Westminster settles score with rout of N. Carroll Win is No. 11 Owls' first over Panthers since '87

January 24, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

North Carroll had beaten visiting Westminster eight straight times since losing to the Owls by six points in 1986 and by a point in '87.

So the No. 11 Owls (7-3, 1-2) figured last night's 36-17 thumping -- in which the Panthers won just four of 13 matches -- was a long time coming.

"It's been a while, and we thought we could win. I just didn't want us to get overconfident," said third-year coach Henry Mohlhenrich.

"We looked good where I thought we would, but I felt like we're a pinning team. But give them [Panthers] credit, they wouldn't let us pin them."

That's not entirely true.

Westminster's only pin of the night came from Austin Lanham (160 pounds), who trailed Eric Giffi, 4-2, before reversing and decking him with 41 seconds left.

A subsequent major decision by Ryan Henry (171) put the match mathematically out of reach, 33-14, before Jason Hare (189, 19-4) edged the Panthers' Joe Hughes, 2-1, and the Panthers' Ben Fleming (Hwt.) edged Randy Stull by the same score.

In two previous bouts, North Carroll's No. 2-ranked Tom Kiler (140, 11-0) notched his eighth pin in 2:41, and teammate Adam Boog (152) moved up a class for a 14-1 decision that brought the No. 15 Panthers (6-2, 0-1) within 23-14 with four bouts left.

But Lanham made it 29-14, so the Panthers needed at least a decision and two pins to tie, or two pins and a major decision to win.

"I thought for a while that he [Giffi] had me, but he was off balance and I was able to catch him," Lanham said. "We had talked about how long it had been since we'd beaten them, so this was a long time coming."

North Carroll has shared or won seven of the last eight county dual-meet titles -- including the last five straight -- and were coming off an upset of then-No. 14 and defending 3A-4A tournament champ Old Mill.

But Westminster won six of the first eight bouts to lead, 23-10, with technical falls by Bobby Biden (112, 21-3) and Jay Andrews (135, 18-4) that each included 12 near-fall points, and a 10-1 win from 140-pound regular Charlie Minor (145, 16-5).

Westminster's Jimmy Reider (103) and Brad Hewitt were tied at 2 in the first period, but Reider outscored Hewitt, 7-1, in the second of an eventual 14-9 win. Two close decisions also came from teammates Grant Lindsay (119) and Dave Spicer (130).

In the Panthers' only other win, Dameon Davis (125, 10-2) and Tim Sharkey figured to battle closely. But a fired-up Davis (eight pins) led 5-0 early and scored nine near-fall points in a 15-3 rout.

"Everything went the way I thought it would all the way up to 160, but we got pinned instead of getting six," said North Carroll coach Bryan Wetzel.

"That just took the wind out of our sails, but a lot of our kids wrestled well."

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