Sil­s­ley’s pin helps NC stay per­fect

Fresh­man seals deal in fi­nal bout; Ea­ton out­lasts Strand in OT

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By WIL­LIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

RIDGELY — Robin Ea­ton had worked the num­bers, and the re­sult wasn’t adding up in the home team’s fa­vor.

Hold­ing a six-point lead, North Car­o­line High needed to avoid get­ting pinned in Fri­day night’s fi­nal bout against Eas­ton to dodge fall­ing into a tie and the sub­se­quent, multi-lay­ered tiebreaker cri­te­ria. A Bull­dog as­sis­tant, Ea­ton had al­ready de­duced that cri­te­ria — after mov­ing past the ini­tial tiebreak­ers — weighed in fa­vor of the War­riors, who had scored first in eight of the 13 matches wres­tled.

That lit­tle tid­bit was with­held from fresh­man Rhian Sil­s­ley, who while spot­ting a friend pass­ing be­hind Car­o­line’s bench, pointed to him­self as if to say, “It’s on me,” then re­ceived in­struc­tion from his coach.

“I just told him, ‘If you don’t get pinned, we win the dual meet,’” North Car­o­line head coach Tim Frey said. “‘Just go wrestle. Don’t try to do any­thing out of what you nor­mally do. Just be ba­sic. Just do the things you do.’”

Sil­s­ley did just that, scor­ing a take­down be­fore slowly work­ing a

pin­fall over Zach Danels with 27 sec­onds re­main­ing in the first period of their 126-pound bout, help­ing North Car­o­line re­main un­beaten with a 45-33 vic­tor y.

“I knew I needed a win for my team,” Sil­s­ley said. “I tried to just push it aside be­cause I knew if I over­thought it, it’d be in my head, and I wouldn’t be able to fol­low through and win it.”

Sil­s­ley worked a take­down in the open­ing minute. Danels ap­peared to try a sit-out, was taken to his back briefly, then rolled back up be­fore Sil­s­ley tried hit­ting a half nel­son. Danels again tried rolling through but got caught in a head­lock that led to a fall in 1:33.

“I just had to keep push­ing, keep putting pres­sure on him,” Sil­s­ley said. “When we started to get down to the end, I was pretty sure I was go­ing to be able to get (back) points at least. At one point I had him on his back and I was look­ing at the ref, and I was just try­ing to wait for it to end. But up un­til that point I was just try­ing to wrestle.”

Up un­til that point, Frey wasn’t sure if his team was go­ing to keep its un­beaten record in­tact. Two days after los­ing 120-pound starter Ryan Bauer to a knee in­jury, North Car­o­line’s long­time head coach watched Eas­ton (7-2) build an 18-6 lead with three falls in the first four matches, in­clud­ing Sam Wo­ertz’s pin of Bran­don McIn­tyre in the opener at 132.

“The point that put us in trou­ble was the first match, with Bran­don get­ting pinned,” Frey said. “I didn’t think that was go­ing to hap­pen. We were plan­ning on Bran­don win­ning. When that hap­pened we had to change a few things.”

Eas­ton’s Dar­rin Moon got the first take­down of the 132-pound match, but Seth Lay­ton got the pin in 3:47 to even the score, 6-6. Eas­ton’s Josh Valdez (145) and Colby Palmer (152) notched the first take­downs of their bouts, Valdez get­ting a fall over Tren­ton Hil­lard just as the first-period buzzer sounded, and Palmer pin­ning Cody Holder with 24 sec­onds re­main­ing in the sec­ond period.

But the War­riors’ 12-point cush­ion soon evap­o­rated, Car­o­line win­ning six con­sec­u­tive matches — 160 to 285 — for a 33-point swing and a 3918 lead.

Tyler Ri­ley held a 10-3 lead be­fore pin­ning Eas­ton’s Jeremiah Gard­ner with 30 sec­onds left in the 160-pound match. Un­beaten Tyler Bauer re­ceived a for­feit at 170 be­fore Alex Grable’s 29-sec­ond fall over Zach Paugh at 182 pushed the Bull­dogs ahead to stay at 24-18.

North Car­o­line’s Alex Ea­ton and Eas­ton’s Zach Strand then en­gaged in one of the pure power strug­gles of the Bay­side Con­fer­ence season at 195.

After a score­less first period, Strand took down to start the sec­ond and es­caped with just four sec­onds elapsed for a 1-0 lead. The Eas­ton senior clung that lead un­til 1:05 re­mained in the third period, when Ea­ton, who reached the state fi­nals a year ago at 182, tied the score with an es­cape. Nei­ther wrestler scored through the re­main­der of the third, or the one-minute over­time, set­ting up the two 30-sec­ond over­time pe­ri­ods.

“We had to get two for a re­ver­sal in the over­time,” Frey said. “We couldn’t go one for one, be­cause if we went one for one, then he (Strand) gets his choice in the ul­ti­mate tiebreaker [the fourth over­time]. He gets out, he wins, we lose the match.

“I was telling Alex, in­stead of go­ing for one, ‘You need to get the two, and then ride out the rest of the period,’” Frey con­tin­ued.

Ea­ton took down in the first 30-sec­ond OT, scored a re­ver­sal near the edge of the cir­cle for a 3-1 lead, then rode Strand over the re­main­ing sec­onds. A quick es­cape pulled Strand within 3-2 in the sec­ond 30-sec­ond OT, but he couldn’t get a take­down, as Ea­ton hung on for the one-point de­ci­sion.

“I knew it was go­ing to be a close match,” Ea­ton said. “He’s a good wrestler. I tried to take some shots, he tried to take some shots. We were just both re­ally good at de­fend­ing. And I knew it would come down to the last sec­ond. I didn’t think it would go into over­time. I fig­ured one of us would have got­ten some­thing.

“I got the re­ver­sal, which was a big hype for me; the crowd went crazy, I got ex­cited and it pushed me a lit­tle bit more,” Ea­ton added. “We were both gassed. By then I had the ad­van­tage. He got up, he got one neu­tral, and I just held on to the last sec­ond.”

“When we lost the [pre-match coin] flip, I knew we were go­ing to get Zach on Alex Ea­ton,” Eas­ton head coach Jason Biringer said. “It was a great match. They’ll see each other again [pos­si­bly at the con­fer­ence, re­gional and state tour­na­ments] and it’ll be ex­cit­ing. I’m sure they’ll have some more fun ones to watch.”

A for­feit to Martin Rivera at 220, and Noah Schall’s 1:18 pin­fall over Dar­ius Sarvis at 285 widened Car­o­line’s lead to a seem­ingly com­fort­able 39-18. But Eas­ton re­stored drama. Max Bent­ley pinned Brett Blue in 30 sec­onds at 106. Jack Hein­lein got a re­ver­sal with 11 sec­onds re­main­ing for a 4-2 de­ci­sion over Reilly McIn­tyre at 113. Caleb Ersk­ine then earned an 11-sec­ond fall over Cody Groves at 120, pulling Eas­ton within 39-33, set­ting up Sil­s­ley’s clincher.

“I thought we had to have 106, 113, and through the heart of our lineup; Sam Wo­ertz at 32, Colby, and then Jack,” Biringer said. “We knew we have some young guys car­ry­ing a lot of weight for us; first-year wrestlers we’re ask­ing a lot from. We knew it was go­ing to be tough for them.”

PHOTO BY WLLIAM HAUFE

North Car­o­line's Rhian Sil­s­ley, top, clamps down on Eas­ton's Zach Danels in the first period of their 126-pound bout Fri­day night.

PHO­TOS BY WIL­LIAM HAUFE

North Car­o­line’s Rhian Sil­s­ley, top, pushes for the pin against Eas­ton’s Zach Danels dur­ing Fri­day night’s 126-pound match. Sil­s­ley won with a first-period fall.

North Car­o­line’s Tyler Ri­ley, front, takes down Eas­ton’s Jeremiah Gard­ner dur­ing Fri­day night’s 160-pound bout. Ri­ley won with a third-period fall.

Eas­ton’s Jack Hein­lein, left, and North Car­o­line’s Reilly McIn­tyre bump heads dur­ing Fri­day night’s 113-pound match. Hein­lein won a 4-2 de­ci­sion.

North Car­o­line’s Seth Lay­ton, top, rides Eas­ton’s Dar­rin Moon dur­ing Fri­day night’s 138-pound match. Lay­ton won with a sec­ond-period fall.

North Car­o­line’s Tyler Ri­ley, front, takes down Eas­ton’s Jeremiah Gard­ner dur­ing Fri­day night’s 160-pound bout. Ri­ley won with a third-period fall.

North Car­o­line’s Bran­don McIn­tyre, right, tries to get Eas­ton’s Sam Wo­ertz off his back dur­ing Fri­day night’s 132-pound bout. Wo­ertz won with a sec­ond-period fall.

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