You could almost taste the chocolate.
But Tunkhannock Area’s second trip to Hershey in three years for the team duals met a road block Saturday at Pittston in the finals of the District 2 AA against the fired up Lake-Lehman Black Knights.
Going into the last match at 220 pounds, the Tigers were down by six points and it boiled down to Lake-Lehman’s T.J. Meehan having six minutes to do anything other than get pinned.
Tiger freshman Nick Marabell wrestled tough, but Meehan scored a go-ahead reversal and worked his way to a pin to clinch the Black Knights’ 45-33 victory over Tunkhannock and the Class AA title in the District 2 Wrestling Team Dual Championships on Saturday afternoon.
In the final, the Black Knights owned a 4-2 edge over the Tigers in forfeits. But in their eight contested bouts, Tunkhannock matched Lehman with three pins (by Owen Woods, Matt Rosentel and Jeff Meader) and a decision (by Luke Carpenter) to make for a thrilling finish.
Meader, a 195-pound freshman, scored his latest impressive win by reversing Thomas Nalbone to his back for a pin fractions of a second before the second-period buzzer.
It gave the Tigers a chance to tie and head to tie-breaking criteria until Meehan erased those hopes.
Lake-Lehman advances to the state tournament, held at Giant Center in Hershey starting with first-round matches Thursday.
Tunkhannock shifts its focus to individual districts but has plenty to be happy about.
The Wyoming Valley Conference’s No. 2 seed fought through injuries to its two best wrestlers and still made it to the last bout of the District 2 final.
“We’re losing three seniors, and none of those seniors wrestled in this match,” Tigers coach Bob Hegedty said. “It’s a good building block for them.”
Championship Round at Pittston, Saturday
TUNK vs. L-L
285: Jhamal Zacharias (TUN) won by forfeit (6-0). 106: Mason Konigus (L-L) won by forfeit (6-6). 113: Owen Woods (TUN) pinned Jack Patla, 1:11 (12-6). 120: Matt Rosentel (TUN) pinned Chandler Longstrength, 4:41 (18-6). 126: Gavin Ruger (L-L) won by forfeit (18-12). 132: Zach Stuart (L-L) dec. Ethan Munley, 4-2 (18-15). 138: Robert Long (L-L) won by forfeit (18-21). 145: Gavin D’Amato (TUN) won by forfeit (24-21). 152: Hunter Burke (L-L) pinned Tyrese Konen, 0:35 (24-27). 160: Luke Carpenter (TUN) dec. Connor Morgan, 6-1 (27-27). 170: Jake Trumbower (L-L) pinned Tyler Chesla, 3:02 (27-33). 182: Nick Zaboski (L-L) won by forfeit (27-39). 195: Jeffrey Meader (TUN) pinned Thomas Nalbone, 1:59 (33-39). 220: T.J. Meehan (L-L) pinned Nick Marabell, 4:45 (33-45).
Semifinal Round at New Milford, Friday TUNK vs. BLUE RIDGE
120: Matt Rosentel (TUN) pinned Isaiah Valentin, 1:22 (6-0). 126: Cole Soden (BR) by forfeit (6-6). 132: Nathaniel McArthur (BR) by forfeit (6-12). 138: Ethan Munley (TUN) pinned Alec Martin, :48 (12-12). 145: Gavin D’Amato (TUN) by forfeit (18-12). 152: Zach Consla (BR) pinned Tyrese Konen, 5:22 (18-18). 160: Adam Roe (BR) pinned Luke Carpenter, 3:36 (18-24). 170: Thomas Gudykunst (BR) pinned Tyler Chesla, 1:52 (18-30). 182: Dustin Henry (TUN) by forfeit (24-30). 195: Jeffrey Meader (TUN) by forfeit (30-30). 220: Nick Marabell (TUN) pinned Benjamin Gudykunst, :15 (36-30). 285: Jhamal Zacharias (TUN) pinned Eli Aldrich, :34 (42-29). 106: No match. 113: Owen Woods (TUN) dec. Gavin Crawford, 2-1 (45-29).
Quarterfinal Round at New Milford, Friday TUNK vs. S.PREP
113: Matt Rosentel (TUN) pinned Jack Lynett, :44 (6-0). 120: Antonio D’Appolonio (SP) by forfeit (6-6). 126: Jason Dennis (SP) by forfeit (6-12). 132: Ethan Munley (TUN) pinned Ayden Berndt, 4:30 (12-12). 138: Joe Monahan (SP) by forfeit (12-18). 145: Gavin D’Amato (TUN) dec. Oliver Egan, 9-3 (15-18). 152: Lucas Carpenter (TUN) dec. Bryce Genello, 9-6 (18-18). 160: Alec Buttner (SP) pinned Sean Meder, :16 (18-24). 170: Geoffrey Pizzuto (SP) pinned Tyler Chesla, 4:31 (18-30). 182: Jeffrey Meader (TUN) pinned Andrew Durkin, 3:01 (24-30). 195: Nick Marabell (TUN) pinned Luca Dennis, 1:14 (30-30). 220: Jaden Kozlowski (TUN) by forfeit (36-30). 285: Jhamal Zacharias (TUN) by forfeit (42-30). 106: Owen Woods (TUN) pinned Jason Yanul, 1:00 (48-30).
Times-Shamrock writer Eric Schultz also contibuted to this story.