North Carroll turns showdown into blowout, 51-18

February 03, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Startling, shocking, unbelievable, breathtaking.

All those words describe the performance by No. 2 North Carroll (11-0) last night in its Carroll County wrestling showdown against No. 5 Francis Scott Key (9-1-1).

This was supposed to be a fairly close match.

But the Panthers looked as if they had come down from a much higher league the way they tore apart the Eagles, 51-18, at Key.

Try this on for size:

North Carroll won the last five bouts by pins in a total time of only seven minutes, 46 seconds.

The Panthers had eight pins in 12 bouts and won by 33 points even though they forfeited the first bout to Key's talented Ryan Etzler (16-3 at 103) for a 6-0 deficit.

Not bad for a team that was supposed to be facing its toughest challenge from Key in several years.

If there was any thought about North Carroll not being a clear-cut choice to zoom through Carroll County opponents en route to another championship, this ended it.

When a much-anticipated matchup for the county title fizzles as this did, there have to be some reasons.

There were two major reasons.

The first was the all-out intensity and emotional display by the Panthers for their veteran coach Dick Bauerlein, who most likely will step down at the end of the season after 19 years at North Carroll and putting together a wrestling dynasty.

The second was some internal problems involving three Key wrestlers who did not compete for unspecified reasons. Josh Crone (160), Adam Sullivan (189) and Curtis Rhoten (152) missed the match.

But Key's problems could not take anything away from Bauerlein and North Carroll.

North Carroll's J. T. Torsella, who pinned Key's Eric Long in just 36 seconds at 189 pounds, paid tribute to Bauerlein: "Mr. Bauerlein is the best. We did this for him. There's not much more to say about a man that we love like him."

Heavyweight Bill Beltz, who finished the Panthers' show with a pinover Mario Laugunas in 1:56, said: "He [Bauerlein] is probably the best coach anybody can ever have. It's going to be hard for the team to adjust without him next year."

North Carroll's Chris Boog (20-0) remained unbeaten with a pin over Erin Brilhart in three minutes at 171, and the Panthers' Tommy Kiler improved his record to 19-1 with a pin over Chris Beale in 3:29.

The other top North Carroll entries -- Corey Rill, Doug Dell and Saidrick Lewis -- also scored falls to improve their impressive records. Lewis is 19-1, and Rill and Dell are 18-2.

Bauerlein said he wasn't shocked by the lopsided outcome.

"With the matchups the way they are, we are that much better than they are," he said. "You have to remember that in wrestling, matchups mean everything."

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