Hampton wrestlers top North Hills for 1st section victory

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | 9:15 PM

On the heels of what coach Chris Hart described as a disappointing performance at the Hampton Dawg Duals event, the Hampton wrestling team wasted little time in righting the ship in their first Class AAA, Section 3B match of the season.

Powered by pins from Josh Campbell, Gage Galuska, Conrad Harold and Corey Scherer, the Talbots (3-2, 1-0) earned a 50-27 victory in their home gym against North Hills.

“We came off a disappointing performance at the Dawg Duals, so we’d been a little disappointed. But we came out this week and we worked hard,” Hart said.

“We have a few guys banged up, so we had a thinner lineup then usual, but I was pleased with the individual efforts that we got out of the guys today.”

On top of the matches Hampton won by fall, the team also received forfeit wins in the 145-, 195- and 285-pound weight classes. North Hills earned forfeit victories at 106 and 220.

To help bolster their team score, Liam Helton defeated North Hills’ Ethan Mikovitz via major decision, 10-1, at 152 pounds. Junior Zach Wright rewarded his team with extra points, as well, beating Indians’ grappler Jeremy Macpherson, 12-1, for the major decision.

“Watching Zach Wright, I thought he wrestled with a lot of confidence at 126. He went up against Macpherson, who is doing well this year and is a tough opponent, too,” Hart said.

“Zach is building confidence right now. He works hard for it, too. He’s one of the leaders on the team, so I was particularly pleased with the way he wrestled.”

For North Hills (0-1, 0-1), freshman Matt Serwatka continued his impressive start to his varsity wrestling career. After placing first at the Chartiers-Houston Invitational at 106 pounds Saturday, Serwatka moved up to the 113-pound class and pinned Cameron Rakar with 11 seconds remaining in the first period.

Junior and defending WPIAL Class AAA champion Sam Hillegas also dispatched Jake Premik, his opponent in the 138-pound class, via pin with 1:11 remaining in the first period.

Freshman Andrew Szymczak also earned a victory for the Indians, defeating John McGuire, 6-4, at 132 pounds.

The trio of wins were well earned for North Hills, however it wouldn’t be enough as coach Jose Martinez’s team could not overcome Hampton’s depth.

“They fought. I couldn’t ask for more. We have a couple of things we tell the guys before they go out there. One, to give it all your best, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, just give your best,” Martinez said.

“The second thing is, don’t quit. I didn’t see any of our guys quit out there and they all worked hard, so I’m satisfied with that.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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