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February 19, 2014

Timberlane battles Londonderry again

North Andover seeks fifth straight crown Saturday

$ID/[None]0000LightBlueTechnically, they’re considered individual tournaments.

But don’t tell that to a number of area teams involved in this weekend’s state tournaments. In the five tourneys in which local teams are involved, some intense team competition will spice up the events like never before.

Headlining the day will be the New Hampshire Division 1 meet in which Timberlane will be vying for its 15th straight crown.

The Owls just finished their finest dual-meet season ever, at 25-0, but they had plenty of challenges during the season with Londonderry looming as their chief rival.

While Timberlane defeated the Lancers in their dual meet and at the Timberlane Tournament, Londonderry was missing Kyle Byrd for the dual meet and did not have its best day in the tourney. Many of the Lancers believe that their time has come.

One of several keys could be at 160 pounds where Timberlane’s Brian Lonergan and Londonderry’s Will Bean will duel for the fourth time. Lonergan has won twice, but every match has been extremely close.

To hold off the Lancers, Timberlane may need continued improvement from 106-pounder Cody Lewis and its upper middle weights. Whatever the case, Timberlane coach Barrry Chooljian knows that it won’t be easy.

“My team will have to wrestle very well this weekend to win the Division 1 tourney,” said Chooljian. “Everyone in the lineup is important and must contribute for us to win.

“It should be a great event and I expect the tourney will come right down to the end of the medal round to decide it. The guys have competed extremely well this year and that is what I am looking for this weekend.”

In Division 3, Windham will try to defend its title at home with Plymouth and possibly Campbell providing a stern challenge. Despite big graduation losses, the Jaguars have proven themselves as a superb dual-meet team (20-3), but they’re not quite as automatic in tournaments.

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