PLAISTOW — Round 2 went to Timberlane last night while Round 3 went to junior 160-pounder Brian Lonergan.
The Owls overtook up-and-coming Londonderry for the second time this year, this time to win the Timberlane Invitational. Lonergan defeated Londonderry senior Will Bean for the second time, 3-1 in the finals, after splitting the season’s first two matches with him.
But Lonergan knows that the growing rivalry isn’t over yet.
“I’m sure I’ll see him (Bean) again and he’ll be after me,” said Lonergan. “He’s tough and really strong on tie-ups, so I worked on being better on my feet.”
Lonergan’s win was one of two for Timberlane in the finals in matchups against Londonderry, making it all the more important since the two southern New Hampshire rivals were engaged in a battle for first place throughout the day.
Which made his victory all the sweeter.
“I love wrestling for Timberlane and anything that helps the team makes the individual win even better,” said Lonergan.
The Owls, who trailed Londonderry after the second round, surged back in the consolation round and won five of six matches in the finals to prevail with 205 1/2 points, with Londonderry runner-up with 175. It was the 21st time in the last 22 years that Timberlane has captured its own invitational.
“I don’t think we wrestled our best or were as sharp as we’ve been, but we showed a lot of resiliency,” said Timberlane coach Barry Chooljian.
What it amounted to was that, as they have throughout the season, the Owls simply found a way to win.
In addition to Lonergan’s title, two other wins in the finals are a good indication.
At 126, Tim McLinden was trailing Goffstown’s Jake Nault late in the third period until a reverse and back points gave him a 5-1 victory. Two weight classes later, sophomore Ryan Peters was trailing Reading’s Nick Makrys — a New England placer last year — 2-1 after a period, tied it in the second, held off a late takedown bid in the third and then won 4-3 in overtime.