PLAISTOW — Round 2 went to Timberlane last Saturday night while, in his duel with Londonderry senior Will Bean, Round 3 went to Owls’ junior 160-pounder Brian Lonergan.
But the more important round is yet to come.
That was the message from Londonderry coach Jim Marron at the Timberlane Invitational Saturday after the Lancers finished second to the host Owls, despite leading midway through the meet.
“This is just preparation for the state meet, one step toward that,” Marron said. “Everything didn’t go our way today, but there were some good things, too.”
One of the disappointments came in the 160-pound finals when Bean dropped a 3-1 decision to Lonergan. The two rivals had split their first two matches. Despite more aggressive moves by Bean, Lonergan was able to prevail. But he knows it could be different next time, at the state meet or at the Meet of Champions.
“I’m sure I’ll see him (Bean) again and he’ll be after me,” Lonergan said. “He’s tough and really strong on tie-ups, so I worked on being better on my feet. I’ll have to keep working.”
Lonergan’s win was one of two for Timberlane in the finals in matchups against Londonderry, making it all the more important since the two Southern New Hampshire rivals were engaged in a battle for first place throughout the day.
The Owls, who trailed Londonderry after the second round, surged back in the consolation round and won five of six matches in the finals to prevail with 2051/2 points, with Londonderry the runner-up with 175. It was the 21st time in the last 22 years that Timberlane has captured its own invitational.
In the other Timberlane-Londonderry duel in the finals, Timberlane’s Tyler Fitzpatrick defeated Mitch Rose, 7-0, in a battle of seniors, who have wrestled each other many times over the years.
On a positive note, Londonderry — which had already won three tournaments this year and gave Timberlane all it could handle in a season-opening dual meet — had three champions and all were dominant in the championship round.
Ryan Cabezas prevailed with a pin at 113, Jean-Luc Lemieux remained undefeated and untested at 132 with a first-period pin, and Richard Bilodeau beat up Bedford’s Matt Houston, winning with a 14-0 major decision.
“Jean-Luc has just been amazing,” Marron said. “He just goes about his business and never seems to make a mistake.”
Also finishing second for the Lancers were Kyle Byrd at 170, Sebastian Roszczenko, who lost a tough 5-4 decision to Memorial’s Nate Hall in the 182-pound finals, and Caleb Moscosco, who fell in the 113-pound finals to teammate Cabezas.
Senior Jon Young, meanwhile, had his first sub-par meet of the season and finished fourth at 152. Still, he owns a 23-3 record on the season.