Deductions cost NHS
It's fair to say that Seth Lisa wasn't happy with what transpired over the weekend for Northampton at the District 11 wrestling championships.
The fifth-seeded K-Kids fell on hard luck in both of their losses to Mountain Valley Conference opponents, losing one-point decisions to Pocono Mountain East and Stroudsburg to send them packing from the 3A contingent.
Losing is one thing when the opponent has the upper hand, but conceding defeat due to self-inflicted wounds is another.
In their 31-30 quarterfinal loss to fourth-seeded Pocono Mountain East, Northampton held the criteria advantage of winning eight bouts, but were deducted a team point for misconduct on the bench to send the Kids to the consolation bracket.
Facing top-seeded Stroudsburg in the consolation bracket, Northampton shot themselves in the foot again, as the team was deducted a team point following an opening bout fall by Stroudsburg's John Jacobsen over Adam Bobyak at 170 pounds.
Bobyak, frustrated by what transpired, allegedly pulled one of his straps down from his singlet before he left the mat and it was déjà vu all over again for Lisa and his team.
"I knew right away that point was going to cost us," said Lisa. "I just didn't know how big it was going to end up becoming. We lost two matches by technical team points and it's ridiculous. A slip up by a couple individuals cost us and it's unfortunate, but I hope we all learn something from this."
After an opening round victory over Whitehall, which saw the Kids pull away comfortably in 43-20 fashion, Northampton would have been on their way to a spot in the semifinals against Nazareth if it wasn't for the technical point violation against the Cardinals.
The Kids wave would have stopped against the Blue Eagles, who went on to win the 3A title, but a bout with Easton in the consolation bracket would have been the Kids next voyage if things would have panned out.
Instead, the opening misfortune against Stroudsburg was coupled by a 27-0 hole against the Mounties after the first five bouts.
Northampton battled back, picking up falls by Dan Moran (106), Zach Valley (126) and Zachary Rooks (132) along the way to draw within 30-21. The Kids won seven of the final nine bouts, but Mike Cassano's 12-7 overtime decision over Todd Hetrick became a pivotal swing bout for the Mounties.
Bobby Fehr picked up his 100th win of his career to close out the match, but that came via forfeit, as the loss left everyone a bit empty considering the circumstances.
"I need to make sure that these guys understand the importance of everything they do out there," said Lisa of the losses. "We got burned two times in a row. These guys have to understand that when you get out of high school, you're going to encounter adversity in life. To lose like we did is painful, but it's how you respond. I'm confident we'll bounce back."
That bounce back phase was supposed to start against Easton last night, but the weather postponed that match again. The Kids last regular season dual meet comes on February 10 against Pleasant Valley