EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 20, 2013

Coughlin sparks Knights to resounding sweep

Drover also shines as Chelmsford suffers first loss

WESTFORD—Trailing 15-6 after four matches, North Andover needed a spark against undefeated Chelmsford yesterday in the first of several big Merrimack Valley Conference dual meets in the next two weeks.

And onto the mat trotted 106-pound senior captain Danielle Coughlin, ready to face standout freshman Griffin Murray, who was fourth at the Lowell Holiday Tournament.

Coughlin has gotten off to a relatively slow start this year, but she was up to the challenge against Murray. In an air tight match, Coughlin scored a reverse with 10 seconds left to capture an exciting 5-4 decision and spark the Knights (17-2) to a resounding 41-21 decision. North Andover later crushed Dracut (53-14) and Westford (62-18).

“I haven’t quite been on the ball but I felt good today,” said Coughlin, who was 3-0 on the day. “We’re getting to the grind of the season and I think we’re all coming together. This was a good win for us.”

Indeed, Coughlin’s win started a run of six straight wins against Chemsford and North Andover won nine of 14 matches overall, including four by pin and two by major decision.

And two of the non-pins came against two of Chelmsford’s best wrestlers. Once-beaten Fritz Hoehn scored a 15-5 major decision at 152 against Scott McQuaide and, despite moving up a class, once-beaten Brad Drover controlled Lowell Holiday Tournament placer Ben Melisi at 170.

Drover also later defeated another 170-pound Lowell Holiday placer, Dracut’s J.C. Hebert, 12-4, and handled a solid Westford wrestler as well.

“We’re starting to put things together,” said North Andover coach Carl Cincotta. “What I loved was when our guys beat their (Chgelmsford’s) good guys. Drover was awesome today.”

Recording consecutive first-period pins for the Knights against Chelmsford were Peter Taylor (113), Dan Villaba (120) and Nick Villaba (126) while Ryan Neals started the meet with a second-period fall. Red-hot Zane Mellilo had a solid 8-1 decision at 138.

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