Weierbach headed to N.Y. semifinals

Saturday February 23, 2013


Sports Editor

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Hoosick Falls Central School junior Luis Weierbach won both matches at the New York Division II wrestling state championships to advance to Saturday's semifinals, while senior Brad Burns lost a heart-breaking quarterfinal match 3-2 to drop into the wrestlebacks.

Burns' match went to double overtime, and he lost on a takedown with five seconds left.

"I didn't have a warning and I knew he was going to shoot so I wanted to go to the front headlock and hold him there," Burns said. "He got in and took me down, got the two. He did what he needed to do. I blew it. Now I need to fight back to the podium."

Burns faced Section IV champ Ryan Marszal and the two felt each other out in a scoreless first period. Starting down in the second, Burns escaped from Marszal's grasp to take the lead.

Early in the third, Marszal returned the favor, scoring an escape of his own to tie the match. Burns nearly took the lead back with a takedown 30 seconds later, but Marszal scrambled out of bounds. There were three restarts in the final minute and Burns held on through them all to move the match to overtime.

"When you're tired, anything can happen," said Hoosick Falls head coach Landon Nelson.

In overtime, Marszal started bleeding from the nose, causing a lengthy delay as officials cleaned up the mat. Both wrestlers caught their breath but neither scored, leading to double overtime. Marszal started down and couldn't score, but with Burns down, he escaped with 11 seconds left to take a 2-1 lead.

"I held him down in the first overtime and I've been in overtime matches a lot, I'm good in a close match," Burns said. "Wrestling at states is a different level, he was in pretty good shape. I think the blood time really helped."

Restarting with seven seconds left, Marszal pounced, scoring a takedown as the two went out of bounds for a 3-2 lead. A last-ditch effort to escape went for naught as Burns slapped the mat in frustration.

Despite the close defeat, Nelson said he has confidence that Burns can place for the second straight season. Burns pinned Tyler Veno of Section VI in in first wrestleback Friday night.

"It's not where he wants to be, but now he just has to get to the podium," Nelson said.

Weierbach's day was more successful, reaching the semifinal.

In the quarterfinals, Weierbach scored an early takedown in his match against Section VIII's Hunter Dusold to take a 2-0 advantage, one he wouldn't relinquish. Despite getting a warning for stalling late in the third period, Weierbach was able to keep Dusold from escaping for the victory.

"We're taking it one match at a time with Luis," Nelson said. "He was real patient, he doesn't want to show much to his next opponent."

Weierbach will face Section VI freshman Brad Bihler in the semifinals on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

The other two semifinalists are from Section III, Adirondack's Ryan O'Rourke and Dolgeville's Danny Fox.

Weierbach started his day with a fall in 3:06 over Section X's Brody Sheppard in the ninth bout of the tournament. The junior started slowly, but was quick up the pace in the second period to score the fall.

Burns won his opening match in the preliminaries, beating Derrick Din from Section V, 11-7. Burns was the aggressor from the opening whistle, scoring two takedowns in the first period and putting Din on his back to take a 6-2 lead. The wrestling slowed in the second period as each tired, but Burns scored yet another takedown to extend the advantage. In the third, Burns escaped from bottom to make it 9-4, and finished to advance to the quarterfinals.

"It was a tough match and he let it all hang out," said Hoosick Falls assistant coach Rick Taber. "At this point, it's just about survive and advance and score the points when they're there."


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