North settles in, settles score

January 08, 2006|By ANDREW MASON


North Hagerstown's Derek McCarty wanted to beat Smithsburg so badly it nearly cost him Saturday.

"I went out there a little too aggressive at first and almost got pinned," said the Hubs senior captain, who fell into an early 2-0 hole against Dan Rinebolt at 171 pounds. "But then I recovered."

With his team trailing 18-4 after four bouts, McCarty did what he needed to do to help North reverse its recent wrestling fortunes against the Leopards, reversing Rinebolt to his back and pinning him in 1:09. That sparked a run of six straight pins by the Hubs, who took the MVAL Antietam Conference match, 49-28.

"We haven't beaten Smithsburg since my freshman year," McCarty said. "That's a nice way to end my senior year."

Back-to-back pins by Brandon Knight (145) and Alex Akers (152) and Justin Hovermale's win by forfeit at 160 gave the host Leopards the early 18-4 lead.


"Any time you let a team get momentum, it changes the way the match can go," North coach Greg Slick said. "We'd like to think that we're going to be able to roll some points in, but you just never know."

The points started rolling the Hubs' way as North got consecutive pins from McCarty, Joey Lamp (189), Michael Cline (215), Tyler Hartman (275), Delon Agee (103) and Joe Breehl (112) to take a 40-18 lead.

James Reilley kept Smithsburg mathematically alive with a pin at 119, cutting North's lead to 40-24 with three bouts left.

However, the Hubs clinched the victory in the next bout as Jake Turner pinned Wes McKenen in 3:44 at 125 to make it 46-24.

"It's a real big win for us," North sophomore Jim Eichelberger said. "Coach Slick was preparing us all week for this match."

Eichelberger most likely had been thinking about this match since last season when he got pinned in the semifinals of the Washington County tournament by eventual 119 champ Logan Miss of Smithsburg.

Eichelberger got some revenge Saturday, beating Miss 8-4 at 130 to wrap up the Hubs' scoring.

"I was pretty upset last year," Eichelberger said. "This was kind of like payback."

North, which took a 4-0 lead on Eric Vann's major decision at 140, has won two straight matches for the first time this season and is 3-3 overall, 2-1 in the MVAL Antietam.

"That loss to Williamsport in late December doesn't take opportunities away," said Slick of his team's chances to win the conference title. "We just have to hope someone beats Williamsport now."

Jon Gauss won by major decision in the Saturday's final bout for the Leopards (1-7, 0-3), last year's conference champs.

"We're doing the best we can," Smithsburg coach Joe Dietrich said. "As long as we keep doing the best we can, I'll be happy."

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