Jonah Niesenbaum is confident he can wrestle against anyone, even on the national scene. And now maybe a few others are starting to believe as well.
Niesenbaum is 3-0 in dual meets this season. His biggest victory thus far came against Wilson’s Kolby Flank, last year’s District 11 Class 2A champion.
In terms of a national scale, Niesenbaum went 3-2 at the Super 32 wrestling tournament held back in October. One of his losses at 220 pounds was a hard-fought 3-1 decision against Oklahoma’s Konnor Doucet, who is ranked third in the country.
As if things weren’t tough enough for the Salisbury girls’ basketball team, the Falcons experienced a few more challenges last week.
Already without Olivia Hoeing, who is a two-year starter and has been sidelined all season, the injury bug bit Salisbury even more. Two other starters, guards Quinn Wittman and Melena Koutch, were in walking boots and missed Sunday’s game against Blue Mountain.
Blue Mountain took advantage of Salisbury’s inexperience and jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, defeating the Falcons 55-13.
Getting off to slow starts has been a concern for the Salisbury boys’ basketball team this season. And it once again hurt the Falcons last week.
Palmerton’s Justin Hosier erupted for 19 points in the first quarter, and the Blue Bombers led by as much as 21 points in the second quarter. The Falcons fought back to get within five points in the fourth quarter, but the deficit was too much to overcome as Palmerton held on for the 65-61 win last Wednesday.
It’s quite fascinating when you hear Jonah Niesenbaum’s wrestling journey.
In just his third year of wrestling, Niesenbaum is coming off a season in which he qualified for states after placing fifth at regionals and taking third at the District 11 Class 2A tournament. And there’s no reason to expect he can’t top those accolades this winter.
Niesenbaum returns for the 2019 season looking to not only take another step forward, but also help guide the Salisbury program to new heights after going 0-8 last season with just two grapplers.
With the way Monday’s game against Wilson started, Salisbury was fortunate to find itself with a chance late in the fourth quarter.
However, the Warriors were able to close out the game with a few key plays from one of their top players.
After getting within two points midway through the fourth quarter, Wilson’s Robbie Swiatek scored six straight points as part of a 12-3 spurt to end the game for a 54-43 victory on Monday night.
Salisbury’s plan heading into its weekend game against Northern Lehigh was clear: limit Jada Saeger and the Falcons’ chances figured to greatly increase.
Unfortunately, that goal was easier said than done.
Saeger, after scoring just two points in the opening quarter, helped Northern Lehigh separate itself the rest of the way on Saturday afternoon. Saeger finished with a game-high 23 points and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career during a 52-33 win over the Falcons at Northern Lehigh High School.
During a subpar winter season a year ago, it’s been quite some time since the Salisbury boys’ basketball team was at or above .500. After dropping its season opener against Blue Mountain last Friday night, the Falcons got to .500 with a win the next day.
The Falcons (1-1) separated themselves against Oley Valley in the second half and evened their record with a 69-55 win on Saturday afternoon. Salisbury started last season 0-8.
Following Saturday’s win against Oley Valley in which four Falcons finished in double figures, head coach Jason Weaver flashed back to a memorable performance from former Falcon Jack Reichenbach a year ago. Reichenbach had scored 25 points in the opening half of last year’s season opener.
Weaver noted that it’s unlikely any of his current players could put up those numbers in a half, but admitted that balanced scoring isn’t a bad thing. If Salisbury (5-17 overall in 2018, 5-13 in Colonial League) wants to get back to postseason play, balanced scoring figures to be key.
Salisbury was at a disadvantage in its season opener against Dieruff even before tipoff. The Falcons opened the season without two starters due to injuries and health issues.
Still, the Falcons kept it competitive against a much larger school in East Penn Conference foe Dieruff.
Down a point at halftime, Dieruff took the lead in the third quarter and then separated itself by double figures in the fourth en route to its 42-32 victory on Friday night.
The Times News newspaper in Lehighton is reporting that two high school sports leagues in District 11 will be merging for the sport of football.
According to a story in today’s paper, the Schuylkill League and Colonial League will join forces in the future. A date has not been set for the merger and many details are still not ironed out.
The full story is posted on the Times News web site.