Friday, January 18, 2008

Five-Star Matchups

It's a full weekend of activity in the Centennial Conference with basketball doubleheaders galore and the first full weekend of wrestling dual matches.

Gettysburg at Ursinus (Basketball)
The place to be on Saturday is Helfferich Hall in Collegeville with two basketball games that will have an impact on the playoff picture down the road. The women start the doubleheader at 1 p.m. as the Bullets (5-2 CC, 8-5 overall) look for a season sweep over the Bears (4-2, 6-7). Ursinus dropped a 58-46 decision to Gettysburg at the Battlefield on Dec. 1 but has a three-game win streak over the Orange and Blue on its home hardwood. Two of the CC's best freshmen will be on display in Gettysburg's Caitlin Moser and Ursinus' Alex Shivers.

First place in the Conference is on the line in the nightcap as the CC-leading Bears (7-0, 12-2) and the second-place Bullets (6-1, 11-2) meet for the second time this season. Ursinus humbled Gettysburg, 84-59, back on Dec. 1 at Bream Gym and looks for its seventh consecutive win against the Orange and Blue. The Bullets' last win was a 71-63 triumph at Helfferich during the 2005 season. Two of the Centennial's top players take center stage in this game - UC's Nick Shattuck (20.6 ppg) and 'Burg's Dan Capkin (20.3) are 1-2 in the Conference in scoring.

Muhlenberg at Franklin & Marshall (Basketball)
Another key twinbill takes place at Mayser Center as the Mules come to Lancaster to take on the Diplomats. The women tip off at 2 p.m. with Muhlenberg (6-1, 11-3) looking for its second straight season sweep of Franklin & Marshall (5-2, 10-4). F&M has dropped eight of the last nine to 'Berg with a 78-71 overtime win at home in 2006 to its credit. A pair of outstanding juniors will be showcased in the opener as the Diplomats' Sarah Meisenberg leads the CC in scoring (18.5) while Muhlenberg's Lauren Boyle is fifth (16.3).

Four teams are currently 4-3 in the CC men's race and there will be some separation when the Mule (4-3, 6-8) and Diplomat (4-3, 9-5) men meet in the day's second game. Muhlenberg defeated F&M, 68-65, back on Dec. 1 and looks for its first season sweep of the Diplomats since 1998. The Blue and White has won five straight from 'Berg at Mayser and will need to shut down Muhlenberg's Mike Bernardini, who has topped the 30-point mark in consecutive games, to keep the streak alive.

Merchant Marine at Washington and Lee (Wrestling)
Two of the Conference's associate members take center stage in a quad match that also includes McDaniel and Stevens in Lexington. The Mariners (0-0, 5-4) are ranked #19 by the NWCA in its latest Division III rankings, while the Generals (1-0, 3-0) look to remain unbeaten. Key matches to watch: 165 between USMMA's Vincent Renaut (19-2) and W&L's Anthony Boniello (11-3) and 197 between the Mariners' Eric Vincent (16-3) and the Generals' John Christopher (12-4).

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