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Some strategy and timely pins helped the Spartans defeat the Bears, 46-33 on Thursday, January 7, 2015. John Buffone

ELIZABETHTOWN — It was the Bears’ home mat, but thanks to the opening flip it was the Spartans who were calling the shots.

Taking advantage of the right to pair wrestlers in even bouts, Garden Spot head coach Adam Bunting was able to produce the lineup he wanted at middleweight, forcing some untimely Elizabethtown forfeits and eventually pulling away to a 46-33 Section Two victory Thursday evening.

“We wanted the even, we wanted the 182 and 132 spots where they had a couple guys at the same weight,” Bunting said, referencing in particular the option to move senior Chance Norris up from 182.

That strategy paid even bigger dividends when, in the opening bout at 145, Etown elected to forfeit after Spot showed senior Tyler Marburger. Etown would also forfeit 182, allowing Bunting to send Norris into the 195 bout opposite Etown’s David Rich.

Norris opened up a four-point lead before a pin in 1:04 gave Garden Spot a 30-6 lead that the Spartans ultimately wouldn’t relinquish. It also happened to improve Norris’ record to 15-0 on the season, giving him 60 career wins.

“Get Chance where we have confidence he can get a pin for us,” Bunting said. “Hopefully have our inexperienced guy hold down the fort with their inexperienced guy (at 182); they didn’t send anyone out so better yet, we got a forfeit out of it.”

With the win, Garden Spot improves to 4-1 in Section Two and 5-4 overall as the Spartans prep for next week’s home match versus undefeated section foe Manheim Central, a 51-12 winner over Conestoga Valley.

Things also went well for the Spartans even when they didn’t have their more experienced wrestlers on the mat. Sophomore Nate Smucker’s pin at 152 provided the spark Spot would need as they had to offset a trio of their own forfeits in the lower weights.

“It was nice for (Smucker) to set the tone for us,” Bunting said. “I expected him to beat that kid but to get the fall, it was big to start off with that for us.”

After four consecutive forfeits helped Etown close to within 36-30, a pin in 0:54 by Christian Schilling at 126 and Gary Clark’s 14-1 major decision at the aforementioned 132 weight class clinched the match.

Elizabethtown (3-1, 5-4), which travels to Conestoga Valley next week, got pins from Blake Andrews (170) and Josiah Boyer (220), plus Charlie Alessi’s 11-4 decision at 138 to end the night.

It was, however, a night that belonged to Garden Spot.

“Right now we’re more of a tournament team than a dual-meet team,” Bunting said, admitting he hopes his squad can put together a strong showing in both the League and District tournaments.

“If we can get everybody down to the weight they’re supposed to be… we have Manheim Central coming in next week, hopefully we can get some of those guys back for that and stay in the section title hunt. But it will be dependent on having those guys back.”

Improving their chance from the opening flip.

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Garden Spot 46, Elizabethtown 33

at Elizabethtown HS

145 — Tyler Marburger, GS, by forfeit

152 — Nathan Smucker, GS, p. Matthew Geiner, 1:04

160 — Dan Swarr, GS, by injury default, 3:08

170 — Blake Andrews, ET, p. Jacob Zook, 2:47

182 — Travis Fisher, GS, by forfeit

195 — Chance Norris, GS, p. David Rich, 1:04

220 — Josiah Boyer, ET, p. Dennis Jefferis, 2:29

285 — Justin Martin, GS, by forfeit

106 — Luke Snyder, ET, by forfeit

113 — Cameron Olsen, ET, by forfeit

120 — Gabriel Losey, ET, by forfeit

126 — Christian Schilling, GS, p. Jason Trimble, 0:56

132 — Gary Clark, GS, m.d. Dimitri Gonzalez, 14-1

138 — Charlie Alessi, ET, dec. Matt Martin, 11-4

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