Hornets’ Custer punches ticket to Hershey
Reed Custer made it through to Hershey and at the end of the day, that’s all that mattered for the Emmaus senior.
Custer (22-6) took home a fourth-place finish from the Northeast Regional tournament over the weekend at Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium, securing the final 160-pound spot after a tough 9-7 loss to Liberty’s Anthony Emig in the third-place consolation round bout.
He’ll be the lone Green Hornet heading to Hershey, as teammate Peyton Brown (106) was eliminated in the second round of consolations.
Custer looked to reverse a district semifinal loss to Emig, where he was pinned in 57 seconds. He looked to be on track with a 6-3 lead in the second period before letting that slip by giving up near-fall points for a Liberty rally.
Still, he went into the bout knowing his Hershey fate was already cemented and let things fly.
“I really did want to win that match, but I knew I was going to Hershey already and just wanted to try some new things,” said Custer. “After the way I wrestled last week [at districts], I feel like I wrestled very well. I’m just happy to be moving on.”
Custer’s road to Hershey became more difficult after losing in the quarterfinals to Bangor’s Jesse Rocco 7-4, dumping him to the consolation bracket, where he needed three wins to solidify a spot in the top four.
He earned that trip with a torrent run up to his bout Emig, as he posted a 16-0 technical fall over Nicholas Metzger of Arch Bishop Ryan and continued with falls over Jason Deboard of Pittston (1:29) and Steven Newell of Dallas Area (1:41).
The win over Newell relaxed any nerves, as it clinched a spot in the PIAA tournament, allowing him to wrestle free in the third-place bout.
Now, his focus is on the road ahead in Hershey, when the action gets underway Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center.
“My goal is to definitely place,” he said. “This was my first trip to regionals and now my first trip to Hershey, so I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Brown lost to Hazleton’s Jake Maurer 4-0 to open the tournament and battled back to pick up a consolation round win over Central’s Caleb Perline by fall in 1:19, only to see his run come to an end following a 5-0 defeat to Liam Logue of Father Judge.