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JB win is better than hit in head to McCarl

January 26, 2007|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - James Buchanan sophomore Alex McCarl will admit that he's not the most confident wrestler when he's on the mat.

But get him angry, and confidence doesn't really matter.

McCarl got a pre-bout slap to the head from teammate Alex Buterbaugh before his 189-pound showdown with Greencastle-Antrim's Dale Nichols. It turned out to be the fuel that powered him to a 7-5 overtime victory.

McCarl's decision ended up being the difference in the Rockets' 37-34 victory in a Mid-Penn Capital match that featured seven forfeits and a no contest.

"Before the match (Buterbaugh) hit me in the head and it got me (ticked) off," McCarl said. "He said, 'Dude, it's time to win,' and just slapped my head. It (ticked) me off."

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After a scoreless first period, McCarl escaped 40 seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead. He later scored a takedown and carried a 3-1 lead into the third period.

Nichols got an early escape and took his first lead on a takedown with 32 seconds remaining. A penalty point gave Nichols a 5-3 advantage as time ticked away. But McCarl broke Nichols' grasp and scored a reversal with eight seconds left to forge a 5-5 tie and force overtime.

"He has a weak arm, I could feel it," McCarl said. "I just snapped it."

Still, McCarl wasn't so sure of his chances in overtime.

"I thought I was going to lose," he said. "I was getting tired and (Nichols) is good on his feet. I saw there was about 26 seconds left and I had to take my shot."

McCarl took his shot and wrestled to gain position before finally scoring the takedown with three seconds left to clinch the win.

McCarl's win in the sixth bout of the match gave JB a 25-6 lead. More importantly, it gave the Rockets (4-19, 1-6) the cushion they needed as Greencastle (8-11, 3-5) was forced to forfeit two more bouts - it forfeited four total - shutting the door on any possible comeback.

"Obviously, Alex's match was pivotal," said Rockets coach Matt Gordon. "He's had a rough season, but he stepped it up tonight."

Also winning for JB was Nathan Dick (152), who scored a 15-6 major decision over Alex Weiss, a German exchange student wrestling in his first match. Derek Straley (171) scored a second-period pin against Ruben Alvarez and Cody Klouser (140), Buterbaugh (145), Dylan Upperman (125) and Anthony Morales (130) each won by forfeit.

Kyle Hansen wrestled up at heavyweight and posted the most impressive win for Greencastle, pinning Christian Robeson in 50 seconds. Curtis Witmer pinned Ethan Mangum at 160 and Taylor Mentzer scored a 9-1 major decision over Kyler Hill at 112 for the Blue Devils. Matt Coppenhaver, Brenden McLaughlin and Jere Woolcock won by forefeit.

Every Greencastle wrestler wrestled up one weight up in class.

"After (JB) weighed in, we thought we would benefit by bumping them up," said Greencastle coach Fred Yelton. "They were the matchups that we wanted and we felt confident."

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