Key win for Green Wave

Key win for Green Wave

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Key win for Green Wave

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LONG BRANCH

Nick George kept trying to come out the back door.

The first few times he tried it, Sekou Harris, who wrestles with George at Triumph Wrestling Club, was able to shut the door.

But, George, a senior at Long Branch and the son of Long Branch coach Dan George, was persistent.

Eventually, the door opened just enough for George to reverse Harris. George then put Harris to his back and pinned him to send the Green Wave, ranked No. 6 in the Asbury Park Press Top 10 and No. 19 in the New Jersey Wrestling Writers Association Top 20, to a 47-13 win over Neptune on Friday night in a key Shore Conference Class B North match.

Harris, a two-time District 23 place-winner, had ridden George, the District 22 runner-up at 112 in 2010, for most of the second period of a scoreless bout before the decisive move.

“He was throwing that leg in. I wanted to get him underneath me and reverse him,” said George, who returned to the lineup after being sidelined the last week with a thumb injury and bronchitis. “He rolled through and I ended up on top. I capitalized on his mistake.”

“He wrestles well on bottom. He loves mat wrestling,” said Dan George. “We knew it was going to come down to one point here, one point there. He had an opportunity and he finished. He is a finisher.”

The Harris-George bout was one Neptune (4-5, 2-1) had to have if it was going to have a legitimate chance to win seven bouts and give itself a chance to win the match.

The Scarlet Fliers had a 10-3 lead when George and Harris took the mat.

If Harris had won, Neptune knew it still had Dae’Sean Brown (170), the Region VI runner-up at 170, John Seidle (220), the District 23 champion at 220 last year, waiting in the wings. The Scarlet Fliers would have also had a chance to win at 113 because Long Branch’s regular 113-pounder, Thomas Flannigan, did not weigh in.

However, once George pinned, his father leaped into the air. The Green Wave (4-2, 3-0) had come out of the heart of Neptune’s lineup just one point down and knew they had the heart of their lineup coming in the middleweights.

“I think it set the tone for the rest of the match. I really do. That was the catalyst,” Dan George said. “Nothing helps out more in wrestling than when you jump out and people have to force themselves and try to go for bonus (bonus points). It’s very hard to get bonus when you’ve got to get bonus.”

Long Branch won eight of the final nine bouts after George’s pin, including pins by Nick Pappayliou (182), Gianni Augustin (heavyweight) and Mike Jones (106).

The Green Wave also won a bout Neptune was favored to win going into the match when Joey Guidetti defeated Seidle, 4-2, in double overtime on a takedown with 2.5 seconds left in the first part of the second overtime period.

“Joey Guidetti was patient. He was persistent,” Dan George said. “We did a good job of scouting him (Seidle). I believe in scouting. If you hang around long enough, you get in position to steal matches (bouts).”

Long Branch was also able to limit the damage in bouts Neptune won. Arturo Rios held Brown to a decision. Luis Martins (138) held Karl Waldron, the District 23 champion at 126 last year, to a major decision.

Another key move Long Branch made was to weigh in Nick Menkin at 132 for the first time all season. Menkin won a wild, 12-8, decision over Tareeq Hamilton in a bout in which both wrestlers were on their back.

“I think we outworked them. I think we were better than them,” Nick George said.

“We were pointing for this match,” said Dan George, whose team went 1-2 a week ago today in a high-powered quad meet at Jackson Memorial against Jackson Memorial, High Point and Don Bosco Prep.

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