McMillen earns third D6 crown
Cambria Heights’ Eckenrode also captures title at 189
Glendale’s Brock McMillen has faced stiffer adversity in his young life, including battling a heart condition, but his third District 6 Class 2A Tournament title was certainly no walk in the park.
The two-time state champion had to battle through a nasty cut on his lip that forced three lengthy blood timeouts against Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy’s Amonn Ohl in the 138-pound finals.
“I kind of bit my lip,” McMillen said, “and my mouth kept filling up with blood throughout the match.”
McMillen (13-0) also found it hard to solve the rock-solid defense of Ohl, who seemingly matched the Viking senior in funk rolls to stave off normally highly effective offensive shots.
But in the third period, losing 1-0, McMillen broke through by reversing Ohl to his back for five points en route to an eventual 5-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Altoona Fieldhouse.
The win made McMillen the first three-time district champion in program history.
“I feel real good,” McMillen said. “The kid I wrestled was real scrambly, and I like scrambling too. It was a battle. We were both in on shots and I felt overall like it was a good match. I wrestled well, but I just need to finish shots better.”
The only other champion from the Mirror coverage area was Cambria Heights’ Ian Eckenrode, who captured his first title with a 4-0 win over Huntingdon’s returning district runner-up Myles Baney at 189 in a battle of 2020 state qualifiers.
Glendale’s Zeke Dubler (152) and Suds Dubler (172), Penn Cambria freshman Trent Hoover (113) and Tyrone’s Hunter Walk (120) finished second with losses in the finals.
Eleven area wrestlers qualified for the Southwest Regional Tournament, which is set for Saturday at IUP. Only the top three wrestlers at every weight class advanced to regionals.
Defending District 6 team champion Glendale finished in third place in the team standings with 171 points. Forest Hills won the team title by 16.5 points, 96.5-80, over Penns Valley. Sectional champs Tyrone and Central were sixth and eighth, respectively.
“I think we did all right,” said Glendale coach Brian Storm, who matched Tyrone with four regional qualifiers. “You always like to have a couple matches back in the wrestlebacks, but it’s a tough tournament.”
Tyrone went 3-for-3 in the consolation finals, with Korry Walls (106), Reese Wood (145) and Tommy Hicks (189) placing third.
“I think we did really well as a team,” Tyrone coach Terry Tate said. “The biggest thing is we had three in the third and fourth-place matches, and we went 3-for-3.”
Central’s Andrew McMonagle (160) and Glendale’s Brock Smeal (285) also finished third.
Central had three wrestlers come up a win short with fourth-place finishes in Tyler Biesinger (106), Jaxon Matthews (120) and Ian Crouch (126).
Central Cambria’s Adam McCullough (145) and Ethan Kubat (189), Bellwood-Antis’ Aiden Taylor (160) and Penn Cambria’s Austin Wagner (215) also placed fourth.
McMillen, who is usually harder to take down than a 200-year-old tree, and Ohl (6-2) scrambled throughout the first two periods with respective funk rolls and acrobatic maneuvers. Multiple medical trainers treated McMillen’s cut during his first blood timeout in the first period.
The timeouts slowed down a hectic final round that took just an hour to complete. Four mats were used and the medals presentation was held after the round ended.
In the third period, McMillen nearly gave up back points as he was rolling through from the bottom position. He avoided the nearfall points and later reversed the three-time state qualifier Ohl to his back for a five-point move. Ohl reversed with 8 seconds left, but McMillen avoided any more danger.
“I felt like I could have had a couple takedowns,” McMillen said. “I feel like my defense was good. In the end, I just pulled through. I just ended up in a reversal position and got back points.”
“He had that big cut on his lip, but Brock always finds a way,” Storm said. “Brock wrestles really smart. They both like scrambles. You can see it.”
Eckenrode (13-0) and Baney (8-4) went scoreless through the first period, but Eckenrode reversed in the second period at the 1:29 mark and rode the rest of the period. He reversed again in the third and rode the final 1:38 to earn the shutout.
“It feels pretty good,” Eckenrode said. “I went out and did what I thought I could do. I executed and it worked out. Baney is really good at riding legs, so I knew I’d have to get out of legs to win that match, and I did.”
Hoover, who knocked off Mount Union’s second-seeded Bryce Beatty, 3-1, in the semifinals, was in a scoreless bout with BEA’s returning district champ Coen Bainey when Bainey pinned him at the 3:09 mark.
“He did well,” Penn Cambria coach Todd Niebauer said. “He made one mistake in the finals. It happens, we’re young. We’re surviving to go to next week.”
Zeke Dubler had a pin in the quarterfinals and a 6-4 decision in the semifinals to get to the finals, where he dropped a 3-1 decision to Westmont Hilltop’s Hudson Holbay.
Suds Dubler majored Hunter Holbay, 13-3, in the semifinals, but he was pinned in 1:47 by Penns Valley’s two-time state placewinner Malachi Duvall in the finals.
“The Dublers both had tough finals,” Storm said, “but they wrestled really well. I’m proud of them.”
Walk rolled into the finals with a pin and a major decision, but he ran into a beast in Bishop McCort’s freshman phenom Mason Gibson, who is ranked No. 1 in the country at 120. Gibson rang up a 23-8 technical fall in 2:37 and outscored his three opponents by a combined 70-25.
“He’s pretty tough,” Walk said. “He puts in a ton of time, and it shows. He was quicker. He was stronger.”
“(Walk) wrestled pretty dominant all the way to the finals,” Tate said. “I don’t even know what to say about Gibson. I don’t know that I’ve seen anybody like him. He seems like he has an answer to just about everything.”
Notes: Tyrone’s coaching staff was named District 6 Staff of the Year. … Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut was named Man of the Year. … Forest Hills coach Jake Strayer was named Coach of the Year and his 132-pound champion Jackson Arrington was voted the Outstanding Wrestler.
KEY, TEAM STANDINGS
1. FH–Forest Hills 96.5; 2. PV–Penns Valley 80; 3. G–Glendale 71; 4. BEA–Bald Eagle Area 64.5; 5. PO–Philipsburg-Osceola 61; 6. T–Tyrone 59.5; 7. H–Huntingdon 50.5; 8. C–Central 44; 9. MC–Marion Center and WH–Westmont Hilltop 42; 11. WB–West Branch 39.5; 12. R–Richland 35.5; 13. PC–Penn Cambria 35; 14. SJ–St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy 34.5; 15. CH–Cambria Heights 26; 16. CC–Central Cambria 23; 17. BM–Bishop McCort 22.5; 18. MU–Mount Union 19.5; 19. BA–Bellwood-Antis 7; 20. CK–Claysburg-Kimmel and BL–Blairsville 3; 22. JV–Juniata Valley 2; 23. SH–Southern Huntingdon 1.
106–Bainey, WB, tech. fall M. Beatty, MU, 16-1, 5:27; Fye, BEA, dec. Walls, T, 2-0; 113–Bainey, BEA, pinned DiPaola, FH, 1:16; Hoover, PC, dec. B. Beatty, MU, 3-1; 120–Walk, T, maj. dec. Gable, PO, 13-3; Gibson, BM, tech. fall Campbell, G, 21-6,
2:06; 126–Gilham, BEA, tech. fall Zukus, R, 18-3, 5:54; Toth, FH, dec. Crouch, C, 6-0; 132–Arrington, FH, tech. fall Watson, PV, 19-4, 4:00; Witmer, SJ, maj. dec. Mangus, R, 14-2; 138–McMillen, G, pinned Foster, PO, 1:49; Ohl, SJ, pinned Dunn, WH, 2:28; 145–Warshel, R, pinned Hughes, PO, 4:46; Flinn, FH, dec. Wood, T, 4-1
152–Z. Dubler, G, dec. Stewart, MC, 6-4 OT; Hud. Holbay, WH, pinned McCloskey, PC, :23; 160–Weyandt, FH, tech. fall McMonagle, C, 16-0, 4:40; Weitoish, PO, dec. Taylor, BA, 7-0; 172–DuVall, PV, pinned Hajzus, CC, :53; S. Dubler, G, maj. dec. Hun. Holbay, WH, 13-3; 189–Eckenrode, CH, pinned Hicks, T, 2:11; Baney, H, dec. Kubat, CC, 6-4; 215–Deline, H, pinned Wagner, PC, 2:36; Yingling, WB, pinned Weakland, CH, 2:45; 285–Beatty, MC, pinned Smeal, G, 3:54; Sharer, PV, pinned Quick, CC, 1:44.
106–Bainey, WB, dec. Fye, BEA, 7-5; 113–Bainey, BEA, pinned Hoover, PC, 3:09; 120–Gibson, BM, tech. fall Walk, 23-8, 2:37; 126–Toth, FH, dec. Gilham, BEA, 3-0; 132–Arrington, FH, pinned Witmer, SJ, 4:30; 138–McMillen, G, dec. Ohl, SJ, 5-3; 145–Warshel, R, maj. dec. Flinn, FH, 12-4
152–Hud. Holbay, WH, dec. Z. Dubler, G, 3-1; 160–Weyandt, FH, dec. Weitosh, PO, 7-2; 172–DuVall, PV, pinned S. Dubler, G, 1:47; 189–Eckenrode, CH, dec. Baney, H, 4-0; 215–Deline, H, pinned Yingling, WB, 1:26; 285–Beatty, MC, pinned Sharer, PV, :56.
Outstanding Wrestler: Jackson Arrington, Forest Hills. Coach of the Year: Jake Strayer, Forest Hills
106–Walls, T, dec. Beisinger, C, 6-5; 113–B. Beatty, MU, maj. dec. DiPaola, FH, 13-4; 120–Gable, PO, pinned Matthews, C, 2:59; 126–Darlington, PV, pinned Crouch, C, 4:21; 132–Watson, PV, pinned Mangus, R, 1:53; 138–Foster, PO, pinned Teeter, FH, 2:31; 145–Wood, T, dec. McCullough, CC, 4-2
152–Stewart, MC, pinned Wolfe, PV, 4:43; 160–McMonagle, C, dec. Taylor, BA, 7-0; 172–Hun. Holbay, WH, pinned Proctor, BEA, :57; 189–Hicks, T, dec. Kubat, CC, 8-5; 215–Moore, PO, dec. Wagner, PC, 3-0; 285–Smeal, G, pinned Singleton, H, 3:39.