BERLIN — A raucous, standing-room-only crowd packed the Berlin Brothersvalley High School gymnasium Thursday night to watch the top two wrestling teams in District 5 — Chestnut Ridge and Berlin — battle it out on the mat.
The Lions lived up to their billing as the No. 2-ranked Class AA team in the state, according to Off the Mat, winning 10 of the 14 bouts for a 43-19 victory over the Mountaineers.
While Chestnut Ridge won by a convincing margin, Lions head coach Greg Lazor said the final score wasn't indicative of how hard-fought the match really was.
"Berlin is one heck of a team," Lazor said. "If you didn't come to the match, that score has no true bearing of what this was. There were five real tough, close matches that could have gone either way, and they went our way. ... Unless you were here, you don't know really what a battle it was."
Added Berlin head coach Jason Cornell: "Hats off to Chestnut Ridge. It was their night for sure. The match was definitely hyped up. We came in a little timid. Chestnut Ridge really has an awesome team this year. We were the underdogs, but the scoreboard shows how good Chestnut Ridge really is. Some of our guys stayed close in their matches, but Chestnut Ridge's depth was just too much.
"It's probably been 10 years and counting now when we had an atmosphere like this. The community, the school are completely behind us. They know we have something special here. It was good to see."
The match started at 132 pounds where Chestnut Ridge's Trent Crouse battled back from a 5-0 deficit to beat Chris Miller 11-7.
Braden Fochtman got Berlin on the board with a 16-3 major decision over Colby Hillegass at 138.
Chestnut Ridge's Jeremiah Zimmerman pulled out a 3-2 decision over Eric Darr at 145.
The Mountaineers then won the next two weight classes as Blake Miller pinned Kyle Winegarder in 3:41 at 152 and Bryce Fochtman blanked Connor Buttry 2-0 at 160.