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Hawks set to host ranked Malvern Prep

When the East Penn Conference disbanded the league play-day, usually slated for the last weekend in January, it left an opening on the wrestling calendar.

Bethlehem Catholic decided to make the most of it with a home showdown against nationally ranked Malvern Prep Saturday night at 7 p.m.

The Friars (20-3) are a top five team nationally and will present the biggest challenge on the Hawks (7-0) schedule to date.

“They got depth and it’s a great opportunity for us because its going to give us something to look back on as we try to make a run in the postseason,” said head coach Jeff Karam. “They’re one of the best teams in the country. We want to wrestle the best that we can, because that brings out best.”

Malvern most recently took first place at the Escape the Rock tournament at Council Rock South and will give the Hawks a true barometer heading into the team postseason, which gets underway next weekend with District 11 duals.

It’ll also give the Becahi wrestlers an opportunity to perform better than they did against Notre Dame Green Pond, where they won 29-23 on Jan. 7, but lacked in plenty of departments for their head coach’s approval.

“Against Notre Dame we underperformed, conditioning wise and the fight we showed, “ said Karam. “We can’t beat these guys [Malvern] on raw talent. We’re going to have to compete for six minutes because that’s what we’re going to need to see going to district duals. Our guys also need to know their roles in this match. One guy might need to get bonus points, another might need an upset or someone has to fight off their back and not give up bonus points. I want to see how all our guys respond.”

Freedom finished 13th at the Coal Cracker Invitational at Lehighton over the weekend, bringing home three medalists in the growing individual tournament.

CJ Horvath (121) and Jared Karabinus (172) both finished second, falling to a pair of Faith Christian counterparts in the finals.

Horvath lost a 6-1 decision to Gauge Botero, while Karabinus got tech falled in 2:19 by an 18-1 margin against Adam Waters.

“I was expecting a few more than three medalists, however, this tournament has become a lot tougher than it was in the past,” said Freedom head coach Anthony Marino. “They added maybe 20 more teams which made it that much harder to medal, so I’m very proud of the three that made it onto the podium.”

Cameron Wickemeyer took eighth at 133 to round out the Freedom medalists. The Pates (11-6) wrestle Stroudsburg on Wednesday.

Liberty (8-7) finished 4-1 on the weekend at the Quakertown Duals.

The Hurricanes defeated North Penn, Wilson, Chichester and East Stroudsburg South in comfortable fashion, but lost to Quakertown 45-22 in their final matchup.

Liberty hosts East Stroudsburg South on Wednesday, followed by a home matchup on Saturday against Parkland.