Lieberman shines for Midd-West
MIFFLINBURG – During the regular season, Alex Lieberman doesn’t make many waves on the wrestling mat.
But come postseason, the Midd-West senior turns into a nor’easter.
Lieberman, a 170-pounder, won his second straight District 4 Class AA Southern Sectional Saturday at the Mifflinburg Intermediate School. Lieberman, the No. 1 seed, beat second-seeded David Burke of Danville in a 7-4 decision.
Burke came in at 30-1; Lieberman is now 29-5.
Two other Mustangs earned gold: junior Tanner Ebright won at 132 with a fall and Zach Longacre also got a pin at 220.
They will be joined by four other Midd-West wrestlers who will move on to the District 4 Class AA tournament, which begins Friday at Williamsport High.
Junior Corey Stauffer just missed on a championship as he fell 3-2 to Line Mountain’s Cameron Newman at 113 pounds. Newman, eighth in the state a year ago, used a takedown with 10 seconds remaining for the win. The two met in the finals a year ago at 106 with Newman winning 12-5.
Other Midd-West placewinners were Adam Zerby, second at 285; Dalton Klingler, fourth at 120; and Alex Tittle, fourth at 152.
Under the district’s new sectional alignment, the top four wrestlers advance to the district field.
Lieberman was hampered early in the season by some injuries. He had problems in cross country, too.
“I just kept training harder,” he said. “I just don’t give up. We do better as an individual. As a team we don’t fill up all the places.”
The Mustang is looking forward to another trip to states and he thinks last year’s experience will help.
“I think it will help a lot, I’ll be less nervous.”
Ebright said he has a lot of confidence heading into districts.
“I just want to just get better. I’m working out a lot, trying to get better,” he said. “My weight at districts has some tough kids.”
Ebright made quick work of Mifflinburg’s Cooper Wagner in the finals, getting the fall in 1:57. It took Longacre even less time, decking Jon Ward of Lewisburg in 1:41.
Clint Swartz, the Mustangs’ coach, said he was happy with his team’s showing.
“The last couple weeks we’ve wanted to be a little better. It’s really good to take seven guys (out of the section),” Swartz said. “We wrestle a lot of dual meet tournaments where we get five matches in a day. We had to win two or three here to move on.
“We get overlooked because of our record but we have some good individuals.”
In the team race, Lewisburg won with 154 points. Midd-West was fourth with 124.
District 4 now has three sectional tournaments instead of four, with both consolation finalists moving on instead of only the winner. Among the teams in the south section are several traditionally strong wrestling schools.