North Carroll coach Bryan Wetzel said the 46-28 victory his team scored over host Liberty last night can give the Panthers a much-needed jolt.
The early season has not been kind to North Carroll (2-3, 1-0). The Panthers already had suffered tough losses to North East-Cecil, North Harford and Linganore before the Liberty match.
And the picture looked even darker last night. First, the Panthers were without three starters, including top wrestler Dameon Davis (135, 9-1).
Next came Liberty (6-7-1, 0-2) using first-period pins from Matt Deeds (112), Mark Richard (119) and Zach Cox (130), plus a major decision from Jesse Stank (125) for an early 22-3 lead.
"I still in my heart knew we could pull this out," said Wetzel.
The Panthers proved him correct, using pins from Mike Bezanson (140), Alan Hughes (152), Shawn Martin (189) and heavyweight Ben Fleming, plus a technical fall from Ralph Henry (145), to help outscore the Lions by 43-6 over the final eight matches.
"I knew we had to have a big win tonight to get our momentum going in the right direction," said Wetzel. "This was big."
Will Hann (103) gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead with a 10-7 victory over stubborn Josh Neal, but Deeds pinned Brendan Schultz at 1: 37. Richard followed with his pin of Jason Seabrease at 1: 42.
Stank stretched the Lions' lead with his 13-5 decision over Wyatt Deiaco. Cox then pinned Neil Viens at the 18-second mark to give Liberty a 19-point lead.
But North Carroll slowly rallied. Travis Miller (135) scored a 12-4 decision over James Haran. Bezanson then came up with the key pin of the match, stopping Will Frankton at 2: 29. Bezanson held a 3-2 lead after one period but took command at the start of the second and pinned Frankton 29 seconds into it.
"I was thinking that I've got to win this," said Bezanson.
That sliced the Liberty lead to 22-13, and Henry followed with a 17-2 technical fall over Andrew Gordon. The Panthers took the lead for good when Hughes rallied to pin Richard Skelly with just seven seconds left in the second.
The night's lone bit of controversy came when North Carroll's Adam Boog and Liberty's Ron Crowe were ejected and cited for flagrant misconduct after a shoving match with 24 seconds left in the second period of their 160-pound bout. Both teams got six points, and each wrestler must now miss his team's next match.
Pub Date: 1/08/97