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No. 1 Indians invade Hub Cup

January 08, 2009

Wrestling

North Hagerstown's 22nd annual Hub Cup -- the biggest wrestling tournament in Washington County -- begins today at 5:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday evening with the championship finals at 6:30.

There are five local teams in the 18-team field -- North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown, Williamsport, Greencastle-Antrim and newcomer Waynesboro.

Waynesboro (7-3), which rarely travels south of the Mason-Dixon Line, is ranked No. 1 in the Tri-State area.

"That will add some nice local flavor," North coach and tournament director Greg Slick said. "There's always been that kind of interest in how these guys compare with those guys."

Waynesboro coach Eric Mowen said this season's Indians are the best he's coached in his three years at the helm.

"By far," he said. "This is the most balance we've had and the most depth we've had."

While his wrestlers' records won't overly impress anyone at the Hub Cup -- mostly due to Waynesboro competing in the highly competitive Mid-Penn Conference -- Mowen hopes they use that to their advantage.

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"I like being underdogs," he said. "There's a lot of good teams in Maryland, but I'm hoping we give them a little bit of a shock there.

"It's definitely going to be tough for us. We're not going to go in there and steamroll everybody, but I'd like to be respectable. Our goal is to place in the top three, and that's our goal wherever we go."

The only local returning championship finalist from last year is Waynesboro junior Dan Mazzei, who finished second at 171 pounds for the host Hubs. Mazzei went 33-5 and placed fourth at the Maryland Class 2A-1A state tournament as a sophomore at North last season.

He's off to a 7-4 start with the Indians.

"It's a different world up here, and he knows it," Mowen said. "But he's a kid who knows how to win. He understands where he came from and where he needs to be to get to the next level in this state."

* The 36th annual Jefferson Invitational Tournament begins at 5 p.m. today in Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., and concludes Saturday with the 5 p.m. championship finals.

Dylan Nick, the champion at 171 for host Jefferson as a sophomore last year, will try to win at 189 this year for Washington. He also will be aiming to collect his 100th career victory over the weekend.

Nick, who is 25-0 this season for the Patriots, was 72-21 in his two seasons with the Cougars, including a victory in the Class AAA state finals last year.

Boys Basketball

Hot Blazers to get tested

Clear Spring is 7-1 overall and 2-1 in the MVAL Antietam following Wednesday's win over Boonsboro.

Tonight, however, the Blazers will face their stiffest challenge so far this year on the road at Brunswick (6-1, 3-0) in a game that will be a huge measuring stick for Clear Spring.

"It is a big opportunity for us," coach Mark Shives said after Wednesday's 54-52 victory, the Blazers' second straight two-point win following a 46-44 triumph over Broadfording on Monday.

"We are trying to make strides and I am happy where we are at at this time," said Shives. "I hate going to Brunswick. They are so athletic. This will be a major test and we need to execute to perfection."

Like many of the boys teams throughout the area this year, Clear Spring's offensive numbers are not coming from just one person.

"We've got one guy around 10 points and two or three at nine, so everyone is contributing," said Shives.

Cody Englehart is the top scorer at 10 per game, followed by Jordan Lavender at 9.4.

Trojans spread the wealth

* No. 5 Chambersburg is another team without any big scorers on the leaderboard, yet the Trojans are above the .500 mark at 5-4 in the rugged Mid-Penn Commonwealth.

The Trojans are led by Ryan Borzager's 9.6-point average and Rashon Bailey is close behind at 9.1, but it has been production down the line that has carried the Trojans.

"We thought we'd be very well balanced at the beginning of the year and that depth would be a strength," said coach Shawn Shreffler. "We knew we wouldn't have any one guy and that our style would be conducive to a lot of guys putting the ball in the basket."

The Trojans have enjoyed quality wins over Mechanicsburg and Steel-High, which beat Harrisburg on Tuesday night.

"We did a good job of handling (Steel's) pressure," said Shreffler about the 66-63 victory. "At this point in time maybe we have overachieved a little, but we have had tremendous growth from the first game to the second game and so on."

The Trojans' surge forward was temporarily halted with a thud on Wednesday in a 76-50 loss to Central Dauphin East, one of the Commonwealth's top teams.

* Another successful team spreading the wealth throughout its roster is Southern Fulton.

The Indians have a 9-2 record, yet their leading scorer -- Josh Hall -- has only a 10.2-point average. Luke Mellott averages 8.9 and Andrew Merica averages 8.2.

Gaels' Martin lights it up

Through Wednesday's games, St. Maria Goretti junior guard Nic Martin had the top single-game scoring output to date, pouring in 34 points in a loss to Martinsburg on Dec. 29.

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