By ANDREW MASON
11:14 PM EST, January 11, 2013
With 18 teams and all their fans packed into the North Hagerstown gymnasium this weekend, the 26th annual Hub Cup tournament might be a little overwhelming for a lot of wrestlers.
Maintaining composure seems to be a key to success.
“I just go with the flow, pretty much,” said Williamsport’s Nick Miller, who advanced to Saturday’s semifinals in the 106-pound weight class with a quick pin in Friday evening’s quarterfinals. “I just wrestle, that’s about it. It doesn’t really bother me who the kids are.”
It didn’t seem to bother Williamsport teammate Sinjin Shoop that he had to wrestle second-seeded Ryan Sachs of Magruder in the quarterfinals at 138.
“I didn’t even know he was seeded second,” Shoop said after his 7-2 win over Sachs. “I just went out and wrestled him like I do everyone else.”
Saint James’ Leighton Younger also scored an upset in the quarterfinals with a 3-2 decision over second-seeded and previously unbeaten Garrett Smith of Paint Branch at 182.
“The coach told me after the match that (Smith) was 15-0, and I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I wasn’t expecting that at all,” said Younger, who improved to 14-6 this season. “When I came into (the Hub Cup), I just wanted to do better than last year. I was seventh last year (at 182), and I was happy about that. And now I’m in the semifinals.”
Boonsboro’s Charles Anoman also is having quite a senior year. He went 2-0 Friday at 126 to advance to the semifinals, while remaining unblemished this season at 14-0.
“I’m just wrestling, not thinking too much,” Anoman said. “I used to think too much, and I wasn’t comfortable. Now I’m a lot more comfortable.”
The biggest upset of the night was turned in by Greencastle-Antrim’s Jared Starliper, who entered the tournament with a 6-5 record. In the quarterfinals at 195, he pinned No. 1-seeded Nelson Reyes of Quince Orchard, who was 21-1.
“Just go hard and never stop,” said Starliper, who scored the fall with 20 seconds left in the second period. “Just don’t give up. That’s all I can say. Anything can happen.”
At 132, there were no major upsets as North Hagerstown’s Brendon Colbert (22-0), a two-time Maryland state runner-up, and Mountain Ridge’s Adam Martz (17-0), a returning state champ, remained on track to meet in what would be the most star-studded final of the tournament.
“Hopefully I’ll get to the finals again and have the same outcome as last year,” said Colbert, who was the Hub Cup champ at 120 last year, while Martz was the runner-up at 126.
“I was going to stay at 138 for the tournament, but when we found out (Martz) was going to 132, I dropped down because I really want to wrestle him,” Colbert said. “Me and him going at it, it should be an exciting match. I haven’t had really any tough matches yet this year, and that’s what I need.”
South Hagerstown’s Marquil Holt is two wins away from a second straight Hub Cup title at 220. Whether he gets it or not, there’s no place he’d rather be.
“I’m just going to come out here and wrestle the way I wrestle and have fun,” Holt said. “I love this. That’s the only reason I wrestle. I love this sport. I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t love.”
Other semifinalists from Washington County include: Boonsboro’s Davon Clark (152), North Hagerstown’s Diantra Landry (145) and Amont Hawkins (195), Saint James’ Henry Smith (160) and Williamsport’s Bryan Davis (126), Jacob Cody (170) and Brandon Iseminger (285).
For Waynesboro, Aaron Layman (120), Kenyon Cuka (138) and Jesse Smith (145) advanced to the semifinals, as did Greencastle’s Cody Carbaugh (113).
Catoctin begins Saturday in first place in the team standings with 71.5 points. Paint Branch and defending champ Urbana are tied for second with 70 each, while DeMatha Catholic is fourth (67) and Williamsport is fifth (65).
Wrestling resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday. The championship finals start at 7 p.m.
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