North Penn beats CB East, pins down SOL Continental crown

BUCKINGHAM >> Caleb Chae’s pin in just 20 seconds exemplified the urgency of the evening: North Penn wanted to wait no longer to clinch sole possession of the Suburban One League Continental Conference title.

“I always thought we could win the conference title,” said Chae, a senior 126-pounder for the Knights. “We always had the work ethic, we were always grinding it out every day. I knew we had the talent. We just had to maintain the work ethic and just perform.”

It was an impressive performance for the Knights Wednesday evening at Central Bucks East, as North Penn completed a perfect 6-0 run through the conference with a 51-20 victory over the Patriots.

“(Coach Robert Shettsline) had been telling me six, six, six,” Chae said of focusing on getting a pin, “and that’s the mindset I came in with.”

North Penn had six pins in all, including Chae’s, which drew the Knights even at 12 apiece. North Penn won seven straight matches to build a 45-12 lead, with Ben Eckley’s victory by tech fall at 170 pounds locking things up.

“The kids really stepped up tonight,” Shettsline said. “They worked hard, they’ve been working hard and a lot of them looked pretty good tonight.”

North Penn’s Jake Yoder wrestles Central Bucks East’s Dylan Rafferty in their 132-pound bout during their teams’ dual meet on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

The Knights had some question marks in their lineup coming into the season, but it was after a one-point win over rival Pennridge when a conference title became a realistic goal for this group.

“That was a real close match, they had their full lineup in, and our guys were wrestling well that night,” Shettsline said of the win on Dec. 21. “We had some tough losses at (the Easton Invite), we wrestled some real tough teams, and I think probably after the Souderton match (a win on Jan. 25), the team started to believe they could do it.”

Austin Zeigler got things started for the Knights on Wednesday with a second-period pin at 106 pounds. The Patriots (3-3 conference) then came up with back-to-back pins, Chris Eck and J.W. Scollins doing the honors, to put East in front, 12-6.

“They’re pretty good from top to bottom,” East coach David Scarpill said of NP, “and we’re good at a few spots. But the guys gave a good effort and I thought my 220 wrestler (James Loveless, who fell in OT) wrestled well.”

Not since the “Diaper Gang” of the mid ‘90’s has East started so many freshmen in its lineup. The Pats had five freshmen on the mats Wednesday night.

“We never had this many freshmen,” Scarpill said, “and that’s not a bad problem to have.”

Next up is the conference championships, Feb. 18 at William Tennent.

Top Photo: North Penn’s Erik Laughlin turns Central Bucks East’s Dan Eckleyfor a pin in their 138 pound bout during their teams’ dual meet on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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