Malvern narrowly fails to break streak over GA

MALVERN — Back in 1995, Malvern Prep coach Nate Lautar was a freshman for the Friars and the wrestlers that now fill his roster had not yet graced this earth.

It was also the last time Malvern beat Germantown Academy in a dual meet, leading to the Friars’ one and only Inter-Ac title.

After Friday’s installment, maybe breaking the streak in the year of the 20th anniversary has a better ring to it, anyway.

In a competition in which each team won seven bouts, the finale was decided on a forfeit with no Malvern wrestler available at 120 pounds, and the Patriots won, 36-30.

“We gave up more bonus points and that’s what it comes down to,’ Lautar said. “If we coulda kept some closer matches we woulda been right there. We got beat and the forfeit killed us.’

Matt Lattanze (138 pounds) won a key match early on for Malvern, against Brady Riley, who placed seventh at prep nationals as a sophomore. The 7-4 decision evened the contest at six after three matches.

“I knew I would beat him,’ said Lattanze, who bumped up from 132. “The only thing I was skeptical about was coming off an injury, but I knew I had the match. Coach (Lautar) called me a couple nights ago and told me I was gonna get him so that was very motivating.’

Riley struck initially, taking down Lattanze, who took fourth at nationals as a freshman, in the first. He then escaped to go up 3-0 in the second, but Lattanze finally finished a takedown with eight seconds left in the period.

After a last-second escape before the second ended by Riley to make it 4-2, Lattanze reversed him with 44 seconds left in the third to tie it up. With 10 ticks left in the match, Lattanze was able to tilt Riley for three back points.

“I was confident on top,’ Lattanze said. “I knew I could turn him. I could feel him getting weaker and the weight advantage was starting to wear off.’

In Inter-Ac competition eighth graders are eligible to compete, and two of them did for Malvern, both winning. Chris Hisey (132) edged senior Tyler Petrochko, 1-0, and Mike Beard (160) pinned Mike Gilmore.

“They’re studs,’ Lautar said of his middle schoolers. “If we keep getting kids like that (the league title) will be ours soon.’

Nick Margay (195) gave the Friars a late-bout win, and Jake Anderson (220) won in a battle of prep All-Americans, 2-0, over Luke Kisselback.

A forfeit by the Patriots at 106 and a first-period pin by Frank Satriale (113) tied the meet up at 30, but the Friars had no wrestler weighed in at 120.

There were no major decisions or technical falls during the event, but Germantown Academy had four pins to the Friars’ two. John Grossi, an eighth-place finisher at prep nationals, earned a hard-fought, 3-1, decision over Ryder Harkins at 182.

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