Big Macs stun Trinity

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Thursday, February 5, 1998

Big Macs stun Trinity


Just call them the Comeback Kids.

Canon-McMillan, with only 13 wrestlers available for the 13 weight classes, pulled the rug out from under arch rival Trinity, 30-26, in a critical Section 5-AAA match Wednesday at the THS gym.

The victory not only assures the Big Macs a spot in the WPIAL Class AAA Team Tournament, but it probably dashed any hopes Trinity had for one of the top four seeds.

Canon-McMillan, the No. 9 team in the Observer-Reporter Wrestling Rankings, No. 4 Trinity and No. 6 Waynesburg end up tied for second place in the section with 8-2 records and qualify for the team tournament. Second-ranked McGuffey (10-0) wins the section and can expect no worse than a second seed, when the Class AAA bracket is released today. The Class AA bracket may be delayed one day because two bouts in Section 3-AA were rescheduled for tonight.

"This is the biggest win in my 25-year career,'' said a smiling Ken Smith, the Big Macs' head coach. "I knew this team was not going to quit. We came here to win and we gave it our best shot.''

Trinity built an 11-point through the first six bouts, before the two key bouts of the match occurred. The first came at 140, where Canon-McMillan's R.J. Quaresima rallied for three third-period points to take a 5-4 victory from Ben Junko. The other came at 152, where Glenn Haynes stunned the Trinity fans when he pinned Neil Bednarski a fraction of a second before the buzzer sounded to end the first period.

"Glenn pulled out a big one for us,'' Smith said. "We needed R.J.'s bout really bad. We never expected a pin from Glenn. Actually, we were hoping that they would move Bednarski up. He's just a tough kid. When he's on, he can wrestle anyone.''

Haynes' pin was astonishing because the C-M junior won only a one-point decision from Bednarski last season. Last week, he pinned McGuffey's Jim Hanning in the Big Macs' two-point loss.

"I was just worried about not blowing the lead,'' said Haynes, who was up 2-0 before turning Bednarski. "There was some tension before the match, some looks. That motivated me.''

The fall gave the Big Macs their first lead after Neil Maggi's 5-1 decision over Trinity's Eric Michael to start the match, 22-21.

"Losing one in the final seconds and getting pinned in another one hurt us,'' said Trinity coach John Abajace. "We still had an opportunity to win up top. We just were not able to get the job done.''

The Big Macs needed to split the final four bouts and they did, with Brian Neuman pinning Aaron Miller in 3:04 at 171 and Matt Woodhouse taking a back-breaking 8-2 decision over John Burns at 189 that made it 30-22.

"At that point, we thought we'd give them the bout at 71 and then try to get two wins at with Burns and (Josh) Ritter.''

There were more than a few nervous Big Mac fans when Trinity rolled out to an 18-7 lead. The big points came from Andy Migyanko's pin of Dustin Dunkovich at 112, Nick Legerski's 11-0 major decision over Josh Pivac at 119 and Ryan Powell's 16-1 technical fall over Jason Tornabene at 130.

"I was worried at weigh-ins,'' Smith said. "We expected to win at 130. We knew it was going to be tough. These are just a great group of kids. They never quit.'




Copyright ©1998 Observer Publishing Co. Last updated 2-5-98