Central Catholic Raiders Wrestling '07-'08

Wed, Jan 02, 2008 07:00 PM @ Central Catholic
Team Final
Methuen 39
Central Catholic 27
Carl Russo, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Rangers pin Raiders down to size

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Thursday, January, 03 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

Looks can indeed be deceiving, as Methuen sophomore heavyweight Shaun McCarthy helped demonstrate last night in the Rangers' convincing 39-27 victory over Central Catholic. With Methuen ahead 3-0 after the first match, a 7-3 decision for unbeaten Steve Saba at 215, McCarthy | all 5-foot-8, 215 pounds of him | stepped onto the mat to face a much larger (by at least 55 pounds) Dan Caniff at heavyweight. It did not look like a good matchup for the Rangers.

But McCarthy took it to Caniff and pinned him late in the first period to give the Rangers the momentum they needed to build a 39-9 lead before holding on for their third straight win over Central.

"That was a big win for us," said Methuen coach Bill James. "I was concerned about some of those early matches."

McCarthy, however, was not concerned in the least.

"I'm used to wrestling bigger kids and I use it as my biggest advantage," said McCarthy, who improved his record to 7-1. "Kids look at me like I'm going to go on my back, but they don't know me."

Ahead 9-0 at that point, Methuen increased its lead to 15-0 with two close wins, 7-5 by sophomore Nate Gioacchini at 103 and 7-6 by Eric Buonagurio at 112. The Rangers (7-1) also won another other close match, an exciting 9-8 decision by unbeaten Kevin Sughrue over Central's Tom Lacroix.

Both Buonagurio and Kevin Sughrue benefitted from generous stalling points. To be fair, the official called stalling points quickly all evening on both teams, but the two points given for Sughrue at the end of his match were particularly controversial.

"I don't want to say too much about it, but I would hope that refs don't dictate a match," said Central coach Dennis King, whose squad dropped to 4-1. "Tom wrestled great and that's what makes it so disappointing.

"But we made too many mistakes in key matches and I give Methuen credit. They wrestled well."

Other winners for Methuen were Bobby Kelm at 125, unbeaten standout John Sughrue at 130, Nate Krikorian at 145 and Andrik Cruz at 152. John Sughrue, Krikorian and Cruz had pins and Kelm had a solid 12-5 decision over Mike Farragher.

"We're still a work in progress, and we've got a long way to go, but this was definitely our best dual meet," said James, whose club must face powerhouse Lowell next week. "Bobby Kelm coming back from an (elbow) injury is going to help us and that was a good win for our 103-pounder."

For Central, Darwin Almonte (160) and Shain Jowett (171) both recorded pins despite moving up a weight class, Brendan Dowling pinned at 119, Mike Leavitt (189) won by forfeit and Jack DiBurro got a takedown with 10 seconds remaining to beat Mario Wiggins 2-0 at 135.

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