Ritter’s de­ci­sion pushes Abing­ton past Ten­nent

The Globe - - POLICEREPORTS - By Nick Iuele

Jake Ritter didn’t even know he was wrestling un­til the sec­ond to last bout of the night. As far as he knew, his 113-pound weight class was go­ing to be a for­feit. How­ever, with the score 34-32 in fa­vor of Wil­liam Ten­nent with one bout to go, Ritter’s num­ber was called and he an­swered he bell with a 7-3 de­ci­sion to earn a de­ci­sive three points and the Abing­ton win.

“I thought I was go­ing to get a for­feit, so I wasn’t re- ally ready to wres­tle, but I knew I had to pull through for my team to get the vic­tory,” Ritter said. “When I took my first low-leg sin­gle and scored my first two points, it gave me the con­fi­dence to push through. It feels great to help my team win.”

The Ghosts won the Sub­ur­ban One Na­tional Con­fer­ence match 35-34. It was a match that they dom­i­nated for the most part, but a com­bi­na­tion of tal­ented wrestlers in the up­per weight classes and for­feits put Ten­nent right back into it and then

some. While the Pan­thers dom­i­nated the higher weight classes, Abing­ton a strong hold on the mid­dle. It was the lower classes that made all the dif­fer­ence.

“We tried switch­ing our 106 guy up to 113 to see how the match would go,” Ten­nent coach Joe Rigous said. “Our up­per weight class guys did a nice job tonight. It was a good match. My heavy guys are all good, so we were con­fi­dent there.”

Abing­ton won all the bouts from 132 to 160. Mike Moltz (132) won a de­ci­sion while not al­low­ing Ten­nent’s Alex Szlanic a sin­gle point, while Mike McCaughry was the only Ghost to earn a win via pin at 138. Alex Win­shiel (120) had the only tech­ni­cal fall vic­tory of the night, win­ning the first bout of the match 15-0.

“We knew we were go­ing to give up a few for­feits in the up­per weight classes,” Abing­ton coach John Gille­spie said. “I think one of the key matches was McDon­ald’s bout at 152. He’s one of the kids I’m most proud of this sea­son be­cause he has worked really hard. This was the bout he needed, it was big for him. It was def­i­nitely an up-and-down match, like we ex­pected.”

Although Ten­nent won the 220 and 285 classes due to for­feits, but 170 through 195 were phys­i­cally dom­i­nated by the Pan­thers. Juan Maysonet (170), Rich Strain (182) and Cristobal Mo­rales (195) all won with pins, the only three of the night for Ten­nent.

Abing­ton orig­i­nally wanted to for­feit the 113 class, but once the score got tighter, Gille­spie de­cided to switch the re­main­ing two bouts and give Ritter a shot to win the match for the Ghosts. Down just two points, Ritter needed the min­i­mum of a win by de­ci­sion. He did not dis­ap­point. Af­ter Ten­nent’s Gio­vanni Scal­faro hung around for the first pe­riod, Ritter landed a cou­ple of take­downs and re­ver­sals to sep­a­rate him­self from his op­po­nent on the score­board. The clock ran out on Ten­nent and the Ghosts took the win.

“We have a lot of fresh­man in there,” Rigous said. “All in all, we got a good as­sess­ment out of the match. We got a good feel of what we need to work on. We are fo­cused on the post sea­son now.”

“I got great passes from Amar and just made an ef­fort to get open and he found me,” Cooney said. “Our coach has a great game plan for us and we just try to ex­e­cute it and we did tonight. I was in a rhythm and felt great out there.”

La Salle trailed late in the first quar­ter, as the Vik­ings (8-5, 3-2) held an 8-6 lead. But in the next nine-plus min­utes, Wood only man­aged one free throw while go­ing nearly the en­tire sec­ond quar­ter with­out a bas­ket, as the Ex­plor­ers (11-4, 5-1) built up their lead to as many as 16 points late in the half.

“We played well in the first 2½ min­utes, but their guards played well and we didn’t push the ball up the floor and un­for­tu­nately, our half-court ex­e­cu­tion was very poor,” Wood coach Jack Walsh said. “I think our de­fense kept us in the game, but you have to score points and that first half hurt us. We were in a rush and we started to panic.”

Though the Vik­ings, a Class AAA team, were fac­ing one of the best Class AAAA teams in the area, the strug­gles were still a bit sur­pris­ing for Wood, which had won 5 of 6 games en­ter­ing the meet­ing with the Ex­plor­ers.

Wood man­aged to step its game up of­fen­sively in the third and fourth quar­ters, cut­ting La Salle’s deficit to as few as four points af­ter a 19-5 sec­ond half run was capped off by a Tommy Rush layup with less than a minute to play.

But de­spite some ter­ri­ble fourth quar­ter free throw shoot­ing by the Ex­plor­ers, La Salle was able to shut the door on Wood’s come­back at­tempt.

“We smoth­ered them in the first half and we knew they were go­ing to make a run,” La Salle coach Joe Dempsey said. “We held a really good team down and Wood is one of the up­per-ech­e­lon teams in the Catholic League. We knew they were go­ing to make a poke at us and the trou­ble when you’re up 1415 points is that while you may not look down, you some­times start play­ing not to lose rather than to win. There’s a fine line with high school kids and we played a lit­tle pas­sively.”

The Ex­plor­ers’ fourth quar­ter free throw shoot­ing saw the team hit only 6 of 15 shots from the line, while hit­ting only 12 of 24 for the game.

“If we hit our foul shots, it’s ob­vi­ously a dif­fer­ent game,” Dempsey said. “But the kids had ex­ams all week and this was their third game in five days and I think it was start­ing to catch up to them.”

The win was La Salle’s sev­enth in eight games, as well as their fifth in six PCL games this sea­son.

The Ex­plor­ers were led by the shoot­ing of Cooney and the quick­ness of Stukes, the La Salle Univer­sity-bound se­nior guard who fin­ished with 16 points, three re­bounds, six as­sists and three steals. Se­nior Ryan Winslow added five points and five re­bounds, while ju­nior Steve Smith added a game­high 11 re­bounds.

Cooney’s 20 points were a per­sonal sea­son high.

“Pat has been get­ting stronger ev­ery day,” Dempsey said. “His floor game is tremen­dous and we know he can shoot the ball. He’s a leader, he’s steady, he’s con­fi­dent and he’s calm. He’s a good player and we’re for­tu­nate to have him.”

On Wood’s side, ju­nior Pat Smith and Rush each fin­ished with 11 points, while ju­nior Joe LoS­tracco added eight points and six re­bounds.

Mont­gomery Me­dia / SCOTT RO­MAN

Abing­ton’s Jor­dan Sim­mons steals the ball from Coun­cil Rock North’s Chris Row­land dur­ing Tues­day’s Sub­ur­ban One Na­tional Con­fer­ence ac­tion.

Mont­gomery Me­dia / BOB RAINES

Abing­ton’s Mike Ru­bin wres­tles Wil­liam Ten­nent’s Alis­ter McDon­ald in the 152-pound class dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s Sub­ur­ban One Na­tional Con­fer­ence meet.

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