WILLIAMSPORT — Saturday afternoon’s wrestling tri-meet between North Hag
erstown, Williamsport and Middletown was momentous, as North defeated Williamsport for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
And it wasn’t close.
The Hubs (7-4, 1-0 MVAL Antietam) shook off an opening 39-35 loss to Middletown and handed the Wildcats (4-2, 3-1) their first dual-meet loss to a Washington County opponent in nearly five years with a decisive 51-22 win. The Wildcats’ last county loss was on Jan. 31, 2007, against Smithsburg.
“Eight years was long enough,” said North coach Greg Slick of his team’s struggles against Williamsport. “Williamsport has a very good program. They’re very well coached, which is an indication of the dominance they have had.”
However, on Saturday, it was the Hubs who did the dominating, winning nine of the 14 weight classes.
North won the first three bouts of the match to jump out to a 15-0 lead, including a 19-4 tech fall for Hubs star Brendon Colbert over Wildcats standout Bryan Davis at 126 pounds.
“I was trying to get six (points) for the team with a pin, but (Davis) was fighting,” said Colbert. “Still, I’m happy to get the tech fall and hopefully next time it goes the same.”
Williamsport earned its first win in the 138-pound bout with a pin by Killian Baker. But two straight pins by North’s Aziz Mirzaev (145) and Ryan Hartsock (152) gave North a comfortable 27-6 lead.
“We have a lot of young guys that have been getting away with things, and today was the first time they wrestled guys with the strength and experience to make them pay for their mistakes,” said Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic.
North also got pins by Gene Balcita (132), Kenneth Burrs (170), Antonio Rosario (195) and Amont Hawkins (220) en route to its big win.
“The kids had some goals today,” said Slick. “They accomplished part of them (going 1-1 in the meet), but I still think we have work to do.”
Middletown went 2-0 on the day, also defeating Williamsport 48-27.
North only trailed Middletown 33-26 through 11 bouts, but a third-period pin by Middletown’s Andrew Cross over Hawkins in the 12th bout at 220 sealed the win for the Knights.
One bright spot for Williamsport in its loss to Middletown was Zach Shoemaker, who earned his 100th career win, pinning George Poteshman in 1:41 at 160. Shoemaker finished 2-0 in the meet with a tech fall over North’s Andre McCall.
“I think there’s only seven or eight wrestlers in the history of Williamsport’s program to earn 100 wins,” said Rechtorovic. “That’s pretty elite company he’s entering.”
Rechtorovic’s team may have had a tough day Saturday, but the season isn’t over yet.
“There’s no harm in losing to those two teams. We may have lost two matches, but those teams are good and their records at the end of the season will show that,” Rechtorovic said. “We’ll try to learn from this, correct our mistakes and clean up any issues. We’re going to see North in the county tournament. We’ll use today as motivation to work harder.”
Middletown 48, Williamsport 27