By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
There was little doubt that, with so many holes on both sides, Tuesday night’s nonleague meet between rivals Tri-Valley and Line Mountain would not last long.
But the possible match-ups likely had a lot to do with a large crowd at the Eagles gym.
The wrestlers did not disappoint.
On this night, the outcome — Tri-Valley won 37-21 — was less important than the competition.
The most anticipated bout came at 145 pounds where the fifth- (Line Mountain’s Seth Lansberry) and second-ranked (Tri-Valley’s Blake Bowman) wrestlers in the state according to Off the Mat, did battle.
After a scoreless first period in which both returning state qualifiers had to fight their way out of a takedown, Lansberry escaped early in the second and that 1-0 lead stood as the final score.
But it wasn’t easy for Lansberry, who had to hold the Bulldog standout down for two minutes. A stalemate with 31 seconds left gave Bowman new life, but Lansberry lifted him and planted him back on the mat and ran out the clock.
“I knew I had to get him flat again like I did (earlier in the period), ’’ said Lansberry, a seventh-place state medalist a year ago.
Bowman is a two-time state qualifier.
“He got up real quick and I lifted him and brought him back down and stretched him out and it worked for me.”
The Eagle senior said he was anticipating his matchup with Bowman, with whom he has practiced, but not faced in a match.
The way the first period went was an indication to Lansberry of how the match would go.
“I knew I was going to be in for a grind match the entire time because he’s real strong and a straight-forward kind of guy. He is tough to shoot on and he’s real good on his feet,” Lansberry said.
“I knew I just had to stay low, keep going in and hand fight and do everything I did, and I did it right.”
Lansberry improved to 13-1 and Bowman dropped to 18-4.
Tri-Valley co-coach Ty Rothermel, a former Line Mountain and Bucknell University wrestler, agreed that, in this meet, matchups were important for both teams.
“We didn’t do any ducking. This dual meet, other than pride, doesn’t mean anything and we did as much as we could do to get strength on strength and I think it’s good for the fans,” he said.
“We wanted to let Lansberry and Bowman wrestle. Everyone wanted to see that, and it went pretty much the way I figured it would,” Rothermel said, adding that the two will likely be in different weight classes for the postseason.
“Hopefully both will get onto the podium and get some local flavor back down in Hershey,” he said.
The Bowman-Lansberry bout was one of just seven on the night as each team picked up two forfeit wins and there were two double-forfeits.
Returning PIAA qualifiers also battled at 120 with Tri-Valley’s Caleb Bordner using seven takedowns to knock off Cameron Newman, 18-10. Bordner, a returning eighth-place medalist, was dominating for two periods, but Newman reversed him to his back and got three near-fall points late in the bout.
In another battle of standouts, at 195, Tri-Valley’s Lyle Troutman made a second-period escape stand up for a 1-0 win over Erik Smeltz. Troutman and Smeltz are each ranked No. 14, at 195 and 170, respectively.
Tri-Valley’s No. 3-ranked Ty Schoffstall got a pin at 160, as did his Bulldogs’ teammate, Anthony Snyder (170). Blake Carl (126) got the lone pin for the Eagles (1-4) and it was the sophomore’s first of the season.
In the only other match, Tri-Valley’s Chase Schaeffer reversed Colton Zimmerman in the third period for a 2-0 win at 132. The Bulldogs improved to 6-1.