Wrestlers fall in CL semifinals
Jim Moll was only concerned with one thing Monday night at the Colonial League Wrestling Team Championships.
And that was what the Tigers could control.
The Northwestern head coach knew that giving up forfeits in half the matches against top seed Notre Dame (Green Pond) was too much to overcome. But Moll was more concerned with the effort he saw when the Tigers were on the mat than the 66-14 outcome.
“You just have to go out and compete where you have a chance to compete,” said Moll. “We’re shorthanded. We had a lot of forfeits and we’re not really healthy.
“But I told our guys that we have to wrestle. We have seven guys wrestling, and the odds are we don’t win the match. But you better darn well go out and try and win your bout.”
Of the seven matches contested, the fourth-seeded Tigers won three.
Ryan Haverkamp pinned Mason Ludlow at 182 pounds. Harrison Bernhard won by technical fall at 145. Ben Griffith picked up a decision at 138.
“Harrison did real well, Ben did real well, and Haverkamp,” said Moll. “Haverkamp tries to score points for six straight minutes every time he wrestles. He is the most aggressive wrestler on our team.”
The performance built on a solid showing at the Coal Cracker Tournament over the weekend, where Haverkamp placed sixth.
“You just have to go out and wrestle,” said Haverkamp. “That’s the best thing you could do to get better at wrestling is just wrestle. The best wrestlers, they wrestle as much as they can all the time.
“It’s all about just getting on the mat and getting that mat time. Even if you’re a little beat up, you just have to keep going.”
Bernhard’s win at 145 pounds made it 18-8 after five matches. But the Crusaders won eight of the final nine bouts, with five of those victories coming via forfeit.
“Mainly, every match I win it helps to boost my confidence,” said Bernhard. “I’m just trying to go out there and see what I can do, trying to work on my mental state and getting ready to go.”
Building momentum is something Bernhard, who wrestled at 145 pounds for the first time this season at the Coal Cracker over the weekend after previously wrestling at 152 and 160, is trying to build heading into the postseason.
“Coming down to 145, I feel comfortable,” said Bernhard. “But at the beginning of the season I never expected to be at this weight. But now that I’m down here I feel pretty good and I like it.”
In addition to the seven forfeits, Notre Dame also got pins from Brandon Chletsos (126), Holden Garcia (152), Andrew Cerniglia (160) and Eshan Swartz (220).
Swartz was locked in a battle with Isaiah Johri, leading 3-1 before sticking his counterpart near the edge of the mat with six seconds left for the pin.
“Hopefully he see that it’s a match he can win,” Moll said. “He just needs to do a little more. He works and works and works, and then he stops a little bit. And you can’t do that.”
The Tigers earned the No. 8 seed in the Class 2A bracket of the District 11 Team Tournament, which begins Thursday. Northwestern will face No. 9 Pen Argyl at 6 p.m. at Liberty. The winner faces top seed Saucon Valley at 7:30 in the quarterfinals.
Notre Dame 66, N’western 14
120 – Bryson Vaughn (ND) won by forfeit; 126 – Brandon Chletsos (ND) pinned Anthony Russo in :38; 132 – Ryan Crookham (ND) won by forfeit; 138 – Ben Griffith (NW) dec. Tony Morello, 11-6; 145 – Harrison Bernhard (NW) tech. fall Jacob Wehr, 18-3 (5:04); 152 – Holden Garcia (ND) pinned Lucas Miller in 2:43; 160 – Andrew Cerniglia (ND) pinned Tyler Watson in :48; 170 – Jared Blobe (ND) won by forfeit; 182 – Ryan Haverkamp (NW) pinned Mason Ludlow in 2:49; 195 – Jason Sine (ND) won by forfeit; 220 – Eshan Swartz (ND) pinned Isaiah Johri in 5:54; 285 – Lex Risera (ND) won by forfeit; 106 –Evan Maag (ND) won by forfeit; 113 – Nick Fegley (ND) won by forfeit