Annapolis' wrestling team downed homestanding Chesapeake, 41-15, Friday night, but let's fast forward to the best match of the night.
That came at 140 pounds, where the Cougars' Doug Horton (20-3, 14 pins), who is fifth-ranked at 130 pounds, dropped an exciting 12-8 decision to Tom Sfakiyanudas (21-3, nine pins), sixth-ranked at 135-pounds.
Sfakiyanudas scored the first takedown, but Horton nailed a five-point reversal and nearly flattened Sfakiyanudas for his 12th first-period pin. Sfakiyanudas escaped, however, and tied the bout at 5-5 with a takedown heading into the second period.
From there, the Annapolis senior used his superior muscle against the slender sophomore, grabbing three more takedowns en route to victory.
"I was feeling all right until the second period, but his strength just wore me out," said Horton, a county runner-up last year at 130. "I was expecting a tough match out of him, and when he got me on my back, I was a little worried," said Sfakiyanudas, a 135-pound county runner-up last year.
The Cougars led, 6-0, after Mark Downey (103, 16-8) received a forfeit, but Annapolis swept the next four bouts to go up, 15-6, before Chesapeake's Steve Davis' 135-pound decision made it, 15-9, and Sfakiyanudas' decision put his team up, 18-9.
Annapolis put the match out of reach, 31-9, after a decision by Ford Baumgardener (145, 13-4), a pin by Jack Copus (152, 9-3), and a major decision by the Panthers' second-ranked Chip Cochran (160, 22-1).
In the remaining bouts, Chesapeake's Shawn Somers (171, 20-4) scored his 13th pin, and Annapolis' Colie Krietzer (189) scored third period pin.
Annapolis heavyweight DeMond Galloway (17-7), who was third in last year's countytournament and fourth in the region, cruised to a 13-3 victory over Kevin Sellers (17-7).
"This was a really important win for us going into next week's county tournament," said Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes, whose Panthers tied both Broadneck and Old Mill for last year's county dual meet crown.
"We've shown tremendous improvement since the beginning of the season, when we had a lot of injuries. I'm really proud of the way we're wrestling at this point."
In the early bouts, Kevin Owen (15-5-1, 10 pins) won a battle of seniors, 4-2, over Chesapeake's Rich Brown (16-7-1, nine pins), and the Panthers' Mike Zambernardi (119) scored a second-period pin. At 125-pounds, Annapolis' Seth Robbins (18-6) led by 6-1 in the first period and 9-2 early inthe second, before his eventual 9-5 win over Ron Alexander (17-3-1).
Robbins, who was third in last year's county tournament, then watched his 130-pound twin brother, Ira (12-8) score a 5-2 decision overRob Zittle (14-8-1).