SPRING GROVE - It was an unfortunate reversal of fortune for the Shippensburg wrestling team Thursday during the second night of the District 3 Class 3A TeamChampionships.
After winning two matches Tuesday to get into the semifinals, the Greyhounds lost twice Thursday to see its team season come to a close.
First, Exeter Township defeated Shippensburg 38-23 in the semis. Then, the Greyhounds dropped a 52-15 decision to Cumberland Valley in a consolation match that determined the last team to qualify for the state tournament.
Shippensburg coach Tony Yaniello said that the Greyhounds, who advanced well beyond their No. 11 seeding would have implied, did not wrestle poorly, but they may have been worn down.
“We wrestled tired,” Yaniello said. “I tried not to work them at all on Wednesday. We wrestled tired, but they were ready to wrestle.”
The problem for Shippensburg (11-4) was that its opponents were also ready to wrestle, and came in with differing levels of advantage over the Hounds.
“Cumberland Valley was better than us,” Yaniello said. “Exeter, I think, was just a little better than us. I think the best four teams are moving on.”
Cedar Cliff and Central Dauphin were the other teams to qualify for states. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds will try to gain from the experience of four district team tournament matches.
“For our kids to win things like this, we have to learn from this,” said Yaniello, who also said that he has only four seniors competing.
Shippensburg won the first two weight classes against Exeter (21-1), with John Adams taking 126 with a 13-6 decision over Brandon Barton and Chandler Olson pinning David Wenting at 132.
However, Exeter won the next seven bouts to go up 32-9. But Yaniello felt that there were a couple toss-up contests that just did not go his team's way.
“If you look at the Exeter match, at 138 and 152, we lost a couple matches we could have won,” Yaniello said. “We had the initial takedowns and they came back. But that's why they're 21-1.”
The Greyhounds' heavyweights made it interesting again. At 220, Cole Forrester won against Jon Greenleaf, 5-2. Then at 285, Cameron Tinner earned a tech fall against Oscar Daniels, 16-1.
Jeffrey Russell won 106 for Shippensburg, 12-9, though he had an apparent pin waved off for an illegal hold. Russell also suffered a right shoulder injury that prevented him from wrestling in the later match against Cumberland Valley.
Russell's win made it 32-20 with two bouts to go, so the Greyhounds were still in it. But Ryan Watts picked up the clinching pin for Exeter against Colton Runshaw in 1:32 in the 113 match.
Against CV (14-4), Olson had a pin against Jacob McKenzie in 1:40 of the 132 match. The only other wins for the Hounds were a 12-5 decision for Forrester at 220 against Galen Witmer and a forfeit victory for Tinner at 285.
“We knew Cumberland Valley would be good,” Yaniello said. “And we didn't match up well with them.”