Hammond closes in on dual-meet title

February 10, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

The Hammond Golden Bears have torn through their wrestling season in businesslike fashion.

Last night, they added Howard to their list of victims by jumping on the Lions for a 24-0 lead, then rolling to a 40-22 victory.

The victory threw a wrench in Howard's turnaround season (9-3, 4-2) and virtually assured Hammond (12-1, 6-0) of its second county dual-meet championship. The Bears should clinch that title tomorrow against Centennial.

But their minds are trained on next week's county tournament. Hammond came to last year's tournament expecting to win, but fell 16 points short against Oakland Mills and finished second.

"We found last year that these dual meets don't mean a thing. It's just another plaque for the trophy case. We want the big [tournament] trophy," said Hammond coach Bill Smith.

Dan Proulx, who helped give the Bears an insurmountable lead last night by pinning Chris Poling at 119 pounds in the second period, echoed Smith's sentiments.

"We know we should win it [the tournament], no question about it. But everybody said we were going to win it last year," Proulx said. "We're pretty good now, but we're definitely not where we want to be. We're not satisfied with tonight at all."

The Bears took advantage of Howard's inexperienced lightweights by pinning three Lions to pile up a 24-0 advantage -- Howard forfeited the 112-pound match -- then held their own against the Lions' excellent middleweights.

The Lions hung in gamely. When Seth Eldridge (160) beat Hammond's Jimmy Weston, he pulled Howard to within 31-16 and gave the Lions a chance to make the score close. But Hammond's Mac Goudy pinned Eric Paskin 23 seconds into the second period to give Hammond a 37-16 lead and clinch the match.

"I'm not totally displeased with what I saw," Howard coach Fred Bullock said. "Our younger kids took a beating early, but we still fought back and wrestled hard. Those losses in the middle really hurt."

The match was basically over right after it started. Amit Kapoor, Proulx and Brian Law produced pins to put the Lions in a 24-point hole.

Mark Grinspoon (130) scored Howard's first points by hanging on for an 11-9 decision over John Motley. But Hammond's Nakia White (135) stalled the Lions' comeback hopes by pulling out an 8-6 decision over Josh Tzuker.

After Howard's Preston Murfin pinned Chris Parker to pull the Lions to 27-9, Erin Woodward (145) put a stop to Howard with an impressive finish against Jason Shefrin. After the two battled to a scoreless tie in the first three minutes, Woodward jumped on Shefrin for 12 unanswered points to finish with a 12-0 decision. That made it 31-9.

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