NEW PARIS - Wearing a first-place medal around his neck and a smile, Chestnut Ridge senior Dan Albright was savoring the moment.
"I could woo[hoo] right now," Albright said, "I'm so excited."
There was a good reason for his joy. Albright's 6-4 decision over Bedford's Michael Brett at 195 and Brad Winegardner's 2-1 win over Chance Williams were key for the Lions in their 34-30 win over the Bisons in the District 5 Duals championship Saturday afternoon at Fisher Gymnasium.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Bedford’s Caleb Grimes (top) tangles with Chestnut Ridge’s Conner Buttry.
"It makes me feel great, actually," Albright said. "I knew I had a tough kid coming into it, but I knew all I had to do was wrestle tough, use my stuff and I'd come out on top. Brad wrestled really tough. His kid was decent, and he battled. Everyone did well."
"We needed a couple more bonus points or one more win," Bedford coach Brian Creps said. "We had our chances at 195 and 220. Whenever they flipped the disk, we knew that's where the chances were to get one extra win. They were great matches, and they came down right to the end."
The win halted the Bisons' five-year run as district champions, and it was the first Ridge title in seven appearances in the championship. Ridge, which beat Berlin Brothersvalley, 45-20, in the semifinals, will open the PIAA Duals on Thursday in Hershey against the District 7 runner-up.
"This has been something we have been thinking about for about 364 days," Ridge coach Greg Lazor said as helped hoist the trophy. "We've always been so close, and Bedford has always been so strong, and they're strong again. It feels really nice to finally win one."
The match actually came down to the last bout. With Bedford, which beat Northern Bedford, 49-27, in the semis, holding a 30-28 lead, Lazor chose top sophomore Trent Crouse over veteran Colby Hillegass to face Kyle Swindell instead of another Crouse-Garrett Thomas matchup.
"Crouse is a boy who won't get rattled," Lazor said. "We felt comfortable with Hillegass in that match, but when you have one of your marquee guys that can go up against one of their guys who has been filling in and out, we just took all of the chance out of it and put in someone we had a lot of faith in."
The move paid off as Crouse built a 5-0 lead, took Swindell down to his back in the second and got the fall in 2:39, sending the Ridge side into celebration mode.
"It would have been great to see Crouse and Thomas one more time," Creps said, "but that's what had to happen in the match."
The interesting part of the move was Crouse didn't know he was going to wrestle until late in the match.
"I had no idea I was going to be the last match," Crouse said. "I thought I was going out against Thomas. I didn't know until Coach came back and told me while Claar and Easter were wrestling. I know Colby is a little bummed out, but I think Coach wanted better for the team."
Bedford (16-3) built a 12-4 lead through the first four weights as Toby Brett pinned Dustin Bence at 145, Tanner Williams beat Kyle Winegardner, 5-0, at 152 and Caleb Grimes scored five third-period points to beat Conner Buttry, 9-4, at 160. Ridge's Jerimiah Zimmerman majored Kenny Collins, 13-1, at 138 to open the meet.
But, then Ridge (20-1) went on a roll. Bradie Bollman (170) pinned Cameron Sheeder, and Tyler Dibert (182) won by forfeit, setting the stage for Albright and Winegardner.
The first period at 195 was filled with flurries, but Albright finally got a takedown with 16 seconds left in the period. Albright added a reversal and takedown in the second for a 6-2 lead.
Brett reversed in the third, and, amid 'Let's go Dan' chants, tried hard to get back points, but Albright avoided danger to win.
"He's a boy you can count on that's going to go hard," Lazor said. "To pick up a big win against Brett, who is also a quality wrestler in the area, that was huge for him."
Winegardner reversed in the second of a scoreless bout, but Williams was given a caution point with 26 seconds left in the period. Winegardner rode him the entire third to earn the win.
"He's the little engine that could," Lazor said. "He's weighing at about 186 pounds wrestling 220, and he battles for us. He's been a great addition. He's been a real pleasant surprise."
Austin Buttry pinned Justin Easter in 2:18 at 285 to give the Lions a 28-12 lead, but the Bisons began another run.
Bedford's Jonathan Gabriel (106) pinned Aaron Burkett in 4:15 before Jake Warren (113) took Sam Shank down with 36 seconds left in overtime to win, 2-0.
Junior Ryan Easter (120) captured his 100th career win by downing Derrick Claar, 5-0, and Garrett Thomas pinned Dustin Ickes in 3:04 to set the stage for the final bout.
The Lions will now get ready for their first trip to the PIAA Duals.
"I have to cancel my dentist appointment Friday," Lazor quipped. "I was there this Friday and they said 'We'll see you next Friday,' and I said 'I hope not.'"
"I'm ready," Albright said. "I just want to go down right now if I could."
CHESTNUT RIDGE 45, BERLIN BROTHERSVALLEY 20
132-C. Miller, BB, maj. dec. Hillegass, 14-1; 138-Bra. Fochtman, BB, maj. dec. Bence, 11-3; 145-Darr, BB, dec. Zimmerman, 5-0; 152-B. Miller, CR, dec. K. Winegardner, 6-4; 160-Bry. Fochtman, BB, dec. C. Buttry, 5-3; 170-Bollman, CR, pinned Moore, :57; 182-Dibert, CR, pinned Pepper, 1:15.
195-B. Winegardner, CR, won by forfeit; 220-Albright, CR, dec. Walker, 3-2; 285-A. Buttry, CR, pinned Collins, 1:48; 106-Burkett, CR, pinned Kiesnowski, 1:28; 113-Shank, CR, pinned DeArmitt, 5:24; 120-Swank, BB, dec. Claar, 4-3; 126-Crouse, CR, pinned Custer, 3:07.
Records: Berlin Brothersvalley (12-3); Chestnut Ridge (19-1).
BEDFORD 49, NORTHERN BEDFORD 27
132-Replogle, NB, pinned Swindell, :40; 138-T. Brett, B, maj. dec. Corle, 11-1; 145-Gartland, NB, dec. Collins, 5-0; 152-T. Williams, B, pinned Bechtel, 2:21; 160-Grimes, B, maj. dec. Kolinchak, 15-5; 170-Douglas, NB, pinned Sheeder, 1:40; 182-M. Brett, B, pinned Claar, :16.
195-Brunner, NB, won by forfeit; 220-C. Williams, B, pinned Ott, 4:27; 285-Grace, NB, pinned Shoemaker, 1:04; 106-Gabriel, B, pinned Defibaugh, 2:52; 113-Warren, B, pinned Childers, 3:27; 120-R. Easter, B, tech. fall Helsley, 15-0, 2:54; 126-Thomas, B, pinned Ebersole, :32.
Records: Northern Bedford (10-6); Bedford (16-2).
CHESTNUT RIDGE 34, BEDFORD 30
138-Zimmerman, CR, maj. dec. Collins, 13-1; 145-T. Brett, B, pinned Bence, :51; 152-T. Williams, B, dec. K. Winegardner, 5-0; 160-Grimes, B, dec. C. Buttry, 9-4; 170-Bollman, CR, pinned Sheeder, :44; 182-Dibert, CR, won by forfeit; 195-D. Albright, CR, dec. M. Brett, 6-4.
220-B. Winegardner, CR, dec. C. Williams, 2-1; 285-A. Buttry, CR, pinned J. Easter, 2:18; 106-Gabriel, B, pinned Burkett, 4:15; 113-Warren, B, dec. Shank, 2-0 OT; 120-R. Easter, B, dec. Claar, 5-0; 126-Thomas, B, pinned Ickes, 3:04; 132-Crouse, CR, pinned Swindell, 2:39.
Records: Bedford (16-3); Chestnut Ridge (20-1).