Bethlehem Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY BOB BRANDMEIR Becahi's Andrew Dunn pinned Whitehall's Edgardo Rivera at heavyweight during last week's 71-6 win over the Zephs. PRESS PHOTO BY BOB BRANDMEIR Becahi's Andrew Dunn pinned Whitehall's Edgardo Rivera at heavyweight during last week's 71-6 win over the Zephs.

Hawks are king

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by PETER CAR pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Well, who's to say the dynasty can't continue with a new crop of wrestlers?

Becahi's uncertainty to open 2012 started off with signs of resiliency, which eventually led to the Golden Hawks capturing the King of the Mountain team championship over the weekend at Central Mountain.

Darian Cruz (120) and Jose Ortiz (182) both took away titles, as eight Becahi wrestlers came home with medals as the Hawks pulled away from foe Parkland in the team race 177.5 to 126.

"It was a great tournament and one that I'm very happy with in terms of results," said head coach Jeff Karam. "We sent 13 wrestlers out there and everybody got a win. We were without four starters too, so these guys showed me something."

Cruz knocked off North Hunterdon's Ryan Promrinca 3-2 in the 120-pound championship, while Ortiz scored a 12-7 decision over Bellefonte's Nick Shawley.

Ortiz, seeded third in the tournament, defeated the top two seeds en route to the title.

"Jose was a nice surprise for us," Karam said. "Shawley took fourth in the state last year in 3A and Jose did a real good job in the finals. We need him to step up this year."

Most of the team stepped up after the Hawks only saw Cruz and Ortiz advance in the quarterfinal round.

With six Hawks losing in the quarters, Becahi had a tough road ahead to fight back for the chance at the team title.

Ryan Todora (145), Connor Hedash (160) and Nick Cortopassi (170) each came away with third places, while Mason Angstadt (126) took fourth.

Mark Maloney (152) and Josh Alpha (195) each took fifth. Ryan Johnson (220) rounded out the Becahi medalists with an eighth place finish.

"We knew we had our backs against the wall after that quarterfinal round," Karam said. "We took a hit on the chin in that round, but our guys fought back.

"They showed tremendous resiliency, especially the guys who came back to take third. It was a great team effort."

The Hawks (1-0) host Central Wednesday before taking off for the Beast of the East this weekend. Darian Cruz will look to join elite company, as he looks to become the sixth wrestler ever to win three Beast titles.

Brooks Black of Blair Academy and Kyle Snyder (only a junior) of Good Counsel can also join the club of three-time champs this weekend.

"There's a ton of championship wrestlers that never won the tournament and Darian has a chance to win it three times," said Karam. "It'll be quite an accomplishment if he can do it."