by Jason Feather, Special to the Pottstown Mercury
Posted on February 6, 2009
PHOENIXVILLE --- Finally!
After two previous postponements because of Mother Nature's winter wonderings of ice and snow, the Phoenixville Phantoms hosted the Wildcats of Owen J. Roberts in a contest coming on the tail end of the regular season.
There was certainly very little drama during Thursday night's PAC-10 encounter as the Wildcats were simply dominant up and down the lineup to the tune of a 53-10 victory.
The win improved the Wildcats to 4-3 in league action. The Phantoms dropped to 2-6 with the regular season finale coming on Monday, Feb. 9 at league champion Boyertown.
"(Owen J. Roberts) are tough," Phoenixville coach Dave Dave Saville said. "It's very clear why they are such a solid team."
The Wildcats jumped out to a 6-0 advantage just 1:42 into the contest when Jon Dempsey got the slap on Phoenixville's Dan Moore.
Andrew Kinney worked a 9-4 decision over the Phantoms' Chris Onder to increase the lead to 9-0, and Jacob Schell added six more by accepting a forfeit at 119.
Phoenixville got on the board at 125 when Matt Cermanski scored a 4-2 decision on Mike Lenge, and Dan Giannone cut the deficit to 15-7 with an 11-3 major decision over OJR's Cody Karkoska.
But from there the Wildcats went on a tear.
OJR's Jordan Moser pinned Ricardo Martinez in 28 seconds, and Dan Mongold followed with a fall at the 1:30 mark over Tom Cappelli.
At 145, OJR's Illyia Tracy was given a forfeit to increase the spread to 33-7.
Jordan Stierly registered a textbook technical fall over Max Card getting the stoppage at 5:21. Stierly had a pair of takedowns in the first period, then added an escape and three more takedowns in the second. Three straight nearfalls totaling eight points pushed the score to 19-3, and forced the referee to blow the whistle.
Two more pins for the Wildcats from Nick Fuschino at 160 (50 seconds) and Sam Funk at 171 (2:57) gave the Wildcats more than enough points for the win.
A double-forfeit at 189 preceded Scott Syrek's 7-2 decision over Phoenixville's Ken Cenci in their 215 pound contest.
In the final match of the evening, the Phantoms' Brandon O'Hara returned from injury to score an 8-1 decision over Randy Keehn.
"Syrek was a tough match there for Cenci, but he hung right in there with him," Saville noted. "It was good to have O'Hara back in there as well.
"We are still working on trying to get their confidence to the point where they believe they can compete against these teams. It's still going to take some time."
So while the Phantoms are just working to get better, Wildcats coach Steve DeRafelo feels his squad is turning the corner with its focus going towards the postseason.
"We've had a few guys nicked up," DeRafelo said fterwards. "Technique-wise I am fine with where some guys are, but we held a little practice after school (Thursday) for guys to work on some things. I thought tonight we did better with some of those things that we had worked on.
"We have some guys that are on the tail end of starting to get healthy. They are getting themselves ready for the postseason."
Thursday night was also Senior Night for the Phantoms as they recognized their lone senior Joe Mandrusiak. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, Mandrusiak was unable to participate in the match, but was in attendance with his mother Beth Marino and father Joe Mandrusiak Sr. for the festivities.