St. Mary's Wrestlers On Verge Of Repeating As Champs

Saints Win Key Match Over Southwestern

February 07, 1991|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff writer

Team points weren't kept at the Friends wrestling tournament two weekends ago, but Southwestern had so many individual champions that theemcee declared the Sabers "the next Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference champions."

"The kids really took offense at that," said St. Mary's coach Brad Best, whose Saints downed Southwestern, 39-31, yesterday to come a step closer to winning their second consecutive MSA B Conference dual-meet title.

On Tuesday, the Saints play host to Mervo -- a team whose only loss came against the Sabers, 44-28 -- before facing Dunbar in an as yet unscheduled make-up match.

"I have to confess, at the beginning of the season, I really didn't give these kids much of a chance of repeating this year," Best said. "But I'm really proud of these kids."

The Sabers trailed, 36-19, with three bouts left and needed pins in every remaining match to win.

But St. Mary's Kevin Donnelly (171pounds) won a wild bout with Darnell Jones, 12-9, to put the match mathematically out of reach, 39-19.

Top-ranked 189-pounder Walter Reed (19-0) and heavyweight Stanley Davis then recorded first-period pins for the Sabers.

"I thought I had to win my match because I knew the rest of their guys were tough," said Donnelly, who improved to 18-8. "I'm a senior, and it's great to win this twice in a row."

The win came after a big week in which the Saints (9-2 overall, 7-0 league) posted victories over Annapolis Area Christian School, 60-11, Forest Park, 41-32, and Northern, 44-28.

The Sabers (6-1) were 12 points in the hole before the match began because they were missing two starters, including fourth-ranked Caldwell Veale (140), who tore the Achille's tendon in his right leg in practice Tuesday.

Veale (16-1), whose only loss was against Old Mill's top-ranked Brent Layman, 11-8 in overtime, is out for the season.

The Sabers forfeited thatweight class as well as the 160 class.

Southwestern took a 10-6 lead after sandwiching Derrick Wilhite's 103-pound pin and Montez Shelton's 119-pound major decision around a pin by St. Mary's Chris Chase(112).

But the Saints registered pins to sweep the next three bouts for a 24-10 lead.

Don Cipriani (125) built a 12-0 lead before pinning his opponent with 36 seconds left. Then Phil MacWilliams (130)and Mac MacWilliams recorded first-period pins.

Dom Souza took the 140-pound forfeit and the Sabers trailed, 30-10.

"We've been aiming our practices at them all week and I think we just wanted it morethan they did," said Cipriani, a junior. "Our attitude was right there for this one. We were really ready mentally."

Southwestern camewithin 30-19 after an 8-1 decision by Keir Hicks (145) and a pin by Joe Gamble (152), but the 160-pound forfeit made the score 36-19 as the Saints closed in for the kill.

"On paper, I had figured out that we wouldn't give up any pins in the lower-weight matches," said Southwestern coach Bernie Leneau. "I had given us a pin from Shelton anda 3-0 win by 119-pounder Everette Harris, but neither of those things happened. (Cipriani) looked a lot better than when we saw him at Friends."

The MacWilliams brothers, Phil (19-5) and Mac (24-3-1), were the only winners in the Saints' 54-7 loss to No. 6-ranked Broadneck Monday. St. Mary's only other loss came against fifth-ranked Annapolis.

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