No. 3 Curley dominates at Eagle Invitational Friars set up showdown with No. 1 Mount St. Joe

January 07, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

A snowstorm brewed outside Aberdeen High. But Curley was a firestorm inside, gaining momentum for Tuesday's showdown with No. 1 Mount St. Joseph at yesterday's ninth annual Eagle Invitational by winning only its second tournament of any kind since 1985.

Curley (207 points), ranked No. 3 in area and 10 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, placed 12 of 13 wrestlers in the top four and had among nine finalists, champs Tony Diem (112 pounds), Paul Boettcher (119), Ken Willson (125), Mike Boettcher (130), Bill Curran (135), Sal Aquia (145) and Ben Verner (160).

The Friars, coming off last weekend's win at Arundel's tournament, dethroned No. 12 Aberdeen (129, third), winner of six of the previous eight titles and an honorable mention by the MSWA. The host Eagles' only champ was No. 6 Kevin Carter (103, 8-1), who required overtime for a 7-5 win over Curley's Mike Frey.

For runner-up and No. 10 Dulaney (183), Pat Kopalchick (140, 8-0) needed overtime to win his semifinal, 2-1, over Aberdeen's Mark Fazekash, and scored a takedown with 17 seconds left to win, 4-3, over defending champ Carl Cicchetti (10-3, eight pins) of Chesapeake-AA. Kopalchick's older brother, Scott (152, 6-1), edged Towson's Jeff Paul (7-2) by 1-0, and heavyweight Ryan Frost won by default.

Curran (7-1), one of three Curley seniors, overcame a 6-3 deficit against James M. Bennett's Brady Burton (12-2, eight pins) with a four-point reversal to win, 7-6. Bennett is coached by former state champ Todd Martinek (Bel Air, 1989).

"There were like 10 seconds left when I put him on his back. I was worried I couldn't pull it off," said Curran, who handed the North Carolina transfer his only loss since an 8-7 setback to a Delaware wrestler. By contrast, Curran's No. 4 teammate, Aquia (16-1), notched three pins to repeat as tournament champ.

Verner (13-4) had a more difficult time repeating. Down 4-0, and nearly pinned early on, he needed an overtime takedown for a 9-7 win over Towson's Ken Knapp (7-2), who won a semifinal battle of Baltimore County champs, 10-6, over Dulaney's Damon Holmes.

Diem (15-2, 10 pins) led his semifinal, 13-3, before pinning Dulaney's previously unbeaten Aslan Ettedieh (8-1, five pins). Next, the third-year wrestler outlasted Aberdeen's James Axel (8-1) -- the event's 112-pound titlist last year -- by 7-6 in an overtime final.

Paul Boettcher (21-2, 13 pins) outscored his three opponents by a combined 41-9, including 11-0 over Dulaney's previously unbeaten Ben Bulloch (7-1) for the title. Willson (17-3) got his 10th pin of the year in 3:02 over Towson's Phil Warsal (7-2) to repeat as champ, and Mike Boettcher (15-4, 10 pins) had two pins and a 15-2 title win over Chesapeake-AA's Mike Lavasseur (3-1).

John Carroll's No. 6 Mike Babiak (189, 11-0) scored three first-period pins to repeat. Babiak's other win was by forfeit. Chesapeake's champion Chad Duncan (171, 10-1, eight pins) scored two falls and a technical fall.

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