WRESTLING: Good showing: Warren wins emotional match at Eisenhower
In an electric atmosphere at Eisenhower High School, Warren gutted out a 46-30 win on the backs of its inspired wrestlers.
Senior Garrett Smead was cleared to return from a leg injury, but Warren coach Glen Baldensperger was still playing it cautiously with the team captain.
Smead talked his way into the lineup and, with other teammates out, provided a big-time boost.
With Warren trailing 21-18, Smead worked a second-period pin at 170 pounds and the Dragons stayed in the match.
An emotional boost for Warren actually came three matches earlier – even in a loss, said Baldensperger. Junior Seth Johnson was “a game-time decision” to wrestle, and lost at 145 pounds in an overtime rideout at 7:52 to Eisenhower’s Tyler Gourley.
Other than the Gourley-Johnson match and a couple others, it was almost all bonus points, specifically pins.
Warren’s Blake Ristau started with a third-period pin over Julian Colwell at 120 pounds, then Eisenhower’s Steven Haner tied the match at 6-6 at 126 pounds with a third-period pin over Bailey Winslow.
Baldensperger wrestled with his emotions over moving wrestlers around to get Nick DeSimone in the lineup, but due to what the official explained in moving weight classes during the season, he stuck with D.J. Fehlman and Collin DeLattre at 132 and 138, respectively, rather than bumping them to lighter weight classes. Fehlman and DeLattre both earned pins before quite possibly the most exciting match of the night.
Ike’s Gourley took Seth Johnson to overtime for a pin, and Louie Head followed with yet another win for Ike at 152. Eisenhower’s Levi Stanko at 160, along with Cade Hefferman later at 195, earned decisions for the Knights.
“It’s become a real good rivalry,” said Ike coach Greg Gourley. “My guys who were hurt… most are seniors that were hurt this year and this was the one they wanted to go out in. It was senior night, so I allowed them to do that.
“As far as showing guts out on the match, I had to give it to Levi Stanko and Cade Hefferman,” said Gourley. “Both reinjured themselves in the first period, but went the distance, found whatever inside them they needed to find. Even Glenn’s guys, win or lose, they did it with class, and I was glad to see that. Everyone came off the match holding their heads high. Unfortunately, we just fell a little short.”
Warren’s Smead returned from injury to pin John Hummel at 170, and teammate Derek Reagle earned a 32-second pin at 182 over Alex LaBarr. Hefferman’s decision over Stephen Crone at 220 and Seth Brendlinger’s pin over Hunter Egger gave Ike a 30-28 lead again.
Pins from the heavyweight and lightest classes for Warren, in Alex Streich and Alex Weston, put the competitive match away.
“Seth (Johnson) to come back and tie it up 3-3 after being down the whole match… unfortunately he ended up being stuck, but wrestled a hell of a match,” said Baldensperger. “The atmosphere was just outstanding; the student sections were packed… We had Garrett come back with an ankle all taped up and Hefferman and Stanko came out all wrapped up (for Eisenhower). They gutted it out for their team and we gutted it out for us… It’s what high school sports is all about.
“Eisenhower gave it their best effort,” said Baldensperger, whose Dragons host Central Tech at 1 p.m. Saturday at Warren Area High School.
Warren had beaten Ike at the Warren Duals two seasons ago, and lost to the Knights last year. Previous to that, the Knights had won at least five straight over Warren.
Youngsville 49, Maplewood 24
While Warren won at Eisenhower, Youngsville won at Warren.
Due to a scheduling conflict, Youngsville could not host Maplewood in its last dual match at Youngsville High School. But Warren Area High School opened its doors for the Eagles.
“We got moved out of our schedule (due to a) band (event), and it was weird wrestling on a Warren mat, but we want to thank Warren for allowing us to do that,” said Youngsville coach Scott Ishman.
“Two weeks off without a dual match would have been kind of tough,” said Ishman, whose Eagles next compete in the individual post-season at the Section 1-AA Tournament Friday and Saturday of next week at Union City High School. “These seniors have one last night as a team, so I think it was important to do it.”
On the mat, Tanner Burns earned a pin at 138, Jaykup Durlin at 220 and Chandler Flinn at 120. Jeremy Lyons and Nate Lehman had hard-fought decision wins for the Eagles as well.
It was a unique night at Warren Area High School; in addition to the Youngsville wrestling team’s home match there, a school dance was held at a different part of the school – with proceeds benefiting the Durlin family, as the death of Darwin Durlin in a fatal fire recently.