First Posted: 2/25/2014
Austin Harry, Brady Butler and Derek Dragon – and the Lake-Lehman team as a whole – returned to the top of District 2 Class AA wrestling with their performances Feb. 21 and 22 at the Kingston Armory.
Bobby Wright joined them there.
Harry, Butler, Dragon and Wright made Lake-Lehman the only team – in Class AA or AAA – to have four individual champions and helped the Black Knights compile 161 points for the team championship.
The Black Knights needed every one of their wins. If any of the four champions lost along the way, or if any of the other Lake-Lehman individuals dropped any of the bouts where they produced bonus points, it would have been enough for Meyers (159) or Western Wayne (158) to claim the championship.
Instead, for the third straight season, Lake-Lehman won the team scoring title of the district individual tournament after losing the district dual meet tournament championship match to Western Wayne.
A shortage of wrestlers made that task tougher than ever this year. Lake-Lehman filled just nine of 14 weight classes, but got at least two wins from each of its wrestlers to pull out the championship.
“We really wanted to win it this year because we won it the last two years,” said Wright, a senior who lost in the district final last season. “We didn’t think we’d be able to do it because of some of the guys we were missing, so winning it was awesome.”
Wright was the only one who needed four wins to take his championship because of the number of competitors in his 160-pound weight class.
After three straight first-period pins, Wright battled past Johntae Nelson of Meyers, 9-6, in a championship round meeting of two teams still trying to claim the title.
“You think about it all the time, all season,” Wright said of becoming a district champion.
Wright said wrestling room workouts with the other three district champions helped him get to that point.
Harry won his fourth district title, picking up his 150th career win in the process.
“Four district titles has always been a goal of mine, ever since I was young,” Harry told The Times Leader after beating Wyoming Area’s Kendrick Beyer, 13-5, in the 132-pound final.
Harry had wrestled just 46 seconds, winning his semifinal by pin, prior to the championship match at a weight that had just six entrants. He is the 26th wrestler in district history to claim four titles and the ninth to post at least 150 wins.
Butler made it to the final with two straight pins then repeated with a 13-5 major decision over Lackawanna Trail’s Trent Phillips at 182.
Dragon, a junior, pinned all three opponents, finishing off Derek Fisher of Nanticoke with 14 seconds left in the 170-pound final.
Lake-Lehman also had two other finalists who advanced to join the four champions at this weekend’s Class AA Northeast Regional in Williamsport.
Freshman Rodney Driscoll was second at 113 and Phillip Hettes was second at 195.
Sophomores Tyler Kolb (145) and Thomas Williams (152) were fifth and Tyler Long, another sophomore, was sixth at 220.
Connor Martinez (170) and Ryan Monk (285) won titles to help Dallas finish sixth out of 16 teams in Class AAA, which was won by Wyoming Valley West.
Martinez had to work hard for his title. He defeated West Scranton’s Patrick Cooper, 2-1, in the semifinals then outlasted Kevin Wesolowski of Pittston Area, 6-3, in overtime.
Monk pinned his first two opponents in a combined 35 seconds, then ran into similar challenges in the last two rounds. He shut out Pat Pilch of Coughlin, 2-0, in the semifinals and pinned Kamron Van West of West Scranton, 49 seconds into overtime of the final.
The Mountaineers advanced four wrestlers to this weekend’s Class AAA Northeast Regionals in Bethlehem with top-four finishes.
Sophomore Cole Dixon made it at 182 where he went 5-1 in the tournament to finish third. Dominic Oliveri was fourth at 195.
John Hutchins added a fifth-place finish at 220 while Justin Hutchins (113) and Logan Brace (160) were sixth.
Tunkhannock finished 11th in Class AAA, led by Ben Siegel’s runner-up finish at 145.
Jake Richards was fourth at 120 to reach regionals and Dakota Quick was fifth at 126, falling just short.