Wrestling: Merrillville beats Crown Point on sixth tiebreaker
By John O’Malley Post-Tribune correspondent January 2, 2013 11:06PM
Updated: February 4, 2013 2:58PM
CROWN POINT — The intensity between Duneland Athletic Conference rivals Crown Point and Merrillville was running high throughout Wednesday’s meet.
The conclusion, though, was anti-climactic.
The No. 9 Pirates (12-2 4-1) ended up taking a 30-29 decision over the No. 4 Bulldogs (12-2, 3-1) based on criteria No. 6 — the number of technical falls.
Merrillville had one — Bobby Steveson winning over CP’s Jacob Hazi — the Dogs had none.
Since a forfeit is worth six points just like a pin, it forged a 29-29 tie.
Crown Point, which led 7-0 early, fell behind 29-17, before taking the last three matches, including Josh Fuqua’s forfeit win at 126 over the Pirates’ Adam Garcia, who’s been sick.
“If we didn’t have to use him, we didn’t want to use him,’’ Merrillville coach Dave Maldonado said. “He was iffy and we did some juggling around. We thought we could win without him. This time of year, it’s about keeping our kids healthy.’’
The key for the Pirates came at 106 when star Michael Garza somehow avoided being pinned by CP’s Riley Akers in the first 20 seconds.
Garza then overcame a 5-0 deficit to post an 11-7 decision.
“I think all the matches were good and they were tough matches,’’ Maldonado said. “If (Garza) doesn’t do it, or Steveson doesn’t get the tech fall, or (Eric) DeLuna doesn’t get that big fall for us at 182 (it doesn’t happen).’’
The victory was Merrillville’s first over CP since the 2008 Merrillville Semistate overall, but the Pirates’ first regular season win over the Dogs since the 2005-06 season.
“They did what they had to do and they out-toughed us in certain matches,” Crown Point coach Scott Vlink said.