A special moment for Nick Yerance and the Brandywine Heights wrestling team delayed Tulpehocken from completing an incredible turnaround.
Yerance scored a fall in the last contested bout Wednesday night, avenging a loss from less than a week earlier, to lift Brandywine to a 40-30 victory over previously undefeated Tulpehocken.
The win enabled Brandywine to clinch the Berks IV championship, its first division title since 2008, and prevented Tulpehocken from winning its first division title just two years after going through an entire season with one wrestler.
“Today I wanted my revenge on the kid and I got what I wanted,” Yerance said. “I was a little nervous going in but I won.”
The Bullets (3-0, 6-4) led 34-24 heading into the 285-pound match. Knowing Brandywine would forfeit in the last bout at 107, Yerance realized if he got pinned by Alexander Klonis like he did Saturday in the BCIAA Individual Tournament, Tulpehocken (2-1, 5-1) would win the division title.
“I knew I was going to get him,” Yerance said. “It was exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.”
Brandywine coach Tom Whalen wasn’t quite as confident. Klonis scored the initial takedown but Yerance ended up rolling through and scoring the fall with 13 seconds left in the first period to secure the victory.
“Moments like that are why we coach,” Whalen said. “You don’t expect that kid to win a match for you and he came through. That’s a special moment for me and him, no doubt about it.”
With the victory, Brandywine secured a spot in the BCIAA Team Tournament on Friday, Jan. 27, at Wyomissing.
Wilson (Berks I), Daniel Boone (Berks II) and Berks Catholic (Berks III) also wrapped up division titles on Wednesday.
“I told them to wrestle for something more than themselves,” Whalen said. “They wrestled for each other tonight and they came through.”
Jacob Greiss and Jake Deysher scored early falls and Josh Sterner won a major decision to stake Brandywine to a 16-3 lead.
But a forfeit win, a fall by Mark Forry and a decision by Nate Crampton gave Tulpehocken an 18-16 lead with six bouts left.
Malachi Estrella put Brandywine back on top to stay with a fall at 160. After Brandywine received two forfeits and Tulpehocken received one, it came down to the final two bouts.
“That’s wrestling,” said Luke Ruffner, who coached in the absence of Madison Winchester (out due to what Ruffner said was a family emergency). “Anybody can get caught and pinned and that’s what happened.”
The outcome spoiled Tulpehocken’s chances to complete a turnaround from struggling to put a team on the mat to division champion. Tulpehocken had won just one BCIAA match in eight years coming into the season.
With a roster filled with freshmen and sophomores, Tulpehocken entered the match No. 2 in the District 3 Class 2A power rankings but fell one bout short of winning its first division title.
“We’re a young team that’s looking to grow,” Ruffner said. “We have that foundation built so I think the next couple of years are going to be really good for us. These kids have a lot going for them.”
Source: Berkshire mont