Ortiz takes fifth at BHC
The early part of the season has been a roller coaster ride for the Northwestern wrestling team. The ride continued last weekend at the annual Bethlehem Holiday Classic.
The Tigers got close to placing a trio of grapplers in the medal round, but managed just one in senior Michael Ortiz.
"I think we underperformed," said head coach Jim Moll. "Only getting one guy through, I thought we'd have two or three. We had two guys who were one win away so I guess we got close. For the most part they wrestled well. We have a long way to go, though."
Ortiz (170) earned fifth place by going 3-2 in the two-day event, held at Liberty High School.
Ortiz, who is wrestling this season with a torn ACL, was hoping to finish higher. But didn't make any excuses or blame his injury for his finish.
"It's difficult because I have to change everything I do," said the Tiger senior. "But I'm not going to say I would have finished better if I wasn't injured because you just have to wrestle."
Friday he beat Phillipsburg's Broderick Bupivi, 8-6, before falling to Big Springs' Cody Seibert, 2-0 in the quarterfinals.
Ortiz won a pair of consolation bouts, beating Liberty's Noah Klingborg, 3-2, and Boyertown's Grayson Garber, 5-4. He dropped his consolation semifinal, 15-2 to Central Dauphin's Colton Peppelman then got a forfeit win in the fifth-place bout.
While Ortiz was the Tigers' only place winner, both Jarrett White and Mitch Evans came one win short of medaling.
White, a freshman wrestling at 106, beat Lehighton's Tegan Durishin in their opening match, 12-2. White then fell in the quarterfinals, 12-2 to Quakertown's Collyn Dorney. He lost his first consolation bout, 10-2 to Boyertown's Lucas Miller.
Evans (160) won his first bout by technical fall, 15-0 over Liberty's Kevin Knox. The Tiger senior lost his second bout by technical fall, 18-1 to Northampton's Bobby Fehr.
He came back with two consolation wins before falling in a fourth-round consolation bout, 2-0 Steve Wooley of Warwick.
Northwestern's Jason Hottinger (120) went 2-2 at Liberty. He received a first-round forfeit, lost his second bout to Pen Argyl's Mike Williams, then beat Honesdale's John Lemon, 3-0, in a consolation before getting eliminated in his next match.
The following wrestlers won one match at the tournament: Northwestern's Quintin Bernhard (113) and Joe Colucci (138) each won one of their matches in the tournament.
The Tigers finished 25th in team points with 35.
This year's Holiday Classic team trophy went to Wyoming Seminary, which cruised to the title with 245 points. Central Dauphin was second at 163, followed by Phillipsburg (157.5), Big Spring (123) and Delaware Valley (119).