The fireworks were going off early in the Ray Oliver Tournament finals, seeing Spalding’s Logan Breitenbach overcome a 1-0 deficit in the final second of his 125-pound final for a 5-1 win.
“It was a good way to start off the year,” Breitenbach said. “I wrestled way to close in my matches, so I have to separate myself from my opponents more, but it is a good way to start and work from here.”
After his opening 19-3 technical fall, Breitenbach wrestled two close 3-0 and 1-0 wins over St. Mark’s Michael Valania and top seeded Jeffery Ogburn of PoQ to enter the finals.
Breitenbach dropped to a 1-0 deficit following a scoreless first period, and seemed to be on his way to a second place finish before he hit a five-point move to win, 5-1.
Standing up but not quite making it to a neutral position, Breitenbach reached around and hit a headlock, dropping being ridden for most of period hits a standup and reaches into a headlock for the 5-1 win last 10 seconds.
“I knew I had to keep moving from bottom, and I should have been ridden that long, but it was there and I took advantage of the opportunity.
“I knew I just had to go for something and hit something. I knew there was short time, and, when you wrestle hard, you find yourself in good positions to score, and I found myself in a good position.”
His good position allowed him to claim the 125-pound Ray Oliver title, helping his team to a large lead.
“We have a really good team and I have really great training partners, and we go really hard in the room every day,” Breitenbach said. “That’s why we are so successful out here. We train really hard and come out here and perform.”
Spalding’s tournament win was in large part to its perfection through the semifinal round, leading to all five of their wrestlers advancing to the championship finals.
Beitenbach and Charie Lynch were the two Cavalier champions.
First placing lightweights Michael Still (103) and Breitenbach (125) into the next round, Spalding’s Brady Gaynor pulled one over Curley’s Brett Przywara in a tight, 3-1, decision to head into the 135-pound final.
Two weightclasses later, Lynch added to the growing list of Cavalier wrestlers to move on, pinning Mark Wilson in 1:36, before Smith punched his tournament finals ticket with a 12-5 decision over McDonogh’s Kevin Marvel at 189.
Spalding’s Cole Gallagher also added point to the team score, wrestling back and working a fall for third-place after falling in the tournament quarterfinals.
With the semifinal success, Spalding leaped into first place over Caesar Rodney, leading by 20 points, and McDonogh still remained in the top five. Ceasar Rodney advanced two wrestlers to the championship finals and was not able to overcome the point deficit.