By Bill Albright
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT -- It was a long and at times rocky road that Line Mountain and Mifflinburg traveled Saturday at Williamsport High's Magic Dome as the Top Hat Wrestling Tournament came to a close.
The Eagles went 3-for-7 in the quarterfinals with wins from Brian Earlston (113), Cameron Newman (120) and Blake Carl (132).
The Wildcats went 2-for-5 in the quarters, as Noah Kuba (126) and Cole Walter (152) registered wins.
Earlston was a winner by fall in 1:59 over Morgan Schwarsberger of Red Lion; Newman majored Kyle Stephens of Tri-Valley 14-2; and Carl also won by a major over Cooper Wagner of Mifflinburg, 15-6.
In the semis, Earlston continued his winning ways with a fall over South Western's Gavin Smith in 2:47. Newman dropped a 5-3 decision to Central Mountain's Keanan Bottof before Carl came up short in a wild 13-10 battle with Steve Shannon of Central Columbia.
In his title bout, Earlston, just a freshman, was pitted against Sammy Hepler of Tri-Valley and the Eagle looked strong in defeating Hepler 9-6 for the title.
"This feels real great knowing that I put the time in over the summer and here it is paying off for me," said Earlston. "He (Hepler) and I work out at the same club sometimes so we have a pretty good idea of what each other does and I think that showed."
For Mifflinburg, Kuba was all over Jersey Shore's Noah Ulmer for an 8-1 quarters win, while Walter continued his domination of the weight class with a 17-2 technical fall over Ryan Ramich of Schuylkill Valley.
In the semis, the 'Cats went 1-for-2 when Kuba was blanked 7-0 by eventual champion Josh Giorgio before Walter posted his third straight technical fall, a 19-4 effort in 6:00 over Dakota Nixon of Muncy.
In his bid for the title, Walter was paired against Calgary Christian's Richie Cerebe and although he had to settle for a 4-0 shutout win for the gold medal, he dominated.