Mount St. Joe routs Curley, 47-12, to remain unbeaten Gaels take advantage of coach's maneuvering

February 23, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

When facing No. 1 Mount St. Joseph, a perennial power in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, there's little room for error.

And after yesterday's 47-12 rout at St. Joe (12-0), in which the visitors won just three bouts, No. 6 Curley (12-2) can attest that a slip against the Gaels usually leads to a fall.

A Curley wrestler fell flat on his back after coach Alan Gephart's move at 130 pounds backfired.

Curley was within 11-6 after Ken Willson (125, 32-6) scored his 19th pin of the season off a front-headlock to a corkscrew.

Curley 130-pounder Mike Boettcher, a private schools state champ and MIAA champ, had twice beaten the Gaels' Erik Shafer by identical overtime scores of 6-4. But Gephart opted to move Boettcher to 119, hoping for big points against Gaels' sophomore Kyle Chiaverini.

But after Boettcher missed weight by 0.4 of a pound, Gephart elected to wrestle Bill Curran, a 135-pound regular, instead of a smaller Boettcher drained by the weight loss.

Shafer (26-7) didn't cooperate, however, overcoming a 2-0 deficit with his 11th pin of the year in 1:55. It's among the biggest career wins for Shafer, a junior two-time private schools state runner-up whose previous years were cut short by injuries.

"I knew I had to pin Curran to get us started," said Shafer, whose fall was the first of three straight to put the Gaels up, 17-6, and helped clinched the Gaels' 22nd league duals title, last losing, 29-28, to Gilman in 1988.

"He [Curran] took me down, but I knew I'd escape. And when I took him down, brought him to his back, there was no letting up. All day, I thought about revenge against Boettcher, but I'll settle for what I got."

The Gaels followed with pins from No. 6 Jake Lissau (135, 30-1) and No. 4 Dan Mattson (140, 33-6) -- the 21st falls of the year for both -- to pull ahead, 29-6, with six bouts left. A major decision by Mike Schaal (160), and a forfeit to No. 1 Tyran Dungee (171, 34-2) put the match mathematically away, 38-12. The Gaels' Ben Dyer (Hwt.) also pinned.

"We calculated the team score before the match, and didn't see us winning with our regular lineup," said Gephart. "But Mike missed weight, and it affected the entire team emotionally."

For Curley, No. 6 Sal Aquia (145, 31-3, 20 pins), who pinned the Gaels' Ron Cooper in 1:08 to win last weekend's MIAA tournament, only beat Cooper, 7-4, this time. A 7-0 decision by teammate Ben Verner (152) brought Curley within 29-12.

St. Joe led, 11-0, after the first three bouts, capped by a 9-0 win by Chiaverini (119), an upset winner last weekend over Spalding's No. 4 Jimmy Foster.

Teammate Brett Gendron (103) scored three near-fall points in the final minute for a 7-4 victory over Mike Frey. Teammate Jon Pitonzo (112) beat Tony Diem for the third time this season, 11-1. Diem had lost previously by 7-6 and 3-1.

Snowstorms canceled the teams' originally scheduled January meeting when the Friars were at full strength. "Now we're without three starters because of grades. You never know what might have been," Gephart said.

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