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High schools: Concord beats Salem to reach D-I wrestling finals

  • Concord High's Aiden Fox-Morrill competes against Salem during the Division I wrestling semifinals on February 24, 2021, in Salem. Fox-Morrill won by major decision, 12-0, and the Crimson Tide won the team match, 46-36, to advance to Saturday's final at Timberlane. CRYSTAL HASKELL—Courtesy

  • Concord's Abbas Abdulrahman competes against Salem during the Division I wrestling semifinals on February 24, 2021, in Salem. Abdulrahman won by pin and Concord won the team match, 46-36, to advance to Saturday's final at Timberlane. CRYSTAL HASKELL—Courtesy

  • The Concord High wrestling team poses for a photo after beating Salem, 46-36, in the Division I wrestling semifinals on February 24, 2021, in Salem. CRYSTAL HASKELL—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 2/25/2021 2:03:15 PM

They only wrestled two regular season matches and their season was paused, for the second time, just two weeks before the postseason. But the Concord High wrestlers worked themselves into shape as quickly as they could, and on Wednesday night at Salem the Crimson Tide posted a 46-36 semifinal win against the Blue Devils to advance to Saturday’s championship against Timberlane.

“It was a great job by everybody getting ready for this,” Concord coach Ham Munnell said. “The coaches tried to keep it fun in practice and keep the kids focused at the same time, and we were able to put our best lineup of the season out there against Salem, and then we really wrestled well, so that’s a tribute to the kids.”

One of the Tide’s two regular-season matches this season happened to be against Salem – a 42-39 win for the Blue Devils on Jan. 20 – and one of the biggest turnarounds from that match to Wednesday’s semifinals came in the 285-pound weight class. Concord heavyweight Hunter Jeffers lost to Salem’s Jordan Scott in the regular season, but Jeffers turned that around on Wednesday with a quick pin against Scott in the third contest of the night.

“(Scott) is pretty good, but this time Hunter just went out there, took him down, turned him and stuck him,” Munnell said. “He wrestled great.”

That result, plus the pins from Peter Sargent at 195 and Abbas Abdulrahman at 220, gave the Tide an 18-0 lead. Salem went on a run after, taking six points from each of the next four matches to push in front, 24-18. Concord’s Jordan Reyes turned that around with a pin at 132.

“Reyes wrestled well and he did a nice moving weight classes for us, that made us a better team,” Munnell said.

Salem took the next two matches to go back on top, 36-24, but the Tide’s Aiden Fox-Morrill stopped that roll with a 12-0 major decision at 152. Munnell had moved Fox-Morrill up a weight class in a strategic move, which also resulted on Trey Fortier wrestling up from 152 to 170.

Like Fox-Morrill, Fortier won wrestling against bigger competition, and his pin cut Salem’s lead to 36-34 with two matches left. Salem forfeited the next contest at 170 to avoid wrestling against Jack Sargent, but that left the Blue Devils trailing, 40-36, with one match left. The Tide’s Kody Rashed was waiting in that final match, and last year’s D-I 182-pound runner-up made quick work of his opponent to seal the win and send his team to the finals.

It’s no surprise Concord will be meeting Timberlane in the finals. The Owls have won five straight D-I titles, and 19 of the last 20. Concord has been D-I runner-up for five straight years and 13 of the last 20.

Girls' Basketball

Kearsarge 36, Hopkinton 29

Key players: Kearsarge — Caroline Camp (14 points), Erin Wheeler (6 points), Rayna Tucker (4 points); Hopkinton — Kally Murdough (defense), Brooke Carlson (defense, rebounds), Maddie Carmichael (6 points), Maurgan McGrath (5 points)

Highlights: Kearsarge built a slight 11-6 lead in the first quarter, Camp went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, and that proved to be enough for the Cougars in this regular-season finale for both teams in North Sutton.

Coach's quote: “A physical and defensive game tonight against a hard-working Hopkinton team. A good game to get before the tournament, really proud of the team tonight, they played together and relied on each other, which was great to see. The defense by Hannah Goen, Kate Dawson and Ellie Camp was great. The offense by Caroline Camp was really good as well.” — Kearsarge’s Keith Roberts

“Under these unsusal circumstances we have had a great season. This team has worked hard and improved greatly, and we look forward to the state tournament next week.” — Hopkinton’s Patrick Roye

Records: Kearsarge 5-5; Hopkinton 6-6

Boys' Hockey

Merrimack 2, Bow 1

Key players: Bow — Mason Marquis (35 saves), Ethan Tobeler (goal)

Highlights: The game was tied at 1-1 until Merrimack scored late in the third. Bow pulled the goalie in the last 1:25 but couldn’t find the equalizer.

Coach's quote: “We played well enough to win tonight, but we made too many small mistakes to put the game away after we got up 1-0 in the first. The kids are getting better each game this year and we hope to be ready for the playoffs next week.” — Bow’s Tim Walsh

Records: Merrimack 6-4; Bow 3-7

Girls’ Hockey

Exeter 4, Brady-Trininty-West 1

Key players: BTW – Emily Senko (40 saves), Courtney Ingham (goal), Kate Shoemaker (assist, defense), Bella Page (assist), Vern Landry (defense), Grace Orr (defense)

Highlights: Senko kept her team close, and BTW played well, but there wasn’t enough offense.

Records: BTW 0-9; Exeter 3-7

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