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'Cats, Knights swept by Hubs

December 16, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

WILLIAMSPORT - North Hagerstown wrestling coach Greg Slick broke strategy down into four simple words Saturday.

Pin.

Don't get pinned.

Taking Slick's word to heart, the Hubs bounced back from losses in their first three matches against Williamsport and won the next seven straight to ice an important 41-33 victory over the Wildcats in the Monocacy Valley Athletic League.

"When in a match like this, I always tell the kids that pins are important," Slick said, "and not getting pinned is big."

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Williamsport bumped several of its wrestlers up one weight class to try to gain a matchup advantage, and the move worked early - although not as well as it could have.

Starting at 140 pounds, Ryan Bowers had his way with North's John Breehl through the first two-plus periods, building a 12-2 lead. But Bowers couldn't convert two near-falls into pins, and midway through the third period, Breehl pulled off a reverse and got two near-falls of his own, turning what could have been a major-decision loss into a regular decision, 13-8, and saving a point for the Hubs.

"Breehl got the snot beat out of him, but for him not to get pinned, that was a real big match," Slick said.

"The 140 match was in our control," Williamsport coach Chuck Martin said, "but (Bowers) made a mistake and that can be costly."

Corey Leggett's 39-second pin of Alonzo Shaul gave the Wildcats a 9-0 lead, and North's Dean Staley had to pull out of his 152-pound match with Devin Hewitt after one period because of a knee injury.

But the Hubs quickly turned things around. At 160, Devin Baer reversed and pinned Trenton Almeda 55 seconds into the second period. Then at 171, the Wildcats' Robbie Spigler, leading 7-3 entering the second period, chose the down position and got burned by North's Andrew Widmeyer, who got the pin 41 seconds into the period.

"The pins by Baer and Widmeyer were big," Slick said. "They changed the tide."

"A couple of experienced guys made some bad mistakes and got their backs put on the mat," Martin said.

Pins by Daniel Fox at 215, Mitch Walters at 275 and Pat Smith at 103, combined with Williamsport forfeits at 189 and 112, put North up 41-15 with four matches left, effectively finishing the Wildcats.

"I'm impressed," Slick said. "I lit into them last night, I thought they were being lazy and slacking off. To be a good wrestler, you have to work hard, and the results speak for themselves tonight."

n Both North and Williamsport defeated Middletown earlier Saturday. The Wildcats won, 58-23, while the Hubs won, 54-22.

In one of the best matches of the afternoon, Middletown's Mitch Houck pinned Shaul 27 seconds into the third period of their 145-pound bout. The first two periods featured 10 reversals, an amazing seven alone in the second period. Shaul held a 15-10 lead going into the final period, but Houck, from the down position, reversed a final time with a quick headlock and turned it into the pin.

"We need to refine some things, but we wrestled with a lot of heart against two good teams," Knights coach Jim Schartner said. "We're a good team and we're getting better. ... Within a month, I think we'll be pretty tough."

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