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NL's Kelly, Funck capture district titles

HERSHEY – Northern Lebanon had two individual district champions and earned the team championship at the District 3 Class 2A wrestling championships at Giant Center on Saturday.

The Vikings scored 156 points, comfortably ahead of second place Newport's 136 points. Luke Funck and Zack Kelly both won their weight classes for Northern Lebanon.

Funck won his second straight district championship in the 182-pound weight class with an 8-5 decision over Devin Evans of Susquehanna Twp.

Funck (43-3) scored three takedowns to take a 6-3 lead after two periods, then got an escape in the opening 10 seconds of the third period to go up 7-3. Evans (29-6) was penalized for a hand to the face to allow Funck to go up 8-3.

“I went into the match knowing if I wrestle him on the edge, I could get takedowns with him diving out of bounds,” Funck said.

Though Evans did eventually earn a take down, it was with four seconds left and Funck has safely secured the gold medal.

“The main point of the match in the postseason is to keep on moving through, which I did, but I'm a little disappointed I let him get that takedown late,” Funck said.

In addition to his two district gold medals, Funck was also second in 160 as a sophomore and fourth at 145 as a freshman.

Kelly scored two near fall points in the last two seconds of the third overtime to win the 138 championship bout 3-1 over Devin Martin of Middletown.

“I did pretty good at outlasting my opponent, no matter how far up or down I was,” Kelly said of his district tournament, though it seemed to apply to the final match especially well.

That match was scoreless through the first period. Kelly (39-8) picked up an early escape point in the second period, and Martin (23-7) did the same in the third period. After a scoreless first overtime, Kelly was unable to escape from Martin in the second extra period, despite getting to his feet twice in the 30-second session.

However, Kelly never let Martin get in position to escape in the third overtime, and nearly got near fall points earlier in the period. The official waved his hand for one second, in the middle of the overtime, but did not reach two seconds in a row until just before the buzzer.

“I knew it was pretty close, but I didn't know exactly what [the time remaining] was,” said Kelly, was third at last year's district meet.

Kelly had beaten Martin by pitfall at the sectional tournament last week.

The Vikings' Trevor Leonard dropped a 12-7 decision to Gabe Miller of Pequea Valley in the 132 final.

It was a tough matchup for Leonard (39-12), but he stayed even with Miller (37-0) through the first half of the match. Though Miller took a 4-0 lead, Leonard pulled a quick reversal that turned into a couple near fall point to tie it 4-4 after one period.

They exchanged reversals in the second period for a 6-6 tie, but then Miller started to take control of the bout. The Brave sophomore scored a reversal and two near fall points at the end of the period to go up 10-6.

Leonard was able to get a quick escape in the third period but never got a chance to score again.

Last year, Leonard was also the runner up at districts.

Kyler Anspach and Colin Leonard each won third place matches. Anspach beat Ethan Paul of Upper Dauphin 8-4 at 106, and Leonard beat Caleb Bentley 2-0 at 120.

Hunter Wallace dropped the 220 third place match, getting pinned by Walker Klinger of Newport in 2:14.

Kyle Sonnen won a the fifth place match against Damon James of Boiling Springs 8-3.

In the 170 fifth place match, Ethan herb lost 8-2 to Zack Martin of Boiling Springs.

Before the first, third and fifth place matches took place, Class 2A had seventh place matches. Alex Puglio of Elco won the 120 match with an 8-5 decision over Shane Strausser of Hamburg, and Luis Negrerios of Northern Lebanon won the 160 match with a 1-0 decision over Nick Kostyak.

Three other Lebanon County wrestlers lost seventh place matches by pitfall: Brandon Breidegan of Northern Lebanon at 113, Hayden Funck of Annville-Cleona at 126, and Maxx Emborsky of Northern Lebanon at 195.

Class 3A: Palmyra's Leo Higgins lost a third place match to Emorson Wentz of Cedar Cliff 10-2 at 182.