WILLIAMSPORT — It was a District 4 Class 2A finals matchup that didn’t figure to have an explosion of points.
One week earlier in the 132-pound final of the South Sectional wrestling tournament an escape by Southern Columbia’s Mason Barvitskie was the difference in a 1-0 decision over Midd-West’s Conner Heckman.
This time Heckman controlled Barvitsky from the top position for an amazing four minutes and earned a 1-0 victory in the ultimate tiebreaker. The win gave Heckman his first postseason tournament championship in nine tries.
Heckman had to fight off a strong takedown attempt from Barvitsky in the first period but couldn›t mount any attacks on the Southern sophomore. In the second period Heckman used a combination of legs and lifts to control Barvitsky.
Barvitsky matched Heckman›s effort from the top position in the third period to force overtime. Heckman managed his best shot attempt in the sudden victory portion of overtime but couldn›t convert. Neither wrestler could escape in the two 30-second periods that followed.
Heckman had his choice of position for the deciding 30-second period and he didn’t hesitate, immediately choosing the top. He stopped Barvitsky’s frantic effort from the bottom to secure the win.
“I’ve been in a few matches like that before and it all comes down to conditioning and who wants it more,” Heckman said. “I wanted to stick with what I’m good at (on top) and not change anything up. I honestly think I’m one of the best riders in the state and if I do what I’m capable of I don’t think anyone can get out. After losing last week it feels good to beat him this week and I’ll probably get him again next week. I think I can get my offense going. I just didn’t finish my shots today.”
Heckman is 36-4 this season.
Midd-West freshman Matthew Smith will join Heckman at the Northeast Regional tournament next weekend after putting together a terrific effort on Saturday and finishing fourth at 120 pounds.
Beaten 8-0 by eventual champion Brock Weiss of Jersey Shore on Friday night, Smith strung together three consecutive wins in the consolation bracket before getting pinned by Montoursville’s David Kennedy in the battle for third place.
Smith started his day with a 13-1 major decision over Kruz McCusker of Sullivan County and followed with a 10-2 major decision over North sectional champion Holden Ward of Canton. A 1-0 win over Nolan Baumert of Line Mountain sent him to the consolation final.
Smith is 30-10 this season