Hawks earn win over BG

NASHUA – The Merrimack Tomahawks burnished their bonafides as one of the best wrestling programs in the state, earning a 46-30 victory on the road against Bishop Guertin on Jan. 31.

Merrimack won five of the first six matches of the meet, with pins from Julian Hovan and Kent Dow, and staved off pins from the Cardinals’ Daniel Franco and Matt Huntsman in the next two matches.

But even if Franco and Huntsman couldn’t earn pins for Bishop Guertin, they still dominated their matches by a combined tally of 24-1, with the Cardinals’ Hunter McLaughlin breakthrough win with a pin over Sam Sorrento at the 160-pound level to keep the meet close.

Bishop Guertin’s Andrew Ha evened the meet up with a victory over Merrimack’s Nathan Kennedy, scoring a point with 30 seconds left in the match to win 3-2.

The Cardinals continued to fight, getting a pin from Anthony Dowd at 182 pounds and avoiding a pin at 195 pounds in what was only an 11-3 victory for Merrimack’s Dom Damata.

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. Merrimack’s Adam Black pinned Matt Burns 18 seconds into the 220-pound match and Chad Marsh and Mark Slade.

“This is probably the best (team) BG has had in many years, top to bottom, so we didn’t really know what we’d have coming into it. They’ve had a few injuries, we’ve had a few injuries in the last couple days, so we figured it would be a tight battle,” said Merrimack head coach Tim McMahon. “We were excited to get the win, it’s always nice to come into BG and get the win when you can.”

McMahon believes his squad has a shot at the Division II state team title if they can stay healthy, and Bishop Guertin head coach Paul Rousseau believes his boys also have a shot.

“If we can stay healthy, I think Division II State Championship is wide open,” said Rousseau. “I think we can make some noise, I think we can be in it, I don’t know if we can win it, but we can stay healthy and the boys wrestle to the top of their performance we should be around.”

Bishop Guertin preceded their meet with Merrimack with a 14-12 victory over Souhegan. Anthony Sanchez earned pins in both the Souhegan and Merrimack meets, with Franco and Matt Frechette also earning victories for the Cardinals. Souhegan’s James Raiser and Camryn Albert secured pins for the Sabers.