Mervo maintains Eastside mastery

January 15, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

A year ago, Mervo walked away with a victory at the Eastside Invitational when second-place Northern lost all four of its matches in the final round.

This year the host Mustangs left nothing to chance.

Mervo took a 19-point lead into the finals, then won five championships to win going away.

It marked the third time the Mustangs have won in the tournament's four-year history.

They racked up 187 points, Edmondson was second with 144 and Lake Clifton was third with 130.

Patterson, Dunbar, Northern, City, Forest Park and Carver rounded out the field.

For Mervo coach Dwight Warren, winning the meet in dominating fashion felt better than last year when the Mustangs squeaked by.

"The team this year is much better in the sense that they have more consistency," said Warren. "Kids like [Bryant] Cromwell and [Millard] West have really stepped up."

They were just two of eight wrestlers the Mustangs sent to the finals.

Cromwell dropped a 3-2 decision to Dunbar's Lydell Henry at 152; West pinned Travis Holliday of Edmondson at 1:07.

Other Mervo champions were Terry McNair (103), Garfield Thompson (112), Wayne Lucas (135) and freshman heavyweight Aaron Brown.

Lake Clifton's Michael Bowser (119), Edmondson's Jonathan Norris (130), Lake Clifton's Lloyd Cox (140), Dunbar's Hermondoz Thompson (145), Carver's Robert Horton (160), Edmondson's Donta Connor (171) and Patterson's Claude Marrow (189) also won individual titles.

Thompson and Cox were named "Outstanding Wrestlers."

For Lucas, Mervo's senior co-captain, the win was especially sweet.

After suffering a possible broken toe earlier in the day, the top-seeded 135-pounder kept going and pinned Patterson's Joe Sweeney in 1:58 to win in the finals.

"The coaches told me to just try and ignore the pain," said Lucas, who said he was pleased with the Mustangs' development into one of Baltimore City's toughest teams to beat. "I think we're rising as a team."

Said Warren: "Against city schools we're pretty much holding our own. We're wrestling kids more of our caliber."

One of the biggest upsets occurred in the 135-pound semifinals.

Leading, 14-4, second-seed Larry Dix of Edmondson was disqualified for slamming Patterson's Joe Sweeney to the mat.

Sweeney, the third seed, went on to lose to top-seeded Lucas in the finals.

Another upset came in the 171-pound class where Connor, the tournament's third seed, pinned top-seeded Epps at 1:01.

He was the lowest seed to win a championship.

But the day belonged to the host team.

Mervo wrestlers said that having the tournament in their home gym helped them perform at their best.

"Every time we're in our home gym we manage to pull it out," said Lucas. "It always feels good to win it."

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