LANCASTER-LEBANON LEAGUE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS Streaks end strong
Manheim Twp. earns historic title with an assist from Warwick's Devenney. By Dave Byrne, Sports Staff email@example.com
Tom Devenney is the most popular wrestler at Manheim Township.
Never mind that Devenney wrestles for Warwick.
Devenney's 3-2 sudden victory verdict over Solanco's Bo Spiller in the final bout of the night delivered the Blue Streaks' first Lancaster-Lebanon League team title, Saturday at Conestoga Valley.
The Streaks prevailed by a 1½-point margin over three-time defending champion Solanco -- 199.5-198 -- an outcome in doubt up to the moment, with 37 seconds left in the first overtime period, when Spiller was penalized for his third false start.
Because the one-minute OT is first score wins, the 285-pound championship belonged to Devenney. The team title to Township.
"I never like it when Township wins anything, so it's bittersweet," said Devenney, son of former Blue Streak wrestler Jim Devenney.
He hastened to add, "No, I'm just kidding. To escape with a win at leagues is always a good thing."
You will go years to find a wrestling match end in as bizarre a fashion.
Maybe decades to see a tournament title decided this way.
Going into the finals Township had a half-point lead. When the Golden Mules' Isaac Warren (11-2) took the mat to contest the 152-pound title, Township led by 11½.
Championship efforts from Cortlandt Schuyler (126), Alex Smith (138) and Adam Smith (145) were responsible for much of that bulge.
But Victor Kenderdine's fall in the 113-pound bronze medal match was also a key to the surge.
Warren's 13-8 victory over Garden Spot's Tanner Leid (24-6) closed the gap with Thomas Haines and Spiller waiting in the wings.
Lancaster Catholic's Stephen Loiseau (31-0) denied Township's last chance to get comfortable, decisioning the Streaks' John Shorter (25-10) 5-2 at 182.
Haines (26-1) scored six team points for the Mules, pinning Columbia's Vanyel Leythem-Peterson (23-6) in 1:32 for the 220-pound championship -- his third L-L title in as many tries.
With four falls in 5:55, Haines won the Floyd "Shorty" Hitchcock award for the most falls in the least time.
With half the Township team sitting just behind the Warwick corner, Devenney (19-1) and Spiller traded escapes.
But Spiller (24-4) had been assessed a false start caution in the first period and received another at the outset of the second.
Wrestlers are allowed two cautions. Every caution thereafter is a one-point penalty.
In overtime, in a scramble, Devenney nearly won the match with 37 seconds left, securing a takedown just out of bounds.
When the wrestlers returned to the center circle for the restart, Spiller took an incorrect starting position and was penalized.
Devenney went to school after a 6-5 loss to Spiller on Wednesday.
"I spotted him five points right away; he hit me with a headlock," Devenney said. "I learned to stay inside and not give him the opportunity to throw."
The evening was filled with twists and turns that affected the ultimate outcome.
Scoring three takedowns, Warwick's Devin Schnupp (23-1) carried a 6-4 lead on Solanco's Connor Sheehan into the third period of their 106-pound match.
Instead of taking neutral to begin the period, Schnupp took down. He never got out.
Sheehan (25-4) turned him twice to claim a 9-6 victory and his second L-L title.
Schuyler (31-4) capped an impressive tournament majoring Ephrata's Riley Eidemiller (24-6) 17-5 for his third league championship.
After two runnerup finishes, Alex Smith (28-6) claimed his first title blanking Annville-Cleona's Jeff Inman (26-2) 10-0.
In the only head-to-head meeting between Township and Solanco in the finals, Adam Smith (29-4) tilted Kyle Hammond (20-10) for two points in the second period and added an escape in the third for a 3-0 win.
The Streaks were denied a fourth individual title when CV's Lucas Ortiz shaded returning champion Matt Grossmann (26-7) in a tie breaker, 5-4, at 132.
It was the second OT outcome of the day for Ortiz (26-3), who stopped Garden Spot's returning champion Nick Cook 3-2 in an ultimate tie breaker in the semifinals.
"It was a little tough, knowing I had to hold them [down] to win it," Ortiz said.
"I knew if I got a claw in, or threw a half I could ride [Grossmann] out. It was a challenge."
Conquering that challenge earned Ortiz the coaches' vote as the D. Kenneth Ober Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
Also repeating as champion was Lampeter-Strasburg's Jeff Pickel (26-0), who defended his 195-pound title with a 7-1 win over Hempfield's Jordan Ortiz (23-9).
Winning their first L-L titles, Lucas Ortiz and Warren were joined by four others claiming their inaugural championships.
Warwick's Josh Charles (20-5) scrambled to a sudden-victory takedown and a 6-4 win over Solanco's Austin Laws (18-8) at 113.
Garden Spot's Ben Swarr (29-2) teched out Catholic's Isiah Taltoan (27-4) in 5:48 (17-1) at 170. It was Swarr's third tech of the tourney to go with a fall.
His teammate, Matt Christie (15-12), scored a second period takedown to defeat Penn Manor's Ashton Leschke (24-9) 3-2 at 160.
Ephrata's Todd Dumas won his 100th career match, besting Garden Spot's Chance Norris (24-8) 12-6 for the 120-pound championship.
Dumas (27-3), who won his first three bouts by fall in an aggregate 3:26, took Norris down into a cradle midway through the second period.
The 5-point move broke open a tight match and sent Dumas on his way.
"It was awesome that everybody got to see it [his 100th win]," he said. "My mom was proud. My coach was proud. I tried my best to get this far." n