Nelson clinches victory for Niles

Published 4:40 am Thursday, February 5, 2004

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Four seconds seperated victory from defeat Wednesday night in Niles' Big 16 Conference West Division showdown with Dowagiac.
With four seconds left on the clock in the final matc of the night, Niles senior George Nelson, trailing 2-1, took down Dowagiac freshman Mike Kasper to secure a victory for the Vikings against their arch rivals.
Nelson's victory gave Niles a 33-28 win over the Chieftains, its second victory over Dowagiac this season. Niles edged Dowagiac 36-35 at the Big 16 Conference Tournament back in January.
The win sent Niles coach Bob Galvin sprinting across the mat with his arms raised in triumph.
Charles Nelson had a chance to put the match away with the Vikings (24-3, 3-1) leading 30-25.
But three warnings for stalling and a technical violation earlier in his match with Austin Lawrence, awarded the Dowagiac grappler two penalty points at the end of regulation which tied the bout at 5-5.
Austin scored a takedown in overtime to set up the dramatics between Kasper and George Nelson.
The match started at 140 due to the fact that several Niles wrestlers were involved in a SAT workshop.
Rodney Leneway opened up the match with a 13-5 win over Justin Desjardin.
Dowagiac picked up an 11-3 win at 145 as Jeromy Northrop defeated Robert Cinninger.
Kyle Isabel then stuck Dowagiac's Elijah Caldwell in 3:46 at 152-pounds to get the Niles fans revved up.
From there the match went back and forth.
Dowagiac (23-7, 1-3) picked up victories at 160, 189, 275 and 112. Niles earned victories at 171, 215 and 103.
Back-to-back wins at 119 by Derek Purcell and 125 by Mason Stephenson gave the Vikings a 30-25 advantage.
103: Poehlman (N) p. Cottrell 2:20; 112: Phillips (D) p. Flannery 3:03; 119: Purcell (N) d. Dutoi 8-3; 125: Stephenson (N) d. Krukowski 10-6; 130: Lawrence (D) d. C. Nelson 7-5 (OT); 135: G. Nelson (N) d. Mike Kasper 3-2; 140: Leneway (N) d. Desjardin 13-5; 145: Northrup (D) d. Cinninger 11-3; 152: Isabel (N) p. Caldwell 3:46; 160: Bennett (D) d. Hickey 6-3; 171: Henry (N) d. Duszynski 6-1; 189: Kehrer (D) p.Groves 2:50; 215: Edwards (N) t.f. Behnke 16-0; 275: Johnson (D) p. Sullivan 2:58
Team records: Niles 24-3 (3-1), Dowagiac 23-7 (1-3)