it," said Spartans coach Brian Schilling, "and Bressi pulled it out. Good for him."
With the evening beginning at 113 pounds, the Spartans jumped to an early 17-0 advantage on Tyler Marburger's technical fall, Chance Norris' fall and decisions from Zac Martin and Nick Cook.
Cook (21-1) prevailed in a scuffle with freshman Lucas Ortiz (22-3), with the result turning on a dump executed by Cook halfway through the first period.
The Bucks' Nate Musser (22-4) scored three takedowns to subdue Alex Aharonian (7-2), 8-3, at 138, putting CV on the board.
"We started with our strength," Schilling said. "The matchups could've gone either way at the very end (and) we built the lead we knew we needed."
Will Finkey's fall at 145 made it 23-3 Spot and Tanner Leid (18-3) was two seconds away from closing out a 3-2 win when Zach Cain (18-10) hit a single-leg shot at the edge, gaining control just before the buzzer.
"I'm not going to lie," said Schilling, "we were re-calculating right there, trying to figure out where we were going to turn it around."
The win sparked the engine room of CV's lineup as J.P. Kramer, Ryan Brooks and Zach Fox made it four decisions in a row.
Ben Swarr (21-1) blunted the momentum, topping Chris Orantes (18-7), 8-2 at 195, setting the stage for the finish.
"Ben ... got his job done," Bressi shared, "and then it was my turn. I couldn't let my teammates down."
Despite victory being out of reach, CV finished with a flourish as Joey Bragg (285) and Jose Morales (106) scored falls.