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Northern Lebanon wrestling falls in state final

HERSHEY – Northern Lebanon made it to the PIAA Class 2A team wrestling finals on Saturday afternoon by beating three district champions in a row.

Reynolds, however, was having none of it.

The Raiders, the District 10 champions, defeated the Vikings 54-18 in the championship match at Giant Center by winning 11 of the 14 bouts.

“They put a good wrestler our there all 14 weights,” Northern Lebanon head coach Rusty Wallace said. “Not many teams can do that.”

There were a few highlights for the Vikings (21-4), as Luke Funck, Trevor Leonard and Blaise Bressler all earned pins in the biggest dual match of the year.

Funck opened the match in the 182 bout, and earned a fall over Bryce McCloskey in 4:34. But the Raiders (23-0) won the next seven weights to go up 34-6 and take most of the drama out of the contest.

Leonard won the 132 match with a fall in 1:14 against Hunter Michaels, but Reynolds' Cole Matthews followed with a pin in 1:07 against Zack Kelly. That made it 40-12 with four bouts left, clinching the match and the fourth state gold medal in the Raiders' program history

“We strive to be like a Reynolds, a team that makes it here every year,” Wallace said. “You want to work until your idols become your rivals.”

Blaise Bressler added his pin in the 152 match, taking 1:06 to beat Ben Wilcox.

Though it would not have turned the team result, Northern Lebanon did drop a couple of close decisions.

At 120, Colin Leonard was down 16-8 in the final moments of his match with Andrew Ischo. Leonard got a reverse and two near-fall points in the last five seconds, but could not quite get the pin and settled for a 16-12 loss.

At 145, Steve Herb dropped a 3-2 decision to Chaise Hauck.

“There's really no holes in their lineup, so you look at the positives,” Wallace said. “Steve Herb wrestled a guy who placed in states last year and still had a chance in the last seconds.”

Reynolds was picking up too many bonus points for Northern Lebanon to keep it close, even if the Vikings had stolen the above decisions.

At 106, Cole Bayless pinned Brandon Breidegan in 41 seconds. Just after that, Adam Wilcox pinned Kyle Anspach in 1:42 during the 113 match.

Other pins for the Raiders included Gage Bayless felling Chase Bressler in 26 seconds of the 126 bout and Joel Leise downing Luis Negerios in 2:27 of the 170 bout.

Two other wins for the Raiders were by technical falls. Cole Rickert beat Kyle Sonnen at 285 in 2:58 with a 17-1 score, and Gavin Wilkerson beat Ethan Herb at 160 in 3:54 by a 16-1 score.

At 195, Evan Price earned an 11-1 major decision over Hunter Wallace 11-1. Derrick Sheehan followed that up with another major decision, 10-0 over Maxx Emborsky. That put the Raiders ahead to stay, 8-6 after three bouts.

Reynolds 54, Northern Lebanon 18

106 — Cole Bayless, Reynolds, pinned Brandon Breidegan, :41.

113 — Adam Wilcox, Reynolds, pinned Kyler Anspach, 1:42.

120 — Andrew Ischo, Reynolds, dec. Colin Leonard, 16-12.

126 — Gage Bayless, Reynolds, pinned Chase Bressler, :26.

132 — Trevor Leonard, Northern Lebanon, pinned Hunter Michaels, 1:14.

138 — Cole Matthews, Reynolds, pinned Zack Kelly, 1:07.

145 — Chaise Hauck, Reynolds, dec. Steve Herb, 3-2.

152 — Blaise Bressler, Northern Lebanon, pinned Ben Wilcox, 1:06.

160 — Gavin Wilkerson, Reynolds, tech. fall Ethan Herb, 16-1, 3:54.

170 — Joel Leise, Reynolds, pinned Luis Negerios, 2:27.

182 — Luke Funck, Northern Lebanon, pinned Bryce McCloskey, 4:34.

195 — Evan Miller, Reynolds, m. dec. Hunter Wallace, 11-1.

220 — Derrick Sheehan, Reynolds, m. dec. Maxx Emborsky, 10-0.

285 — Cole Rickert, Reynolds, tech. fall Kyle Sonnen, 17-1, 2:58.

Watch: Northern Lebanon wrestling, PIAA Championship match
Check out highlights from Northern Lebanon's PIAA championship match on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017.
Video by Patrick Blain, for