Free sixes

War­riors win six matches by for­feit, top Pa­tri­ots

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­

Given that the team was giv­ing up six for­feits when it squared off with La Plata on Tues­day night, there was vir­tu­ally no chance that North­ern’s wrestling squad was go­ing to be able to pull off a win over the War­riors.

Nev­er­the­less, North­ern head coach John Bat­tle chal­lenged his team to win all eight of the matches ac­tu­ally con­test- ed. The Pa­tri­ots nearly reached the goal, win­ning six of the eight over the hosts. It wasn’t to be enough, how­ever, as La Pla- ta won two bouts by fall to go along with the six for­feits to claim a 48-33 South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence vic­tory.

La Plata’s two wins on the mat came cour­tesy of David Hayes (120 pounds) and Michael Bellerose (132), both of whom won by pin.

“I was very pleased with how David Hayes per­formed,” La Plata head coach John Pankhurst said in a text mes­sage on Wed­nes­day morn­ing re­gard­ing the night’s ac­tion. “We have been work­ing on some spe­cific tech­niques at length re­cently and he is show­ing an aware­ness and feel of how and when to ap­ply them, so that was pos­i­tive. Michael Bellerose was also very sharp, as well. I be­lieve he is round­ing into good form and build­ing con­fi­dence in his at­tacks, as well.”

Los­ing the other six bouts left a bit of a sour taste, though. The War­riors were pinned in five of them.

“I have spent some time re­flect­ing on our short­com­ings last night and I be­lieve that in some in­stances you have to ap­plaud your com­pe­ti­tion be­cause they are work­ing and de­vel­op­ing also,” Pankhurst said, “and in other in­stances we need to do a bet­ter job with as­pects of our life and train­ing.”

La Plata (17-13, 4-0 SMAC) is next sched­uled to wres­tle against Chop­ti­con and host Patux­ent in a tri-match on Jan. 10.

On the other side of the mat, win­ners for North­ern were Zack Hoff­man (170), Seth Cran­ford (182), Marvin Mitchell (220), Finn Yankanich (106), Rex Flem­ing (145) and Lance Adri­ani (152). In the first three bouts ac­tu­ally wres­tled, Hoff­man, Cran­ford and Mitchell all won by fall in less than a minute. Yankanich pinned La Plata’s Owen But­ler with just

10 sec­onds re­main­ing in the third pe­riod, while Adri­ani won by fall in the sec­ond pe­riod of his 152-pound match.

The night’s only bout to go the distance — and be­yond — was be­tween Flem­ing and La Plata’s Nick Mead­ows at 145. Mead­ows led 4-1 late in the third pe­riod, but Flem­ing fought to knot the score on a near­fall as the pe­riod closed and then scored the de­ci­sive take­down with about 10 sec­onds re­main­ing in the over­time ses­sion.

“I knew it was go­ing to be a hard one be­cause last year I saw [Mead­ows] wres­tle in youth league. He did pretty well, so I knew I’d have to come out strong,” said Flem­ing, blood still smeared over var­i­ous part of his face fol­low­ing the bat­tle. “I knew he was good at shoot­ing, so I had to look out for the shot. When he got the first few points, I just knew I had to step it up and get big . ... I knew I had to step it up and get a big move. It was go­ing to be hard for me to get the three points, but I knew I had to. I saw the cra­dle and hooked it up and got the back points to tie it up. By then I was su­per tired, but I found a lit­tle spark in my body. I just had to pull it out.”

North­ern (8-4, 4-1) is sched­uled to host its an­nual Pa­triot Clas­sic tour­na­ment to­day and to­mor­row. Wrestling is sched­uled to be­gin at 4:30 p.m. to­day and con­tinue at 10 a.m. Satur­day.

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