O. Mills overpowers Aberdeen Six Eagle wins in row decide 1A-2A North region

February 13, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Throughout the early stages of last night's Class 1A-2A North dual-meet regional at Owings Mills, the electricity was building in anticipation of a finals showdown between two of the area's powers.

Once that match began in earnest, however, it didn't take long for the host No. 6 Eagles to short-circuit No. 11 Aberdeen. The match appeared on paper to be even, but Owings Mills got the breaks it needed in a 46-21 victory that places it in Saturday's state dual-meet championships at North Carroll.

After dropping three of the first four bouts, the Eagles (15-1) took the next six in a row to build a nearly insurmountable 30-12 lead following Steve Kessler's pin of Jerod Gurrera at 152 pounds.

Eagles coach Guy Pritzker said he was pleasantly surprised to be so far ahead.

"I knew that we could possibly lose the first five matches, the way we matched up with them," said Pritzker, whose team won two in that span. "When we only lost three of the first five, I felt pretty good. I said, 'We're better than what I was hoping.' "

One key was Justin Hansen's win by default over defending regional champion Allen Durham at 130 pounds. After trailing for much of the way, Hansen was awarded the victory when Durham suffered a possible hip pointer late and was unable to continue.

Another key was a plethora of pins that helped pile up the points. Mike Schlein (103), Drew Bowers (135), Nick Noelte (140), Kessler and Hayden Myers (189) each won by pin.

Following Owings Mills' loss last week to Westminster, the evening was a confidence booster.

"We needed this," said 145-pounder Ari Dolid. "We worked as a team and we did it."

For Aberdeen coach Dick Slutzky, there was no big surprise.

"They're a nice team, and we don't match up well with them," he said. "We've been doing a lot with what we have, but they're just a superior team."

Slutzky, who announced to his team last week that he will retire after 25 years at the end of the season, coached what proved to be his final dual meet.

"It's been an emotional week, but it's time," said Slutzky, 54, who finishes with a career mark of 289-42-1. "I've been doing this for 33 years, and it's time I do some other things."

Earlier in the night, Owings Mills defeated Towson, 46-16, and Aberdeen held off North Harford, 33-23.

Pub Date: 2/13/97

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