High School Wrestling:
Thursday, February 17, 2000
By Art Redd
Repeating as champions is always a hard task to do. Knowing that everyone is trying to knock you off as previous champions makes it even harder. But don't tell that to the Sterling Knights. Pt. Pleasant Boro had a tough task travelling to Sterling in hopes of stealing the South Jersey Group 2 Title away from the Knights. After the final wrestlers had completed their match, Sterling were the ones capturing their second straight title 45-23.
If Pt. Pleasant had as much intensity as their visiting fans, the Knights were in a whole lot of trouble. When the Sterling wrestlers were announced, the Pt. Pleasant fans used the tactic of pulling out newspapers to totally ignore them. Someone should have reminded them that the papers stated they were going up against previous champs. After defeating Kingsway, Pt. Pleasant was ready to tackle Sterling against all odds.
Sterling didn't waste anytime proving they were here to show what they were made off by watching the first match of the night. Desmond Wiggins wanted desperately to pin his opponent T.R. Hyde but got the next best thing. Wiggins gave Sterling a 4-0 lead when he scored a technical fall with 30 seconds elapsed in the third period. His brother, Ivan Wiggins, John Sauer and Brad Alcorn followed suit and scored decisions over Pt. Pleasant to give Sterling a 15-0 lead. Mark Manchio gave the Knights a commanding lead when he pinned Ryan Crannell twenty-four seconds into the match.
Things got interesting when Pt. Pleasant had something to cheer about when Casey Dowd pinned Sterling's Don Walsh. The Panthers got closer when Scott Brady pinned Steve Cox and the score was 21-12 after the 140-lb match. The visiting fans had hope and needed some big victories ahead of them if they wanted to get closer to their opponents on the scoreboard.
This night would be all Sterling when they gave their fans a lot to cheer about. Chaz Quicksill, after being down 2-0 after the first period, pinned Bill Smock in the 145-lb match. Not to be out done, Mike Barikian recorded the second consecutive Sterling pin to dash the hopes of any comeback. That statement would hold true as the Knights cruised to their second consecutive Group 2 title.
Photos by Art Redd
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