Knights' quick pin sparks North Carroll to win over F.S. Key

Panthers improve to 7-0, rally with seven-bout run

Wrestling

High Schools

January 13, 2004|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

As the highest returning state finisher on a talented North Carroll wrestling squad, junior Seth Knights has accepted a leadership role.

The sixth-ranked 145-pounder showed the way last night as his 43-second pin was key to a seven-bout run of victories that secured a 43-21 victory at Carroll County league rival Francis Scott Key (3-2 overall, 2-2 league).

Knights followed first-period falls by teammates Dan Keller (130) and Trevor Reese (140) by giving the sixth-ranked Panthers (7-0, 1-0) an insurmountable 34-21 lead with two bouts left after they had trailed 21-9. Sam Shreck (160) finished things off with North Carroll's fifth pin.

"When we were down, I was a little worried, so I was getting pumped up. I was telling all the guys to get jacked up to get the job done," said Knights, who finished third in the state last year and improved to 11-2 this year. "I'm looking to help the younger guys out, as well as looking to place higher at states."

North Carroll's run was started by 125-pounder Tyler Macleod (11-4), who scored a 6-0 victory over Shane Eyler (9-2). Tim Hutchins (135) blanked Joe Hansbrough, 9-0, and Ryan Schroeder (152) edged Brett Croomes, 7-6.

"We came into the match knowing that this was going to be the hardest one so far this season," said the third-ranked Hutchins, who is 10-1. "I thought we all wrestled pretty decently, and I'm happy with it. We didn't take anything for granted."

North Carroll led 9-0 after two bouts, including a pin by fourth-ranked county champion Robbie Pearre at 171 pounds. Pearre (10-1) planted Luke Schuster in 1:21, and Josh Harris (189) followed with four takedowns in an 8-3 victory over Nate Eyler.

But Francis Scott Key reeled off five straight wins for the 21-9 lead, with a 19-second pin by 215-pound Tommy Rush (7-1), and another by Matt Callari (103) in 4:33 against Mike Noratel.

Also, Eagles heavyweight Ralph Stambaugh (8-2) fought off his back in the third period of his 4-2 win over Bobby Dell; Reuben Gill (112) moved to 11-0 with a 6-0 shutout of Tom Goretsas; and Josh Weishaar (119) blanked Zach Forbes, 7-0.

Considered contenders for the 4A-3A state duals and tournament crowns, the Panthers remained unbeaten and on pace to meet ninth-ranked, defending county champion South Carroll in a showdown of county powers on Jan. 28.

"The last two matches, our mental preparation is the best it's been," said North Carroll coach Dave Dotson. "We wrestled a very tough Francis Scott Key team, and the kids are responding to what we're telling them."

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