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Boyertown rolls past Pottsgrove

by Dennis Weller, Special to the Pottstown Mercury

Posted on January 14, 2010

LOWER POTTSGROVE - After another duals tournament over the weekend against some of the top wrestling teams in the state, Boyertown was back to Pioneer Athletic Conference action Wednesday night at Pottsgrove.

But the Bears were not about to let up against one of their neighborhood rivals, and it was a good thing they didn't take the Falcons lightly. Pottsgrove hung close through the first half of the match, trailing by just four points with seven bouts down and seven to go. There were some more tough battles after that, but Boyertown's mixture of veterans and quickly maturing younger wrestlers came through in the end for a 54-17 win.

Alex Pelliccotti, Adam Benfield, Brock Hallman, Zach Heffner, Adam Kolb, and Matt Malfaro all recorded pins for the Bears (2-0 PAC-10, 12-5 overall). Jon Neiman and Tyler Mauger both captured decisions in close matches for Boyertown and Josh Fiss and Austin Mutter also came out on top.

Dominic Bridi and Danny Michaels won by falls for the Falcons (2-2 PAC-10 and overall) and T.J. Demetrio racked up a technical fall.

"They're tough kids. They're scrappy," Bear coach Pete Ventresca said of the Falcons. "They came out to wrestle tonight for sure. I think our kids wrestled really well. I was glad to see it. They always keep up for matches, especially in the PAC-10. It's a very close rivalry. The kids all know each other and they like to wrestle against each other."

"I thought we wrestled really well," said Pottsgrove coach Jeff Madden. "We battled in every bout we possibly could."

Boyertown took a 12-6 lead on a pin at 135 pounds by Pelliccotti (22-2), who set a school record for career wins on Saturday and now has 147 under his belt. The Bears led the rest of the way, but it certainly wasn't always easy. The score stood at 21-17 halfway through the night after Michaels' pin at 160 pounds. But Hallman kept the Bears on top with a first-period fall.

Then Mauger and Tyler Wysochanski battled right to the end with Mauger taking a 4-1 win. Mauger went on top with a takedown in the second period and Wysochanski escaped later in the period. After that it was non-stop action as both wrestlers repeatedly tried to take down the other. Mauger finally did so right before the final buzzer to clinch the decision.

"He's pretty strong, and he's pretty quick, too," said Mauger, who was obviously quite tired after the grueling bout. "It actually looked like we were both the same. It was a good match."

"It was exciting," Madden said concerning the key bout. "There was certainly no stalling out there. They were going at each other the whole time."

Mauger raised his record to 14-7 for the season and thinks the Bears' tough schedule is helping the team improve.

"It's making us all tougher," he said. "I'm happy with my performance so far."

"He's a pretty exciting kid to watch," said Ventresca. "He's fun to watch. He's a good athlete."

The Bears also got a couple of pretty exciting wins from sophomores Neiman (140) and Fiss (285), who haven't seen as much action as some of their teammates so far this season.

Neiman, who has been sick for a couple of weeks, built a 6-0 lead over Zach Robinson (9-3) by early in the third period and survived a late takedown and near fall for a 6-4 win.

Fiss, in just his ninth bout of the season, broke away from a 2-2 tie early in the third period for a 9-3 nod.

"They both came through tonight," said Ventresca. "They both looked really good. If the young guys step up and the older guys keep doing what they're doing, we'll be a pretty good team. That's the goal."

"I think our guys in the middle did well," said Madden. "Some of their guys have 20, 25 matches already. Hopefully when we get a few more matches in down the road, we'll be able to win some of the close ones."

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