Newark Catholic, Ridgewood test their limits in wrestling dual

NEWARK — Forget six minutes. Nico Richards and Jesse Maple went the full 8:30 in their latest bout Monday.

Maple edged Richards 1-0 in the ultimate tiebreaker for visiting Ridgewood against host Newark Catholic to highlight the teams’ dual. The two had met twice each of the last two seasons, and they could share the mat again at the Division III district tournament next month.

“Our room does an amazing job of helping us focus when you are almost suffering,” said Richards, crediting coach Jake Nelson and his staff. “You just have to block it out. On top of the endurance we have already built up throughout the season, there’s one goal, and that’s to win the match.”

It was a defensive battle throughout the match. Nobody scored on their feet in the first period, and neither could escape in the second or third periods.

The first overtime featured a minute on their feet, and neither again could escape during two 30-second periods. Maple, who was the 132-pound champion Saturday at Heath, held Richards down again during the do-or-die 30 seconds to earn the win.

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