By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Mike Martz knew he was taking his team into battle with about as much chance as Gen. George Custer at Little Bighorn.
Lewisburg was getting 24 free points via forfeit, plus the Green Dragons had three wrestlers who were likely to get pins.
Yes, 42 points is too much to overcome, but No. 13 seed Line Mountain fought valiantly before falling 45-28 Wednesday night in a first-round match in the District 4 Class AA Duals Tournament to the No. 4 Dragons.
The loss ends the Eagles' regular season at 9-9 while Lewisburg (18-4) advances to the quarterfinals at 11 a.m. Saturday in Milton versus No. 12 Hughesville (12-9). The Spartans, who beat the Dragons 57-18 two weeks ago, topped No. 5 Wyalusing 39-26.
Martz knew this was the end of the line for his team until the individual post-season, but he was glad to get the opportunity for his young team.
Lewisburg assistant coach Mike Brown, subbing for Jim Snyder, who was out of town on business, said, "(The Eagles) came to wrestle and I give them credit for that. I knew they would.
"It's hard, when you're looking at all those holes, to keep your kids up and focused because some of them know they're not wrestling and it can suck the other ones down with them," Brown added.
Lewisburg won the meet despite posting only four wins on the mat.
Helping the Green Dragons pull away were pins by Kyle Santorine, in the opening bout at 285 pounds, Max Reed at 160 and Brandon Smith, to close out at 220.
"I thought our guys wrestled hard tonight," Brown said.
In between, however, the visitors gave their fans plenty to applaud along with optimism for the post-season and next year.
With the Eagles trailing 12-0, Line Mountain sophomore Cameron Newman, a returning state qualifier made a second-period reversal stand up to edge Brian Friery at 113 to improve to 25-6. Friery, a freshman, came in at 22-2.