Perry Hall wrestling coach Al Miller acknowledges that he's a worrier.
And when the latest winter storm delayed Baltimore County's wrestling tournament, Miller wondered whether the Gators could perform their best.
He needn't have worried.
No. 8 Perry Hall placed five wrestlers in the finals, won two individual titles and held off No. 9 Eastern Technical to win their first county tournament since 1990 last night at Dundalk High School.
Perry Hall finished with 177 points, topping Eastern Technical's 162. No. 12 Owings Mills was third with 139.5. This is Perry Hall's third county title the past six years.
Miller fretted about the layoff caused by last week's foul weather. The tournament, which was supposed to be held Friday and Saturday, was pushed back three days.
"I worried about the layoff and if they could keep their intensity," he said. "Wrestling is such a demanding sport, [that] when you get away fromit, it's easy to lose the edge."
But the Gators didn't. Rich Hanzevack (135 pounds) and Joe Farinetti (171) won titles for the Gators, and Nick Sidiropoulos (103), Steve Boothe (119) and Jeff Taylor (189) took seconds.
Hanzevack paid back Owings Mills' Stan Leaser for an early-season pin with one of his own at 3:06. Leaser led 3-2 when Hanzevack reversed him, caught him in a cradle and pinned him. That sealed the match for the Gators.
"I worked out a lot over the break," Hanzevack said. "I knew we had a strong team. I figured we'd do real well."
Farinetti (22-5) got the other individual title with a 4-2 overtime decision over Pat MacLeod of Towson.
Perry Hall wrestles again tonight in the new dual-meet regionals when it takes on Howard in the Class 3A-4A North Region semifinal at Randallstown. The Gators most likely will be without Austin Kim (152), who aggravated a shoulder injury.
Eastern Technical landed three wrestlers in the finals and walked away with two titles. Joe Catlin (119) topped Boothe, 7-2, and Rex Marshall (160) pinned Overlea's Ray Clark at 5:33.
Gary Harris (125, 23-0) of Randallstown became only the second wrestler to win four Baltimore County titles. The Randallstown senior extended his winning streak to 55 and completed his grand slam with a 19-3 technical fall over Brian Nagle of Eastern Technical.
Harris, who won the state championship last year for Milford Mill at 119, breezed through the tournament. He drew a bye in the first round and scored pins in the quarterfinals and semifinals before taking Nagle in the championships.
"[This] was one of my main goals besides winning the states," said Harris, who also took second in the states as a sophomore. "It feels great."
Other champions were: Dulaney's Mike Kassolis (103), Sparrows Point's Gary Maynor (112), Owings Mills' Steve Kessler (130), Randallstown's James Phillips (140), Towson's Ken Knapp (145), Woodlawn's Mykol Thomas (152), Hereford's Roy Collins (189) and Woodlawn's Darrel Nance (heavyweight).
* The Baltimore County Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted retiring Pikesville coach Curt Boushell. With a record of 159-74-3, Boushell has produced 10 county and regional champions along with two state champions at Pikesville.