Three Mustangs qualify for Northeastern regional

WILLIAMSPORT – It’s never easy to repeat a district championship in wrestling rich District 4 AA.

Midd-West’s Alex Lieberman, the top seed at 170 pounds, found that out Saturday as he fell 8-1 in the tournament finals to Montoursville sophomore Garrett Hoffman.

Lieberman never got anything going against Hoffman, now 39-2, in the finals at the Williamsport High gym. Hoffman, the second seed opened with a takedown, Lieberman escaped, and Hoffman registered another takedown. The Mustang senior pretty much had a look for a throw after that.

Lieberman leads a Midd-West group of three to the Northeastern Regional Friday and Saturday at Williamsport High. A fifth-place or better earned a regional spot and the two remaining Mustangs just made the cut. Tanner Ebright (132) and Zach Longacre (220) each earned fifth-place finishes.

“Yeah, I was trying to throw him. I’m still making it to next week and that’s what you’re going for,” Lieberman said.

Ebright lost 3-1 in the semis to eventual champion Keith Batkowski of Montoursville then dropped a consolation semifinal match 5-2 to Steve Shannon of Central Columbia. He earned the regional trip with a 3-0 win over Carl Gorg of Williamson.

Longacre went down by fall to Ben Cherney of Montoursville in the semis then dropped a 2-0 decision to Hughesville’ s Ethan Barnes. He then beat Roger Horton of Athens for the final spot.

Sophomore Alex Tittle just missed qualifying losing 7-0 to Kirah Thompson of Williamson. Tittle had lost in the quarters to eventual champion Cole Walter of Mifflinburg then picked up a 5-2 decision over Jay Brennan of Danville. He stayed alive by pinning Brad Pequignot of North Penn before being pinned by Benton’s Dominic Vitale in the consolation semis.

Eliminated in the first round of consolations were Dalton Klingler at 120 and Adam Zerby at 285. Corey Stauffer at 113, a state qualifier a year ago at 106, fell in the second round of consolations. Stauffer lost 5-1 to Lewisburg’s Jordan Gessner.

Notes: The wrestling was halted in the finals for about 30 minutes after Williamson’s Trevor McWhorter was injured. He was taken to an area hospital. Bill Sexton and his staff at Towanda were awarded Coach of the Year honors. Mike Maurer, assistant at Towanda, was named Assistant of the Year. Officials honored were Mike Millward and Rocky Miller. Warrior Run’s Randy Watts is the Junior High Coach of the Year.