QGhappy保级赛规则

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                Jeff Karam loved what he saw when he walked into the Bethlehem Catholic gym at 6:15 p.m. Friday.

                “It’s just great for wrestling," the Golden Hawks head coach said. “That’s what it’s about. Everyone talks about the big dual meets.

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                "How could you not come out here and walk away and think that this wasn’t one of the coolest things you’ve witnessed?” he said.

                Karam liked what he saw a few hours later as Bethlehem Catholic built a 20-point lead and hung on for a 34-27 victory over Notre Dame-GP in a matchup of two of the country’s premiere teams.

                Several Golden Hawks made their returns from injuries. Junior Matt Mayer, back for the first time since the Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament three weeks ago, clinched the match at 126 with a 13-4 major decision.

                Bethlehem Catholic also won close bouts at 145 and 220, where veterans Matt Lackman and Tavion Banks — who made his season debut — came through.

                Notre Dame-GP made things interesting until the end, thanks to Eshan Swartz’s momentum-shifting pin in the 285-pound rideout period.

                “I think it was his time to break out,” Crusaders coach Matt Veres said. "I told him, ‘This is your moment, your fight. Go out and scrap. Continue to fight and good things will happen.’

                “He needed that,” Veres said.

                “I told him, ‘This is your moment, your fight. Go out and scrap. Continue to fight and good things will happen.' ”


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                But Bethlehem Catholic stayed out of trouble at 120, where Notre Dame-GP’s Brandan Chletsos won by major; and 132, where Crusaders returning state champion Ryan Crookham beat Evan Gleason in a close 4-1 match.

                “It was going to come down to kids who were less experienced,” Karam added. “We had that momentum early and no doubt heavyweight shifted moment. I was a little worried down below, but the way we finished. ... Evan Gleason wrestled incredible."

                Bethlehem Catholic got two legs up on Notre Dame-GP before the first bout by having the match start at 138 and winning the coin flip.

                Studs Kenny Herrmann, Matt Lackman and Cole Handlovic produced in succession before Jamir Jiminez got a pin at 160, putting the Hawks in golden position early.

                “It was a blessing,” Karam said. “I was really happy where we started. Matt [Veres] did a great job. He’s going to do a phenomenal job at Notre Dame. Starting at 138, Kenny is a senior. I knew I can put him out there against anyone.”

                Lackman picked up a pair of first-period takedowns before holding on against freshman Holden Garcia at 145.

                “We wanted to keep the pace up, keep pushing the action,” Lackman said. "If we do that, we’re a good team.

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                “[Garcia] is hard to wrestle," he said. "I can usually ride guys on top. I rode him for a little while, but he was able to get to his feet, where he’s a little unorthodox.”

                The Lehigh Valley wrestling community was the big winner Friday night, with a standing room-only crowd hanging on every point.

                Karam said he couldn’t remember the last time he saw a crowd that size for a dual at Bethlehem Catholic. It made him feel good about agreeing to wrestle Notre Dame.

                “I’m sitting there with [assistant coach] Randy [Cruz] and said, ‘Man, this is what it’s all about,’ ” Karam said. "We have a great wrestling gym. It’s packed like this.

                “It’s such a great sport," he said. "It’s a great sport in our area and to see it packed like this ... I don’t think I’ve ever seen this gym as packed as it was.”

                Bethlehem Catholic will reciprocate next season by going to Notre Dame-GP for a dual.

                Again, the fans will be the real winners.

                “It was a great environment, a great atmosphere,” Veres said. “We knew it would be a dogfight. The coin toss came into play in a couple of bouts we wanted, but they have a really good team over there and I knew our backs would be against the wall in some matches.”

                Tyler Kasak weighed in, but did not make his season debut for Bethlehem Catholic. He suffered an injury during wrestle-offs at 106. Jaden Youwakim, who has not wrestled since the season-opening dual meet against Liberty, weighed in but did not wrestle at 170.

                Up next

                Bethlehem Catholic hosts East Stroudsburg North at 1 p.m. Saturday. Notre Dame-GP visits Northwestern at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

                Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or at thousenick@mcall.com

                Bethlehem Catholic 34, Notre Dame-GP 27

                106: Cael McIntyre (BC) dec. Evan Maag, 5-2

                113: Brett Ungar (ND) tech. fall Dante Frinzi, 15-0, 4:15

                120: Brandan Chletsos (ND) maj. dec. Andrew Harmon, 9-1

                126: Matt Mayer (BC) maj. dec. Bryson Vaughn, 13-4

                132: Ryan Crookham (ND) dec. Evan Gleason, 4-1

                138: Kenny Herrmann (BC) tech. fall Josh Bauman, 16-0, 3:08

                145: Matt Lackman (BC) dec. Holden Garcia, 5-2

                152: Cole Handlovic (BC) pinned Tony Morello, 1:30

                160: Jamir Jiminez (BC) pinned Nolan Berkenstock, 2:21

                170: Andrew Cerniglia (ND) pinned Luke Thomas, 0:52

                182: Anthony DeRosa (BC) maj. dec. Jared Blobe, 13-0

                195: Derek Berlitz (ND) dec. Justus Bozzi, 7-4

                220: Tavion Banks (BC) dec. Jason Sine, 9-7

                285: Eshan Swartz (ND) pinned Mike Maldonado, 7:47

                Referees: Mike Evans and Tony Phillips.

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