When Loyola junior Dave Daniecki won the 189-pound title at the Maryland Scholastic Association wrestling tournament last weekend he barely edged another Harford County resident -- Jake Hollin of John Carroll.
Daniecki of Jarrettsville defeated Hollin, 2-1, in the MSA final at Gilman School in Baltimore last Sunday. The Dons' veteran scored the winning point on a third-period escape.
Hollin already had lost to Daniecki three times in the last two years. In an early season dual meet, Daniecki won, 4-0. Hollin saved his best effort for last.
"He wrestled a tough match," said Daniecki, who is competing this weekend at the National Prep Tournament at Lehigh University. "I was kind of upset afterward because I hoped for better than a 2-1 victory. But it was a good match. It was like two bulls out there hitting each other -- nobody would really give."
Following a scoreless opening period, Daniecki was awarded his first point after a second stalling call against Hollin. Hollin followed withan escape to end the second period in a 1-1 tie.
"I pretty much did what I wanted to do," said Hollin. "I wanted to wrestle on the mat. I thought I'd do a better job if I was on top or he was on top rather than neutral because he has a good shoot."
Daniecki and Hollin,a Fallston resident, live not far from each other, but they took vastly different routes to the MSA finals.
Daniecki, who started wrestling in the Fallston Rec program as a third-grader, entered the MSA tournament as the top seed. As an MSA tournament runner-up last year,Daniecki went 30-8 and was an honorable-mention All-Metro pick who placed fourth in the National Prep tournament.
This season, he complied a 25-2 record and was ranked fourth by the Maryland State Wrestling Association at 189 pounds. To reach the MSA championship bout, Daniecki pinned all three of his previous opponents. That brought his total pins for the season to 15.
Hollin (15-5), seeded third in theMSA tournament, never had wrestled until he got to John Carroll as afreshman. Last year, he finished fourth in the tournament.
The Patriots' junior never has been ranked by the MSWA, but he has played the spoiler for some of the MSA's top wrestlers in the past two tournaments. Last year, he knocked off the No. 2 seed in the quarterfinals before losing to Daniecki in the semis.
This year in the semis, Hollin upset Carver's sixth-ranked junior Ed Overton, who was at 16-0 after pinning his way into the semifinal bout.
Against Overton, Hollin trailed, 1-0, late in the third period. Overton had controlled much of the match, but couldn't hold down Hollin, allowing a reversal that put Hollin up 2-1. Hollin quickly added two more back points.
Overton reversed Hollin to come within 4-3 with about 30 seconds leftin the match, but a stubborn Hollin didn't allow another point and the score stood for the upset.
To reach the semifinals, Hollin pinned his first opponent in just three minutes and 49 seconds and won his second bout by default over St. Paul's George Kirkpatrick.
Hollin's victory aborted a much-anticipated match between Daniecki and Overton.
"I kind of wanted to wrestle him (Overton)," said Daniecki, "because I haven't wrestled him before and he was undefeated. It would have been a big thing, but I'm happy with the win."
John Carrollalso picked up a fourth-place finish from 130-pounder Tom Scannell.