Spartans turn it on late to beat Weston/Ithaca

The final three minutes of Tristan Zurfluh’s 112 pound match epitomized the way the entire dual against Weston/Ithaca went for the Spartans: close and nerve-wracking. Clinging to a 30-29 team lead, Tristan Zurfluh had to pick up a win against Weston/Ithaca’s Nick Bennett to ensure a Spartan victory. If he were to lose, Weston/Ithaca would hand the Spartans their first loss of the year.

Zurfluh would pull out a 2-1 victory and give the Spartans a 33-29 victory in what was surely a match the Spartans felt fortunate to come away with.  In matches wrestled, Weston/Ithaca won six matches to Sparta’s seven, but in those six victories they picked up five by pin or major decision.  The downfall for Weston/Ithaca was the forfeit at 103 and close losses at 112, 125 and 215.  Had any of those matches gone the other way, the Spartans would have lost the dual.

It was close throughout as no team could put together more than three wins in a row before Sparta rattled off four at the end with the help of the forfeit at 103.  At one point, the Spartans found themselves down 29-18 with four matches to go, but they did just enough to pick up the victory by registering three wins by decision and another with the forfeit.

At 215 pounds, Tom Tourdot won a match pitting two of the top wrestlers in the area and state at that weight class.  At 125 pounds, Derek VonRuden continued wrestling well with an impressive victory over the second-ranked wrestler in the state in division three.  While all these matches were critical, circumstance put the most pressure on Tristan Zurfluh’s shoulders at 112 pounds.

With the Spartans up by one and the match in balance, Zurfluh picked up two near fall points early in the second period before surrendering an escape shortly after.  Hanging onto a 2-1 lead, Zurfluh remained aggressive and the match ended by the same score and the Spartans escaped with a 33-29 victory.

It was a great victory against a very tough Weston/Ithaca team.  This is a squad that deserves to be in the division three team rankings.  Here are the final match-by-match results from tonight’s dual…

119  —  Nick Laack (Weston/Ithaca) pinned Bryce Nowaczyk 3:19
125  —  Derek VonRuden decisioned Marcus McCauley (Weston/Ithaca) 4-1
130  —  Nick Winchel pinned Justin Christopher (Weston/Ithaca) 0:48
135  —  Nate Duren (Weston/Ithaca) major decisioned Paul Vantassel 12-0
140  —  Cody Willis (Weston/Ithaca) major decisioned Michael Murnane 12-3
145  —  Toby Mosley decisioned Austin Clary (Weston/Ithaca) 5-1
152  —  Morgan Leis pinned Mason McCauley (Weston/Ithaca) 1:44
160  —  Wyatt Seep (Weston/Ithaca) pinned Alex Hemmersbach 1:55
171  —  Mitchell Ricco (Weston/Ithaca) pinned Xavier Lopez 1:45
189  —  Atticus Sharp (Weston/Ithaca) decisioned Kyle Burkhalter 3-2
215  —  Tom Tourdot decisioned Clayton Jennings (Weston/Ithaca) 5-3
285  —  Chris Beeler decisioned Ian Honer (Weston/Ithaca) 5-0
103  —  Dylan Winchel won by forfeit
112  —  Tristan Zurfluh decisioned Nick Bennett (Weston/Ithaca) 2-1
FINAL:  Sparta 33 – Weston/Ithaca 29

The Spartans are now off until Saturday when they head to Lancaster for the Lancaster Invitational.  Check back here later this week for more information on that tournament.  Another big thanks to Mike Montgomery for running tonight’s live blog.  Finally, nice job Spartans!!

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