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Brensinger wins tourney title

Mason Brensinger doesn’t quite have all the answers to the test.

But the Northwestern sophomore might have narrowed down his options significantly.

Brensinger went from dark horse to champion with arguably the best performance of his career at the Coal Cracker Wrestling Tournament this past weekend.

It was simply a matter of building on what was already in place.

Brensinger capped a remarkable run as the 18th seed with an 8-6 decision over top seed Dalton Klinges of Lackawanna Trail in the 138-pound final.

“It means a lot,” Brensinger said. “I had a tough tournament, and there are a lot of good kids here. In that final match, I was losing … and came back to win.

“Seeds don’t really matter much. I just came here and wrestled.”

Brensinger stayed aggressive in the final, pushing the pace and tying the score at 2-2 near the end of the first period.

An early escape in the second gave Klinges a 3-2 lead, but Brensinger quickly responded with a reversal to make it 4-3. Klinges got another escape to tie it at 4-4, but Brensinger retook the lead at 6-4, and held a 6-5 advantage at the end of the period.

A reversal in the third pushed Brensinger’s lead to 8-5, showing the skills he had displayed throughout the tournament.

“He fought really hard through some really tough wrestling in tough situations that don’t only score you points, but they keep you in good position and keep the other guy from scoring points,” said Northwestern head coach Jim Moll. “He was smart and aggressive.

“We kind of preach urgency and scoring points, but he did it and he kind of knew when to do it. His timing was good, he was fast, he wrestled strong, and he had a really good tournament.”

In the semifinals, Brensinger picked up a 4-2 decision over Carlisle’s Jarrett Wilson, who was seeded third. Brensinger posted a 5-3 decision over Selinsgrove’s Garrett Paradis, the 10th seed, in the quarters.

The sophomore reached the quarterfinals with a 6-4 win in sudden victory overtime against Berwick’s Nicholas Yule, the No. 2 seed.

Brensinger opened the tournament by pinning Northern Lehigh’s Nathan Ellan, who was seeded 15th, in 3:16.

“We’ve seen flashes from him before,” Moll said of Brensinger. “Like last year, he would wrestle really well in some matches, but he would kind of wrestle to the level of his competition and wrestle down to kids who he should beat easily. He’d give some tough kids good matches, but in between, he didn’t always have it.

“Today, he had technique, he was smart and he had everything he really needed.”

No matter the circumstances, Brensinger never got rattled.

“I know that I just have to be cool, wrestle how I wrestle, and I’ll be fine,” Brensinger said. “Everyone gets nervous before a match. But you just have to put that aside and wrestle your best.”

In addition to Brensinger, the Tigers also had Ben Griffith (132, eighth) and Ryan Haverkamp (182, sixth) place in the top-eight.

“In the blood round, Ben beat a kid who beat him the last two years in a row at districts for fifth-place, which is huge,” said Moll. “He was losing the match, and he ends up wrestling into a scramble and getting him on his back and pinning him. That’s a huge monkey off his back to get one there. He’ll probably need to do it again at districts, but now he knows he can, and that’s the important part.

“And with Ryan, we talk about wrestling with urgency, and he wrestled with more urgency than any kid we have, probably the whole team put together. He is constantly trying to score points, and that’s what won him the match to get him into the consi semis. He just continued to score, and continued to score. He kept wrestling, and did a really good job.”

120 – Jake Dellicker

Dellicker major dec. Nathan Koch (Western Wayne), 12-0.

Dellicker dec. Joe Rowley (Hanover), 3-2.

Austin Brett (Catasauqua) pinned Dellicker in 1:33

Tyler Withers (Gettysburg) dec. Dellicker, 5-4.

126 – Anthony Russo

Gabriel Heaney (Jim Thorpe) major dec. Russo, 10-0.

Dalton Redden (Gettysburg) pinned Russo in 1:33.

132 – Ben Griffith

Griffith pinned Robert Murphy (Jim Thorpe) in :34.

Dennis Lombardi (Palmerton) pinned Griffith in 4:38.

Griffith pinned Sylvan Martin (Selinsgrove) in 2:44.

Griffith major dec. John Babinsky (Mahanoy), 11-1.

Griffith pinned Jon DeNato (Palisades) in 4:59.

Ty Wilmot (Abington Heights) dec. Griffith, 4-1.

Seventh-place match

Michael Bluhm (Lackawana Trail) pinned Griffith in 4:40.

138 – Mason Brensinger

Brensinger pinned Nathan Ellan (Northern Lehigh) in 3:16.

Brensinger SV-1 dec. Nicholas Yule (Berwick), 6-4.

Brensinger dec. Garrett Paradis (Selinsgrove), 5-3.

Brensinger dec. Jarrett Wilson (Carlisle), 4-2

First-place match

Brensinger dec. Dalton Klinges (Lackawanna Trail), 8-6

145 – Harrison Bernhard

Bernhard pinned Christian Torres (Hanover) in 3:07.

Bernard pinned Cesear Rivera (Mahanoy) in 5:15.

Sean Smith (Carlisle) dec. Bernhard, 8-2.

Trevor Amorim (Northern Lehigh) dec. Bernhard, 3-2.

152 – Lucas Miller

Miller pinned Toby Linn in 4:42.

Andy Muzika (Faith Christian Academy) pinned Miller in 3:00.

Miller pinned Jonathan Byers (Panther Valley) in 2:00.

Trevor Amorim (Northern Lehigh) dec. Miller, 7-1.

182 – Ryan Haverkamp

Haverkamp pinned Cade Kroptavich (Abington Heights) in 1:30.

Max Gourley (Gettysburg) pinned Haverkamp in 1:52.

Haverkamp pinned Ben Marino (Montgomery) in :35.

Haverkamp pinned Sean Cordaro (Scranton) in 2:21.

Haverkamp pinned Steven Miller (Selinsgrove) in 4:35.

Haverkamp dec. Samuel Rodriguez (Gettysburg), 11-10.

Max Gourley (Gettysburg) pinned Haverkamp in :50.

Fifth-place match

Alexis Perez (Mahanoy) pinned Haverkamp in :46.

220 – Isaiah Johri

Aiden Compton (Pen Argyl) pinned Johri in 2:57.

Johri pinned Jordan McColgan (Panther Valley) in 3:39.

Johri major dec. Matt Garey-Hendricks (Palmerton), 8-0.

Bailey Schindle (Kennett) pinned Johri in 1:56.

285 – Jake Selulneck

Layton Schmick (Carlisle) pinned Selulneck in :44

Blake Fisher (Pope John Paul II) pinned Selulneck in 2:19.

PRESS PHOTO BY RON GOWERMason Brensinger was seeded 18th in his weight class at the Coal Cracker Tournament. He finished in first place.