’Canes crown two
Matt Maloney got a second chance at redemption at the Northeast Regional 3A tournament Saturday night and this time he wasn’t going to be denied.
After losing to Pottsville’s Nick Onea in the 113-pound district title, Maloney came back to top Onea 10-6 to win his first regional crown.
Maloney was joined by teammate Damen Moyer (182) as the two champions for Liberty, as the Hurricanes again took third place in the standings for a consecutive week behind Bethlehem Catholic and Nazareth.
After losing to Onea 4-3 in the district finals, Maloney came in with a better game plan in Saturday’s victory, as he took control from the beginning and never trailed en route to the championship.
“I went back in the room after losing to him at districts and knew exactly what I needed to do,” Maloney said. “I just wanted to do a better job setting up my shots and getting some misdirection. I didn’t want to lose in front of my home gym again either.”
Perhaps the most important change that Maloney made from the district final to the regional final, was sporting Liberty’s old school singlet, which he neglected to wear at districts.
“This week I brought out the candy cane,” he said. “I didn’t have it last week and it’s team tradition to wear it in the finals. I guess it’s a good-luck charm.”
Moyer looked like he was going to cruise to his regional title against West Scranton’s Jeremy Seymour, as he built a 5-0 lead in the match, only to see Seymour battle his way back in a 6-5 loss.
“I wasn’t really happy with how that ended because I got a little tired,” said Moyer. “I know heading into Hershey the big things I have to focus on are my technique and stamina. After being in Hershey last year, I know what to expect now, so I’m just looking to come out on top. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I feel I have a chance just like anyone.”
Tal-Reese Flemming (106) took third after knocking off Emmaus’ Peyton Brown 2-0 in the consolation round to move on to the PIAA tournament as well.
Freedom seniors Luis Vargas (106) and Ben Huber (145) saw their Patriot careers come to an end Saturday in the consolation round at regionals.
Huber made a run to the semifinals before losing to Nazareth’s Sammy Sasso by a 25-9 technical fall, pushing him to the consolation round needing only a victory to qualify for Hershey. Instead, Northampton’s Michael Kistler was able to pull off a fall in 4:20 to end his year.
Vargas lost in the quarterfinals to Bethlehem Catholic’s Matt Mayer 7-2, but saw his fate end in similar fashion to Huber, losing by fall to Delaware Valley’s Joseph Porco in 54 seconds.