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BERNE — South Adams went 4-1 Saturday in the annual Spencer Haworth Memorial Wrestling Invitational, losing only to eventual champion of the day, Jay County, 43-31.
"We needed a couple of guys to come through, either not get pinned or win a match that they weren't supposed to and it just didn't happen," stated SA mat coach Eric Myers, after his Starfires improved to 5-1 on the season.
As was the case all day, the Starfire lower weight wrestlers helped the hosts build a 28-13 lead against Jay, but the damage was done early, according the Myers. The meet started at 220 pounds and Patriots' veteran Kyle Garringer dominated Starfires' senior Mavrick Morningstar 8-1. In the next match, second-rated Pats' heavyweight Eric Himmelgarn turned SA junior Andrew Beachey in 1:10. Obviously, Jay was favored in both matches, but Myers was hoping for an upset.
After pins by SA standouts Sawyer Miller at 113 and LJ Moser at 120, a major win by Matt Nussbaum and a pair of 20-second falls by Eric Pimentel at 132 and Boaz Marbach at 138, the Stars' run left them with the 15-point lead.
After Jay's Jesse Finnerty felled SA's Austin Grabau in 3:16, the Pats took advantage of the Starfire freshmen at the next three weights. Levi Hummel, also a freshman, fell behind SA's Cage Conner, but scored a pancake and fall in 2:47.
Senior Corey Bellis tossed Kody Coates to his back in just 15 seconds, and junior Zach Metcalf put SA's Gabe Schwartz on his back in 45 seconds. That clinched the meet. SA's Klayton Hinshaw stopped the bleeding with an 8-1 win at 182 over Josh Gillette.
"They recogmized our inexperience and they bumped their lineup around a little bit, moving Metcalf from 160 to 170. I know he's a regional kid last year," said Myers.
"We're going to try and improve and get better every match," added Myers.
The Starfires did get a key win over ACAC foe Woodlan, scoring a 44-27 victory in the first round Saturday. Pins by Hinshaw, Mavrick Morningstar, Beachey, Brayden Myers at 106, and Miller and a tech fall by Moser keyed the win.