Southwestern and Walbrook displayed equal portions of rhythm and intensity in their wrestling showdown yesterday.
Between sit-up intervals during warm-ups, for instance, members of each squad slapped the mats in cadence, drumming up the fury for yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference dual meet championship in front of a boisterous bunch in Southwestern's gymnasium.
Walbrook (8-1) -- which won the match, 42-27 -- had the early groove, taking six of the first seven bouts for a 30-6 lead. It was 36-18 after Walbrook's Mike Johnson (160) pinned Ron Horton, but the Sabers still could salvage a tie with pins in the last three bouts.
When Southwestern's Harvey Chalmers (171) decisioned Kevin Forrester 9-2, however, the match was over.
"Pins! That's what really lost the match for us," said coach Bernie Leneau, whose Sabers yielded five of them. "Guys got pinned tonight who normally don't."
Southwestern (7-1) had come within 30-18, after Kier Hicks (25-4) scored a pin and No. 4-ranked Joe Gamble (34-1) received a forfeit.
"The forfeit was a big key for us, because I knew my guy couldn't beat Gamble," said Walbrook coach Wavie Gibson. "So when we got Gamble to commit, we knew they couldn't bump him up. So I just moved [Johnson] up."
What made the match so intense was the fact the schools were combined last year: Walbrook closed down for four years for asbestos removal, so each team wrestled separately and not against each other.
Walbrook led 11-0, after sophomore Kevin Hughes (103, 13-4) flattened Eric Harold in the first period and sophomore Steve Wilson (112) scored a technical fall victory. A first-period pin by Southwestern sophomore Charlie Winston (119) cut it to 11-6, but the Warriors led 14-6 after junior George Chandler (125, 15-4-2) used a last-second reversal to edge Montez Shelton, 4-3.
The Warriors swept the next three bouts to lead, 30-6, after Kevin Muldrow's major decision at 130 pounds, and consecutive pins by Walbrook's best two wrestlers -- Leonard Parker (135, 20-1) and Mark Hollingsworth (140, 15-4-1).