Aberdeen feels right at home in winning its own tourney

January 08, 1995|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

Aberdeen once again proved to be an impolite host, as three individual champions helped the Eagles win a fifth team title in its eighth annual invitational wrestling tournament yesterday.

Freshman James Axel, a 112-pounder, the first of six Aberdeen wrestlers in the championship round, got his team started, and seniors DeWayne Whitley and Kit Doran later repeated as titlists.

Aberdeen totaled 172 points, followed by Chesapeake-AA 138 1/2 ; Archbishop Curley 131; Dulaney 122; John Carroll 93; Towson 80; Harford Tech 24.

Senior Matt Howard of Chesapeake, runner-up for a second straight year, produced the only upset of the title round when he decisioned previously unbeaten Corey Pascuzzi of Aberdeen, 7-4, at 125 pounds.

Howard (13-3) trailed 4-3 in the second period, then used two reversals to earn the decision.

Axel scored a major decision over Aslan Etthadieh of Dulaney, and later Whitley (11-3) pinned Jon Cohen of John Carroll in 1:09 of the first period, the fastest of four final-round pins, and Doran (14-0) claimed an 8-2 decision over Andy Dunn of John Carroll.

Two wrestlers remained undefeated when they pulled out the two closest championship matches.

Travis Gottlich (16-0), a Chesapeake senior, defended his 103 title with a 2-0 decision over Ryan Haden of Towson, getting the points on a second-period reversal.

At 189, Mike Babiak (13-0), a John Carroll junior, got a takedown against Towson's Karsten Russell-Wood with five seconds left to pull out a 2-1 decision. Russell-Wood's point had come with 36 seconds left.

In addition to Howard and Gottlich, Chesapeake got a win from sophomore Carl Cicchetti, when he overcame an 0-6 first-period deficit in beating Aberdeen's Fred Merritt, 10-6. Cicchetti, in his first varsity season, earlier had placed first at the Arundel tournament.

"I was very impressed with our showing," Chesapeake coach Tom Slichter said.

"We entered 11 -- we're down in two classes -- and nine of them placed in the top four."

Babiak was followed by heavyweight teammate Greg Stotler (14-1), who pinned Erick Morgan of Aberdeen in 2:21. Stotler's only loss was a decision to Mount St. Joseph's top-ranked Kenny Hunter.

Archbishop Curley sent three to the finals, and all produced winning performances.

Junior Ben Verner (145), a jayvee wrestler last year, pinned Brian D'Anna of Dulaney in 1:43. Ken Wilson (119) and sophomore Sal Aquia (140), a state Junior champ last year, earned decisions.

Josh Perloff (171), a Towson senior, accounted for the other championship pin when he put down John Jorde of Chesapeake at 2:58. Dulaney senior Alex Leanos improved to 16-0 with a decision.

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