By ANDREW MASON
11:27 PM EST, January 31, 2013
The North Hagerstown wrestling team rose to the occasion again.
The Hubs toppled Catoctin 48-23 on Senior Night at North on Thursday to win their second straight MVAL Antietam Conference title. With the victory, the Hubs also improved their chances of advancing next week to the Maryland Class 4A-3A West region dual-meet tournament, which North won last year.
The Hubs improved to 15-10 (6-0) this season, while Catoctin fell to 19-9 (3-1).
“There was a lot on the line,” North coach Greg Slick said. “A team can step up and meet the challenge or they can fold under pressure. Tonight we stepped up and met the challenge head on. ... There were so many huge matches tonight.”
The bout of the night was at 138 pounds — North’s Brendon Colbert vs. Catoctin’s Charlie Perella.
Colbert scored an escape and takedown in the second period and held on for a 3-0 victory, improving to 29-1 on the season while avenging his lone loss. Perella edged Colbert 6-5 in the Hub Cup semifinals at 132 on Jan. 12.
“Any time you lose to anybody, you always want to come back and get revenge and wrestle a better match,” said Colbert, a junior, who is 101-5 for his career. “I was really pumped up. Today at school, everybody was coming up to me and saying, ‘I hear you have a big match.’ That kind of gave me some motivation. I didn’t want to lose again in my home gym.”
North began the night on fire, jumping out to an 18-0 lead on consecutive pins by Aaron Dopson (220 pounds), Kahlil Harris-Williams (285) and Mike Tobery (106).
“It was pretty intense,” Tobery said. “During practice we constantly talk about pins, pins, pins. Pins make the difference.”
Harris-Williams’ first-period pin against the Cougars’ Donnie Ames was especially noteworthy, because it came in the North senior’s first varsity bout.
“I was really, really nervous,” said Harris-Williams, who worked all season to earn a spot in the lineup.
“(Ames) was very intimidating, but I had my team behind me and they gave me confidence. I couldn’t have done it without them,” Harris-Williams said.
“Senior Night and everything, it was crazy.”
After Catoctin got back-to-back pins from Garrett Buckley (113) and Tim Nordan (120) to cut its deficit to 18-12, North’s Eddie Chappell (126) and Gene Balcita (132) each won by forfeit. Colbert followed with his win by decision to give the Hubs a 33-12 lead.
“I wish there wouldn’t have had to be those forfeits,” Slick said. “But we’re all suffering through injuries right now.”
At 145, Catoctin’s Patrick Guilday got by Diantra Landry 11-6, and at 152, North’s Coleman McHose came back from an early 5-0 deficit to beat Kyle Wathen 7-5 to give the Hubs a 36-15 lead.
The Cougars won the next two bouts — Collin Schildt by pin at 160 and Parker Rohrbaugh by decision at 170. However, Catoctin coach Ryan Green was called for unsportsmanlike conduct during the 170 bout, costing the Cougars one team point.
With a 36-23 lead and only two bouts left, North seemingly had the match wrapped up.
Catoctin’s lost point didn’t end up mattering, as Amont Hawkins followed with a pin at 182 for the Hubs. Catoctin then opted to forfeit to Antonio Rosario in the final match at 195.
“I think Ryan Green has done a tremendous job with the Catoctin program,” Slick said. “His kids wrestle hard, they wrestle tough and they wrestle whistle to whistle. We worked hard to try to prepare our kids for that style of wrestling.”
North Hagerstown 48, Catoctin 23
220 — Dopson (NH) p. Biser, 5:20; 285 — Harris-Williams (NH) p. Ames, 1:49; 106 — Tobery (NH) p. Ko. Wathen, 1:06; 113 — Buckley (C) p. Qadir, :42; 120 — Nordan (C) p. Edwards, 2:48; 126 — Chappell (NH) fft.; 132 — Balcita (NH) fft.; 138 — Colbert (NH) d. Perella, 3-0; 145 — Guilday (C) d. Landry, 11-6; 152 — McHose (NH) d. Ky. Wathen, 7-5; 160 — Schildt (C) p. Leone, 1:20; 170 — Rohrbaugh (C) d. McKoy, 9-8; 182 — Hawkins (NH) p. Shriner, 1:37; 195 — Rosario (NH) fft.
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