It was playing out to be an old-fashioned Friday night fight inside the Hershey Giant Center when the Saucon Valley Panthers squared off against the Reynolds Raiders. Reynolds has won the past three PIAA team titles at Hershey and was surely looking for their fourth. Saucon Valley was banking on taking down the champ with a break-through moment. The Raiders were able to advance to the semis with a 47-20 whoopin’ over Forest Hills. Saucon entered the semifinals by way of beating the Burrell Buccaneers. With two powerful programs staring each other down, neither team could ill-afford to get caught peeking ahead toward tomorrow’s championship final.
With the match starting at the 182-pound weight class it was the Panthers who connected with the first punch and drew blood. Saucon senior Dane Csencsits (32-5) took on Reynolds heavy-hitting senior Bryce McCloskey (28-4). Csencsits hit a couple of slick takedowns and built a 4-0 lead heading into the final period. McCloskey was able to escape but Csencsits kept applying his offensive pressure for two more takedowns. Csencsits looked great and came through with an 8-2 decision.
The Panthers’ feel-good moment was short-lived, however. Reynolds mowed down the Panther lineup by winning eight straight bouts. The Raiders picked up falls at 220 and 106. Reynolds also gathered decisions at 195, 285, 120, 126 and 132. In addition, the Panthers injury-defaulted at 113. After nine bouts Saucon was running on fumes and trailed 33-3.
The Panthers were finally able to answer by winning consecutive bouts at 138,145 and 152. Using eight takedowns, freshman phenom Jake Jones tossed his Raider opponent around to the tune of a 21-6 technical fall. Thomas Spirk followed his teammate’s lead and fired up his tilt-a-whirl. Spirk combined three takedowns with an assortment of dizzying near-falls and walked away with a 17-2 tech-fall. At 152, freshman Ty Pfizenmayer controlled his match and pitched an 8-0 shutout for a major-decision. Even though the Panthers went on a little run and cut into the lead, the Raiders did a pretty good job of limiting the damage and not giving up any home-runs. It was too little, too late for the Panthers. Sitting on a sixteen point deficit with only two bouts remaining, Reynolds chose to forfeit to Ty Csencsits (160) and Matt Arciuolo (170) making it a 33-29 final.
Saucon Valley 39 , Reynolds 29
182- Dane Csencsits Sr., SV, decision Bryce McCloskey Sr., 8-2.
195- Braydon Herbster Sr., decision Braydyn Lugardo Sr., SV, 4-0.
220- Evan Miller Sr.,, R, fall Jack Marouchoc So., SV, :28.
285- Guy Rocco John-Daniello Jr., decision Nick Warnke Sr., SV, 2-1.
106- Kane Kettering So., R, fall Ermal Duka Jr. SV, :20.
113- Gary Steen Jr., R, injury-default Connor Nicholas So., SV.
120- Cole Bayless Sr., decision Travis Riefenstahl Fr., SV, 5-0.
126- Liam Foore Jr., R, decision Cael Markle So., SV, 5-2.
132- Kaeden Berger Jr., R, decision Chris Arciuolo So. SV, 6-4 (OT).
138- Jake Jones Fr., SV, tech-fall Dreyvin Livingston Jr., R, 21-6.
145- Thomas Spirk Sr., SV, tech-fall Braydon McCloskey Fr., R, 17-2.
152- Ty Pfizenmayer Fr., SV, major-decision Jaylen Wagner Fr., R, 8-0.
160- Ty Csencsits So., SV, winner by forfeit
170- Matt Arciuolo Sr., SV, winner by forfeit
Up Next: The Panthers now drop to the consolation bracket and at 11 a.m. will take on the Brookville-Notre Dame Green Pond winner. A win there will give Saucon the opportunity to wrestle for 3rd-Place.
Good luck Panthers, the Source is with you!