Manchester Valley didn’t seem flustered when the outcome of Thursday’s Class 2A West dual-meet tournament semifinal had to be determined with a rule book.
The Mavericks had been there before, with two of their regular-season matches ending in a deadlocked score and in need of tiebreaker criteria. So when Linganore crafted a double-digit comeback and tied the match in the final bout, Man Valley’s fate lied in the pages of a small rule book being dissected by the official.
The rules include 16 tiebreaker criteria, each one lettered — this match got to “H” before Linganore escaped with a 34-33 victory at Tuscarora High School.
The Lancers won because they scored first in matches more times (seven) than the Mavericks (six), and they advanced to the regional final before losing to the host Titans 45-29.
Many of the Mavs, who made their first regional duals appearance in program history, were visibly upset after they came out of their locker room following the match. But they did their best to soak up the experience, and junior Nate Renfro said they’ll learn from it.
“We knew that [Linganore was] strong in the middle of their lineup, so we were trying as a team to really work hard where we knew we could get a win,” said Renfro, who opened the match with a major decision at 220 pounds. “I think we did that in the early beginning, [but] their good guys in the middle just brought them up.”
Man Valley won the first six bouts and led 28-0, then went ahead 33-11 after Chad Schaffer’s technical fall over William Lee at 145 gave his team five points.
The Mavericks didn’t score again, however.
Linganore reeled off the final five bouts, and when Tristan Verbin-Hedger (182) pinned Connor Livingston in 41 seconds the Lancers celebrated.
The real rejoicing came several minutes later, after the coaches and officials gathered near the scorer’s table to sort out the tiebreaker criteria.
It looked as if the Lancers might lose a team point during the 170-pound bout between Mike Bromley and MV’s Jose Bonilla. Linganore coach Ben Arenson spied a potentially dangerous move being applied to Bromley and, under the din of the crowd, raced onto the mat in what appeared to be an attempt to get the official’s attention.
The two men argued for a moment before Arneson returned to the Lancers’ side of the mat, but the official did not deduct any points for misconduct. Bromley pinned Bonilla in the second period.
(The first tiebreaker criteria deals with a coach’s misconduct points.)
Both teams won seven bouts in the match.
Hunter Green (113) and Liam Pence (120) posted pins for Manchester Valley; Linganore had two pins as well.
Each team had a tech fall, and each team had a major decision.
The eighth criteria wound up being the difference, but Renfro said it didn’t sour the event for the Mavericks.
“We do the best we can,” Renfro said. “You sell out for the team, and if you give it all you’ve got then nobody should be upset … none of us are.”
The only thing that might have gotten to some of the wrestlers, and their coaches, was the margin between advancing and going home.
“We put up some kind of fight, huh?” MV coach Dave Dodson said. “Listen, these kids are awesome. … for these kids to believe in what we tell them, and the effort they put in in that [practice] room, to have a chance — that’s a credit to the kids.”
220: Nate Renfro (MV) m-dec. Tim Hopkins 12-0
285: Troy Warner (MV) by forfeit
106: Heathe Hernandez (MV) dec. Noah Jedlowski 5-2
113: Hunter Green (MV) pin Bryce Carlini 3:57
120: Nick Robinson (MV) dec. Riely Sheehy 11-5
126: Liam Pence (MV) pin Aidan Flint 1:30
132: Frank Dickenson (L) pin Brayden Safely 4:56
138: Earl Blake (L) tech fall Tom Chenoweth 20-5 (5:55)
145: Chad Schaffer (MV) tech fall William Lee 20-5 (5:57)
152: Dalton Pearl (L) m-dec. Adam Mattson 9-0
160: Joey Bromley (L) dec. Kyle Mathias 11-4
170: Mike Bromley (L) pin Jose Bonilla 3:37
182: Hope Bagulo (L) dec. Alex Free 5-1
195: Tristan Verbin-Hedger (L) pin Connor Livingston 0:41