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High School Wrestling

Red Land wrestling keeps things simple, closes in on Keystone title with win at Carlisle

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Carlisle Classic 12.JPG

Carlisle’s Mitchell Adams, left, sizes up Conestoga Valley’s Abdoul Akala in their 172 pound match during the finals of the 61st Annual Carlisle Classic wrestling tournament on Saturday evening at Carlisle High School.

Red Land came to Carlisle Wednesday with a mind on keeping things simple, both on the mat and in the Mid-Penn Keystone standings.

Win, and the Patriots would retain their solo spot atop the division, with the opportunity to claim an outright title Thursday. Lose, and they would find themselves part of a four-way tie with no path to an unshared crown.

With that in mind, the Patriots made sure they handled their business against the Thundering Herd, as they racked up bonus points in each of their seven bout victories to claim a 40-31 win over Carlisle at Gene Evans Gymnasium.

Marcus Plever and Connor Stank clinched the match with pins in the final two bouts at 152 and 160, while freshman Kyle Wonders set up the closing kick with a key pin at 133. The five-pin effort gave Red Land the chance to clinch an outright Keystone title Thursday against Hershey.

Mechanicsburg wrestling complicates Keystone Division race with 36-31 win at Carlisle

“Those bonus points were needed,” Red Land coach Brian Baglio said. “When you’re wrestling a team with as much firepower as Carlisle has, you have to get bonus points at other places. We were stressing that all week. We know they are going to get their points where their good kids are, so when we get opportunities we have to seize them.”

The match start at 172 meant both coaches had to make immediate lineup decisions. Carlisle, down two starters due to illness, went with stalwarts Mitchell Adams and Anthony DeAngelo to open the match in an attempt to build a quick lead. Both delivered bonus, with Adams winning by pin and DeAngelo getting a major decision.

Bryce Phillips put the Patriots on the board with a fall at 215, but Layton Schmick registered a fall for Carlisle at 285 to swing things right back to the Herd. Schmick’s win made it 16-6, and left Carlisle looking for points elsewhere to make it stand up.

“We had to make those adjustments,” Carlisle coach Joe Wilson said. “We knew it could put us in a position where we needed to be up by 13 at the end, because they were ending with two of their senior studs that are pinners against two of our JV kids. I’m proud of our kids for going out there and battling, and kudos to (Baglio) and his crew. They had a good game plan tonight.”

Red Land moved ahead with three straight bout wins, getting a pin from Sam Culp at 107, a forfeit at 114, and a major from Garrett Anderson at 121. With the Patriots up 22-16, it was now Baglio’s turn to make a call. The Patriots gave up a forfeit to Andrew Baer at 127, tying the match, and bumped Wonders to 133.

“Kyle has just been chugging along,” Baglio said. “Freshman year, varsity, you’re going to have ups and downs. He’s just been working through it . . . We just thought that (bumping) gave us our best opportunity. Kyle wrestled a great match. His shots were crisp and he kept fighting, and once he got on top, he finished it.”

Wonders went off quick in his bout with Carlisle’s Caleb Hippensteel, notching an early takedown. But Hippensteel escaped, and he got a takedown of this own to take a 3-2 lead into the second. Wonders went neutral and again took Hippensteel down, and this time he kept him on the mat, finishing the pin in 3:35.

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“I feel like neutral is probably my strongest point,” Wonders said. “I stay aggressive and feel like I can get a takedown. I had him broken down and saw his arm close to his head and I went for the cross-face. I was looking for the cradle and he wasn’t giving it to me, so I went for that corkscrew and was able to finish it.”

Carlisle did pull ahead once more, 31-28, on wins by Carter Pedrick and Pete Petsinis. But Plever and Stank had the answer for the Patriots, quickly registering falls to clinch the match.


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