As Northampton freshman, Dagen Condimitti, slowly crept to the line for a restart, with 10 seconds left, the West Chester Henderson junior still froze for an instant. Condimitti rolled perfectly into his start, maybe even a split second early, and grabbed McMonagle's ankle for a match-tying takedown.
"Obviously it's frustrating giving up a takedown so late," McMonagle said.
Any momentum the Northeast Regional champ gained at the end of regulation, McMonagle (126 pounds), in his third trip to states, quickly stole back, using a dump for the winning takedown 17 seconds into sudden victory.
"I had to get back to my offense and back to my pace," McMonagle said. "I knew I could get to my attacks."
McMonagle was one of seven locals to reach the Class 3A PIAA quarterfinals, with wins in the first round, Thursday, at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Central Dauphin's Josh Miller, the Southcentral champ, stands in McMonagle's way of the semifinals, and his first state medal.
"Last year the big stage was in my head a little," McMonagle said. "This year, it's no different than a home match or practice. It's all the same and I'm working to control what I can control."
Fellow Warrior, Killian Delaney (120) found much less resistance. It took him only 57 seconds to pick up his 96th career pin, decking Williamsport's Carter Weaver to set up a rematch with Manheim Central's Will Betancourt. Delaney dropped an overtime decision to Betancourt in last year's consolation match.
Delaney's ease was not the norm for the locals on Day 1. Downingtown East's Keanu Manuel (106) held off State College's Hayden Cunningham, 3-2, to move to quarters. He'll see Greater Latrobe's Vince Kilkeary.
Downingtown West's Dom Findora (113) led just 2-0 after two periods, before using a pair of takedowns and two near-fall points to pull away from Bellefonte's Aidan O'Shea, 8-1.
"I've been working on getting out on bottom," said Findora, who sees Hempfield's Ethan Berginc, next. "I'm not as big as a lot of kids, so I was disappointed when I couldn't get to neutral. I knew I could score, I just had to keep my head right."
Findora was one of three Whippets to move within a win of a medal. Two-time place-winner, Max Hale (182), took care of business with three takedowns against Hampton's Justin Hart in a 7-4 win. Up next for Hale is Nazareth's Drew Clearie.
Chase Mielnik (220) also won for West, pinning Hampton's Dawson Dietz, to set up a rematch with returning state champ, Nate Schon of Selinsgrove. Schon pinned Mielnik in 18 seconds earlier in the season.
"I have to wrestle aggressive and not let up or let my ties hang," Mielnik said. "If I push the pace, I can break any of these guys."
Coatesville's Nate Lucier (120) was workmanlike against New Oxford freshman, Andrew Christie, advancing with a 4-1 victory. Belleftone's Lane Aikey will be Lucier's next foe.
In the Class 2A tournament, Church Farm's Emmanuel Lawal (285) was 0-2 in his first-round bouts his first two trips to Hershey, and gave up a reversal early in the second, taking an elbow to the head in the process.
After using all but four seconds of his injury time, he scored the final five points to reach quarters.
"It's a relief that I don't have to wrestle back," said Lawal, who gets Southern Columbia's Lear Quinton, next. "I'd rather take a blow to the head and win that take a blow to the head and lose and have to wrestle back."
Staying alive in the 3A consolation bracket were West Chester Rustin's Jimmy King (120) and Alex Pratzner (145), Kennett's Trent Kochersperger (132) and Downingtown East's Matt Romanelli (170). Romanelli was trailing 3-0 when he was illegally slammed by Easton's Dominic Falcone. Romanelli could not continue, but, in an act of good sportsmanship, restarted the match for a second and then defaulted. He won his first consi bout, later in the night.