Three cheers for the North Carroll wrestling team, which, as expected, romped to the Central Maryland Conference title Saturday at Frederick High.
The Panthers crowned seven conference champs and sent two others to the title round while rolling up 232.5 points.
But what happened to the rest of the county contingent?
Carroll teams swept the top three spots in the dual-meet standings, and South Carroll tied with Frederick for fourth.
But in the tournament, two Frederick County schools -- Frederick and Linganore -- rode a fewstrong individual performances to second- and third-place finishes, respectively. The Carroll teams may have been better up and down the lineup, but Frederick apparently had the individuals needed to make strong tournament showings.
The tournament featured some surprises,and not too many of them were good ones for the Carroll contingent. For example, eight strong Carroll wrestlers -- all with solid records-- didn't even reach the semifinals in the seven-team event for a variety of reasons (injuries, illness, suspensions or just plan sub-parperformances).
That's what probably cost Westminster and Liberty a shot at second or third and kept South Carroll from finishing out of the basement in the CMC tournament.
Weight-class winners from Carroll include:
Jeremy Myers, N. Carroll, 103;
Chad Miller, N. Carroll, 112;
Tom Dell, N. Carroll, 119;
Neil Brennan, Westminster, 135;
Jason Myers, N. Carroll, 140;
Dave Foster, N. Carroll,152;
Chris Arthur, N. Carroll, 160;
Bill Lubking, N. Carroll, 171;
Jim Stump, Westminster, hvywt.
Now it's on to this weekend's county tournament, which could see a North Carroll wrestler in thefinals of each weight class. The interesting battle, of course, willbe for second.
With Brennan, Stump and 189-pounder Boomer Warfield in the lineup, Westminster would appear to be the favorite, since all three could win county titles.
Who would have guessed thatWestminster would be on top of the Central Maryland Conference boys basketball standings heading into the final two weeks of the season?
I figured the Owls had a shot at finishing tops in the county, but really didn't think Westminster was balanced enough to finish ahead of perennial power Thomas Johnson or a veteran Frederick team. I also thought South Carroll had a chance to sneak in past the Owls for county honors.
Led by the offensive performance of Herman Costley -- at 29.6 points per game, that's nearly twice theaverage of the county's No. 2 scorer -- and his strong rebounding, the Owls were 5-0 in the CMC, 3-0 in the county and 9-5 overall heading into last night's game against Frederick.
Better yet, the Owls were two games ahead of everybody else in the CMC in the loss column.
And Costley essentially is carrying the team on his back. No otherOwl is in the Top 10 in the county in scoring. (It's impossible to know just which other Westminster players make regular contributions, since Coach Dave Beyers doesn't keep detailed statistics.)
A look at the junior varsity standings shows county boys teams are struggling, while the girls teams and wrestling squads are doing well.
Looking strictly at non-county junior varsity results reported as ofJan. 31, the boys basketball teams are 11-40, the girls are a solid 30-15 and the wrestlers are a stunning 29-2-3.
By the way, at the varsity level, county boys are 23-35 against out-of-county opponents,the girls are 25-33 and the wrestlers are 28-13-1.
Excuse Liberty girls coach Tom Delise if he feels more like the head of a M.A.S.H. unit these days.
Kelly Foreman, one of the county leaders in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots, has missed a couple of games with the flu, as has teammate Julie Cox. And guard Cindy Leeds, the county's steal leader, has been hampered by a rib injury.
Hence, theLions' two-game losing streak heading into Friday's game with Westminster. But a weeklong layoff couldn't have come at a better time for the Lions, who still could make a run for the CMC crown.
It isn't likely -- three teams are ahead of Liberty -- but in this strange CMCgirls basketball season that has seen the bottom teams score severalupsets on the top squads, anything can happen.