Blachly makes move, pushes 14-0 Arundel to regional title 189-pounder's win secures 33-24 victory over Old Mill

February 13, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Arundel's Jeff Blachly had grown weary of the talk.

For two weeks, the sophomore, who wrestles at 189 pounds for the No. 3 Wildcats, had been dogged by the fact that his team would have lost a regular-season dual meet to No. 7 Old Mill were it not for an illegal slam call against his opponent, Ben Hines.

Last night, in an Arundel gymnasium full of boisterous, foot-stomping fans, Blachly settled the score.

Trailing, 3-2, with 17 seconds left, Blachly cradled Hines, pulling him backward for three near fall points and a 5-3 decision that helped the Wildcats to secure their second straight 3A-4A East Region dual-meet title with a 33-24 decision over the Patriots (12-3).

Arundel (14-0), ranked No. 7 in the state, will wrestle in Saturday's state finals at North Carroll beginning at noon against an opponent to be determined today.

Arundel overcame an 18-12 deficit for a 30-18 lead with two bouts left on pins by No. 6 Isaac Haertel (152, 25-1, 17 pins), a two-time state runner-up, Rob Connolly (160) and Matt Neidig (171).

Blachly clinched it.

"I used a drill that coach [Buddy Hepfer] does in practice, where you're down by a point, time's running out, you have to win," said Blachly, who neutralized a win by Old Mill's Dane Johnson (Heavyweight). "I got tired of hearing about my match with Hines."

Arundel's Greg Klingler (103) beat Eric Hill for the second time, 3-1, but Old Mills' No. 5 Chris Combs (112, 25-1) pinned Pat Crouse in 1: 40 for an overall 6-3 lead in team score.

Pat Ortman (119) avenged an earlier loss, 6-5, over Old Mills' Chris Deadder (14-2), but the visitors still led, 9-6, after Dave Hicks (125) downed Brian Schroeder, 11-6.

Wayne Nichols (130) gave Arundel its second lead, 12-9, by pinning Brandon Croghan with 44 seconds left. Nichols, who had earlier defeated Croghan by five points, overcame a back injury to break an 8-8 tie on a takedown with 1: 15 left, then caught Croghan in a cradle.

Old Mill took its last lead, 18-12, on three straight decisions by Rich Sampson (135, 25-4), No. 5 Gary Serago (140, 18-3) and Eric DeCosmo (145).

Sampson had to settle for a 5-2 win over Arundel's Nick Smith, whom he trounced, 9-1, previously. Serago's takedown with 36 seconds left broke a 6-6 tie and secured an 8-7 decision over Arundel's Graham Harris (24-2), and DeCosmo overcame two deficits in his 13-7 win over Steve Banvard.

In earlier semifinal matches, Old Mill whipped No. 14 Patterson (14-1) by 43-20, and Arundel hammered Chesapeake (10-5), 50-18.

Johnson's 12th pin of the season came against Patterson's best wrestler, two-time Baltimore City champ Claude Marrow (22-2, 15 pins), who had come off impressive wins over North County's Tony Chase and Mervo's region champ Aaron Brown (fourth states). Johnson has a loss to Chase.

Patterson, coached by 24-year-old Troy Stevenson, got decisions from Charles Harris (125, 20-3), Lloyd Chavious (145, 15-1), Terrill Allen (152); a major decision by Jermaine Haygood (160, 17-5); and a pin by Leonard Bridgeforth (171, 22-1).

Chesapeake, a regular-season, 46-12 loser to Arundel, was without three starters and won just four bouts.

The Cougars' Matt McNees (103) and Ryan Howard (125) each avenged earlier losses to Arundel. McNees edged Klingler, 5-4, Howard pinned Schroeder. Their teammate, county and region champ Chad Duncan (189, 22-4), scored a pin, John Mosca (145), a decision.

Pub Date: 2/13/97

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