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North's number up in wrestling duals

February 08, 2001|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

North's number up in wrestling duals



All season long, the North Hagerstown wrestling team has stacked the deck early on its opponents. Wednesday night at the Class 3A/4A West regional dual meet championships, the Hubs ran into a team that had too many aces to close the deal.

North, who earlier this season finished behind Damascus and Paint Branch in the Hub Cup, got its revenge on the Hornets with a 42-18 semifinal victory, but grudgingly had to give way to the Panthers, 34-21.

"I don't know what to say." Hubs coach Greg Slick said. "I'm so very proud of their performance and at the same time frustrated for them."

Most coaches feel that dual meets are the true test of how good a team really is. It makes a no-name wrestler with heart as important as a state champion in most cases.

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"Absolutely," Slick said. "We told our kids to go out and wrestle smart tonight and for the most part, they did exactly what they were told."

In fact, the Hubs used patience and persistence against the Hornets, winning two key matches to advance. North's Scott Greenwald decisioned highly regarded Chris Thompson 10-5 in a match that gave the Hubs some breathing room at 18-12. From there, the Hubs' Wayne Boward remained undefeated, pinning Jim Creegan and North cruised home.

The match that pleased the crowd the most saw the Hubs' Zack Stowell upset Greg Cohen 1-0 at 160. Stowell struggled to his feet late in the third period, then fended off Cohen to spot North a 27-18 lead. A forfeit at 171 iced a second chance at Paint Branch.

"(Chad) Coles did a great job at 275, too," Slick said of the heavyweight, who mirrored Stowell's 1-0 win. "We are wrestling well as a team."

In the championship, however, the Hubs simply couldn't overcome the dominance of the Panthers' heavyweights.

Following a Boward pin to tie the team score at 15-15, the Hubs dropped four straight matches to Paint Branch, led undefeated Adam James' pin at 152. James (26-0) managed to turn Dustin McDonough and North would not win again until a forfeit for Coles.

"We knew if we stayed with them until the later matches, we would be all right," Paint Branch coach Rick Smith said. "I'm very happy with this win. North Hagerstown is a great team and we fully expected to see them in the finals."

Both coaches felt that the key matches were at 103 where the Panther's Robert Young avoided going to his back holding North's Mike Wagner to a decision, and at 135, where Billy Smith of Paint Branch took the Andrew Nichols to overtime and won, 4-2.

"We knew we had to do the job before we got to 152," Slick said. "But, hey, you don't wrestle these matches on paper. You wrestle them out there."

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