Westminster lightweights dominate to beat Howard Lions take five of last six but Owls prevail, 37-25

February 02, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Last night's Westminster-Howard match seemed like two separate matches.

Westminster dominated the first half, winning the first seven bouts. But though host Howard won five of the final six, the No. 11 Owls hung on for a 37-25 victory.

Westminster (10-4) now appears to be in the driver's seat for the fourth and final spot in the Class 3A-4A North Region tournament, which begins Wednesday at Howard.

The Owls looked ready for postseason action, as they breezed through the lower weights.

The Owls used three pins, three decisions and a forfeit to take a 34-0 lead after seven matches -- which proved too much for Howard (5-5) to overcome.

"I thought we'd be able to do well in the lower weights," said Westminster coach Henry Mohlhenrich.

"But the whole team wrestled well. I was pleased."

Jimmy Reiter (103) opened the match with a decision, and Bobby Biden (112) followed with a pin.

Grant Lindsay stretched the Westminster lead to 13-0 with a 12-4 victory over Jeremy Brizzi.

"We knew they were stacked in the upper weights," said Lindsay. "We wanted to try and almost win it in the lower weights."

Tim Sharkey (125) then won a 16-14 decision over T.J. Dameron. Sharkey trailed, 4-0, at one point and rallied to take a 15-7 lead before holding on for the victory.

Dave Spicer (130) then got a pin, Jay Andrews (135) a forfeit, and Charlie Minor (140) gave the Owls a seemingly insurmountable 34-0 lead with his pin.

But then the Lions showed how strong they are in the upper weights.

Matt Sartwell (145) gave Howard its first points with a 10-2 decision over Billy Mathis.

Joel Hegg (152) then edged Westminster's Austin Lanham, 4-2, in a tough match.

Because it wasn't a pin, that decision actually clinched the match for the Owls.

Chris Poling (160) then gave Howard its first pin when he took care of Jim Sharkey at 4:37.

Frank Tortella (171) stretched the streak to four in a row when he won by disqualification.

Jason Hare (189) broke the streak when he topped Kenny Neal of Howard, 5-3. The match went back and forth, but Hare's reversal with 1:05 left made the difference.

Heavyweight Brian Neal then closed the match in style for Howard.

He took control right away and pinned Randy Stull in 58 seconds to cut the final deficit to 12.

Howard coach Joe Thomas said his team has made some nice comebacks this season, but 34 points was too much.

"In most matches we can usually pick up one or two wins going into 145," he said. "But we just didn't tonight."

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