Southern's early push pulls out victory North County makes rally, can't catch Bulldogs, 36-34

December 17, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Southern Bulldogs knew they had to get busy right from the start last night against visiting county foe North County.

They did just that.

Winning the first four matches, including pins from Ben Thornton and Matt Bender to go with a pivotal decision from Ryan Spannare, the Bulldogs were able to survive North County's strength at the heavier weights to come away with a solid 36-34 win.

With the Knights (1-2) missing a heavyweight -- yielding six points via forfeit -- the Bulldogs clinched the match at 152 when Brian Youmans' 10-0 major decision over Shawn Kisner gave them a 30-16 lead.

WT Aye, Mike Parks and Michawn Yuvienco -- 160 through 189 in the Knights' lineup -- all scored pins to give the visitors a temporary 34-30 lead, but it was after-the-fact with the heavyweight forfeit already determined.

The Bulldogs are 5-0 and the special feeling in Harwood is getting stronger and stronger.

"We knew we had to win down low with the strong lineup [North County] has up top. You couldn't have written a better script," second-year Southern coach John Mayberry said.

Spannare, 0-6 going into the match but deserving better, made the most of his role. A junior at 125, he was trailing 1-0 to North County's Ben Latagan before getting a takedown with seven seconds left in the third period to grab a 2-1 decision. Those three points were important in putting the Bulldogs over the top.

"I was waiting for the match to wind down and knew I had to get a takedown to win it," he said. "I knew [Latagan] was a good wrestler and saw he did well at the Meade tournament. I was looking for a leg and got it."

The decision provided Southern with a 20-4 lead and, after Ray Pumphrey got four points back for the Knights with a major decision over Chuck Scarlata at 130, the Bulldogs were back at it with Jimmie DeCarmine getting a third-period pin over Luke Adams at 135. Youmans clinched the win two matches later.

No one in the gym was quite sure when Southern last defeated North County.

"Maybe never," said Mayberry, who inherited a 1-10 team and coached it to an 8-10 finish in his first season.

"We have something special here. The kids are working hard and things are starting to click."

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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