Tigers go 3-2 at District 11 Duals
Just like Jim Moll drew it up.
Northwestern survived a bevy of contenders to reach the consolation final and place fourth at the District 11 Class 2A team wrestling championships Saturday.
“We wrestled well over the last two days, Thursday and today,” said the Tigers’ head coach. “As the 10th seed, I feel like our guys came in and did well, outperformed what our seed was, however much that means I don’t know. But we looked good, which is what I care about.”
Northwestern posted wins over North Schuylkill (48-24) and Lehighton (45-27) in its first and second round consolation matches at Freedom’s Joseph J. McIntyre Gymnasium. The Tigers’ tournament came to a close with a 58-9 loss to Wilson in the consolation final.
Bethlehem Catholic won the Class 3A title, while Saucon Valley captured the 2A crown. Northampton (3A) and Notre Dame of Green Pond (2A) also qualified for states with runner-up finishes.
It is the Golden Hawks fourth 3A title in five years. The Panthers won their fourth straight 2A championship.
After holding a 12-9 lead through the first four matches, the Warriors won the final 10 bouts to pull away from the Tigers.
Elijah Bundro (132), Owen Pelonero (145) and Marckis Branford (152) had pins for No. 3 seed Wilson, while Caden Poff (106) won by major decision.
Ben Griffith (126) had a pin, and Harrison Bernhard (138) a decision for Northwestern.
While disappointed with the loss, Moll saw progress in his team’s performance.
“I told our guys after the Wilson match that we looked, conditioning-wise, 100 times better than we did a week and a half ago at Coal Cracker,” he said. “It may just be our bodies adjusting to the change in conditioning, and the change in our routine. Hopefully that makes a difference, and continues through the end of the month.
“We certainly point out growth and improvement. We talk about closing the gap on guys that we lose to, or teams that we lose to, and we’re certainly doing that. So that’s a good sign.”
Wilson 58, Northwestern 9
120 – Blake Hartrum (W) won by forfeit; 126 – Ben Griffith (NW) pinned Carmen Rawlinson in 3:07; 132 – Elijah Bundro (W) pinned Donovan White in :41; 138 – Harrison Bernhard (NW) dec. Dustin Hunara, 9-3; 145 – Owen Pelonero (W) pinned Jack Casciano in 1:46; 152 – Marckis Branford (W) pinned Ryan Fink in 1:08; 160 – Anthony Micci (W) dec. Ryan Haas, 11-4; 170 – Cayden Trimmer (W) dec. Will Dellicker, 10-5; 182 – Alec Snyder (W) dec. Tyler Watson, 3-2; 195 – Austin Wickham (W) dec. Ryan Haverkamp, 6-4; 220 – Kolby Flank (W) won by forfeit; 285 – Roger Russell (W) won by forfeit; 106 – Caden Poff (W) maj. dec. Eli Dellicker, 11-0; 113 – Blake Sheridan (W) won by forfeit
The Tigers never trailed, but it got close in a second-round consolation match against Lehighton.
Lehighton, the No. 5 seed, sandwiched pins from Logan Pagotto (152) and Richard Fronheisr (170) around a decision by Northwestern’s Ryan Haas to cut its deficit to 24-21 with five matches remaining.
But Northwestern’s Ryan Haverkamp hung on for a 9-8 decision at 182 pounds in the next match to make it 27-21.
The Tigers got forfeits in three of the final four matches to seal it.
Northwestern built the early 21-3 advantage after five bouts.
Jake Dellicker opened the contest with a pin at 113. Mason Brensinger (120) followed with a technical fall, and Donovan White (132) recorded a major decision before Harrison Bernhard (138) picked up a forfeit.
“Mason tweaked his quad against North Schuylkill,” said Moll. “He was kind of on the fence whether he was going to wrestle against Lehighton, and he decided after warmups that he was good to go. He wrestled through that pain to get a win, which was huge. If he doesn’t wrestle, that’s a nine-point swing, and that changes a lot of things.
“And Jake Dellicker same thing. His leg is bothering him, and he hobbled through a big win. Those are two really gutsy wins we had from those two guys. It shows the character of those two guys. They wanted to go. It’s real easy to say, this hurts, that hurts, I’m going to sit out and get healthy. But they wanted to wrestle for the team. That shows a big part of their character.”
Chris Whiteman (145) got a pin for the Indians to cut it to 21-9.
Steven Fritzinger posted a decision for the Indians at 126 pounds.
N’western 45, Lehighton 27
113 – Jake Dellicker (NW) pinned Lukas Ferguson in :42; 20 – Mason Brensinger (NW) tech. fall David Miller, 18-3 (5:58); 126 – Steven Fritzinger (L) dec. Ben Griffith, 9-7; 132 – Donovan White (NW) maj. dec. Lucas Sangiuliano, 11-3; 138 – Harrison Bernhard (NW) won by forfeit; 145 – Chris Whiteman (L) pinned Jack Casciano in 3:49; 152 – Logan Pagotto (L) pinned Ryan Fink in 1:35; 160 – Ryan Haas (NW) dec. Jon Ahner, 10-4; 170 – Richard Fronheiser (L) pinned Will Dellicker in 4:25; 182 – Ryan Haverkamp (NW) dec. Alex Zeigenfuss, 9-8; 195 – Tyler Watson (NW) won by forfeit; 220 – Christian Rodirguez (L) won by forfeit; 285 – Isaiah Juhri (NW) won by forfeit; 106 – Eli Dellicker (NW) won by forfeit
The Tigers carried the momentum they created with an opening-round win Thursday over No. 7 seed Tamaqua, storming out to a 24-6 lead after seven matches.
Ben Griffith (126), Donovan White (138) and Harrison Bernhard (145) all had pins for Northwestern, while Eli Dellicker (106) and Mason Brensinger (120) won by decision.
The sixth-seeded Spartans cut it to 24-12 before the Tigers ripped off a string of four straight pins to push their advantage to 48-12.
Ryan Haas (160), Will Dellicker (170), Tyler Watson (182) and Ryan Haverkamp (195) all recorded pins for Northwestern.
North Schuylkill 24
106 – Eli Dellicker (NW) dec. Tyler Slotterback, 9-6; 113 – Danny Grigas (NS) dec. Jake Dellicker, 11-8; 120 – Mason Brensinger (NW) dec. Gavin Locke, 4-3; 126 – Ben Griffith (NW) pinned Ethan Miernicki in 4:29; 132 – Mike Sterner (NS) dec. Anthony Russo, 5-3; 138 – Donovan White (NW) pinned Chris Cutrona in 1:23; 145 – Harrison Bernhard (NW) pinned Ben Wolfe in 3:31; 152 – Dylan Edwards (NS) pinned Jack Casciano in 3:10; 160 – Ryan Haas (NW) pinned Hayden Francis in 1:02; 170 – Will Dellicker (NW) pinned Shawn Sosnoski in 1:01; 182 – Tyler Watson (NW) pinned Patrick Coones in :42; 195 – Ryan Haverkamp (NW) pinned Blake Olayo in :37; 220 – Joe Tinari (NS) won by forfeit; 285 – Ryan Weitz (NS) won by forfeit
The Tigers opened the tournament last Thursday with a preliminary match win against Tamaqua, 40-28 as Moll picked up his 100th career coaching victory in the process.
Donovan White started the surge with a pin to put the No. 10 seed Tigers ahead 30-24.
Harrison Bernhard (138) earned a major decision, and Jack Casciano (145) held on for a narrow decision win to push the advantage to 37-24, a deficit too great for the seventh-seeded Raiders to overcome with just two matches left.
“Donovan had a huge win, so that really kind of got the momentum back on our side,” said Moll. “And we finished hard; I like to see that.
“Harrison wrestled well. He’s a strong kid, and he knows how to wrestle. He capitalized on some things in that match where he needed to.”
But Casciano was the clincher. He trailed 7-3 after the first period before getting a takedown and two back points in the second period to tie it. A reversal in the third period provided the difference.
“I think Jack’s confidence is growing,” said Moll. “After the Coal Cracker (over the weekend) and how he wrestled today, his confidence is definitely growing.
“He got taken down, and was able to come back, which is nice. It’s always nice if you can come back after giving up that first takedown.”
Jake Dellicker (113) and Mason Brensinger (120) recorded pins to put Northwestern ahead 21-18.
Ryan Haas grabbed a 6-4 decision in sudden victory overtime at 160 pounds for the Tigers to set the final score after Caleb Sell recorded a major decision at 152 pounds for the Raiders.
Northwestern 40, Tamaqua 28
170 - Nate Wickersham (T) pinned Will Dellicker in 3:13; 182 - Carson Krell (T) dec. Tyler Watson, 11-7; 195 - Ryan Haverkamp (NW) pinned Alex Zeigler in 1:32; 220 - Brandon Eberts (T) won by forfeit; 285 – Bronson Strouse (T) won by forfeit; 106 - Eli Dellicker (NW) won by forfeit; 113 - Jake Dellicker (NW) pinned Nick Wall in :22; 120 - Mason Brensinger (NW) pinned Tyler Hazlett in 1:39; 126 - Randolph Steigerwalt (T) dec. Ben Griffith, 5-2; 132 - Donovan White (NW) pinned Joey Minehan in 3:08; 138 - Harrison Bernhard (NW) major dec. Aaron Coccio, 10-0; 145 - Jack Casciano (NW) dec. Cole Eberts, 9-8; 152 - Caleb Sell (T) major dec. Ryan Fink, 8-0; 160 - Ryan Haas (NW) dec. Khalid Holland, 6-4 (SV).
In the quarterfinal round Thursday, the second-seeded Crusaders jumped on Northwestern early, building a 20-6 lead after the first five matches en route to a 54-18 win.
Notre Dame got bonus points from Brandon Chletsos (132), Nick Vonelli (145) and Andrew Cerniglia (152), who delivered pins. Evan Maag (106) and Ryan Crookham (120) won by technical fall, and Derek Berlitz (160) and Isaiah DeJesus (170) grabbed major decisions.
After losing to the Crusaders 54-15 in their first matchup on Jan. 2, Moll was happy with the improvement he saw from his team in the second meeting, even if it wasn’t reflected in the final score.
“We were more aggressive,” said Moll. “And I think we were more competitive against Notre Dame than we were the first time around, which was good. Maybe it had to do with the confidence coming off a win. We warmed up well. It could be a lot of things. But mentally, we were in a better spot.”
Jake Dellicker (113) and Harrison Bernhard (138) had pins for the Tigers.
Notre Dame 54, N’western 18
182 - Tucker Klump (ND) dec. Ryan Haverkamp, 5-3; 195 - Tyler Watson (NW) won by forfeit; 220 - Eshan Swartz (ND) won by forfeit; 285 - Anthony Schiraldi (ND) won by forfeit; 106 - Evan Maag (ND) tech. fall Eli Dellicker, 17-0 (2:00); 113 - Jake Dellicker (NW) pinned Tony Morello in 4:32; 120 - Ryan Crookham (ND) tech. fall Mason Brensinger, 17-2 (2:53); 126 - Josh Bauman (ND) dec. Ben Griffith, 13-6; 132 - Brandon Chletsos (ND) pinned Donovan White in :32; 138 - Harrison Bernhard (NW) pinned Jacob Wehr in 2:42; 145 - Nick Vonelli (ND) pinned Jack Casciano in 3:13; 152 - Andrew Cerniglia (NDGP) pinned Ryan Fink in 1:06; 160 - Derek Berlitz (ND) major dec. Ryan Haas, 12-3; 170 - Isaiah DeJesus (ND) major dec. Will Dellicker, 14-5.