Westminster controls regional again Owls place six in finals, take title with 159 points

March 02, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Westminster coach Henry Mohlhenrich wore ties filled with cartoon characters to both days of the Class 3A-4A North Region tournament at River Hill.

But opponents of his No. 4-ranked Owls didn't spend much time laughing.

Westminster put six wrestlers in the final round and came away with one championship as it had little trouble capturing a second straight region crown yesterday.

The Owls finished with 159 points, with Dulaney taking second with 115.5. Eastern Tech placed third with 105.5 points. It marked the first time Westminster has taken consecutive region titles in 23 years.

This was just another title in a season filled with championships for the Owls. Westminster first won the Carroll County title and then the dual-meet region crown.

The next goal is a championship at this week's state tournament at Western Maryland.

"We had an excellent week of practice, probably the best we've had," said Mohlhenrich. "My guys are still getting better every week. They're going to peak when they're supposed to -- at the states."

Bobby Biden (112 pounds, 31-2 record) won the lone championship for Westminster with a 9-2 decision over Rich Reesey of Dundalk. Biden, who won his third straight region title, broke open a close match in the third period for the victory.

"We've been working really hard," said Biden. "We wrestled really well on both days."

Grant Lindsay (119), Kyle Burger (125), Dave Spicer (135), Tim Sharkey (140) and Ray Henry (189) all finished second for the Owls.

Demetrios Gourgoulianis (31-2) of Eastern Tech pinned Lindsay at 4: 36. The match was tied 2-2 when Gourgoulianis struck early in the third period.

Matt Bulloch (25-5) of Franklin did the same thing to Burger, making a quick move and pinning the Westminster wrestler at 2: 26. Mike Reilly (29-2) of C. M. Wright defeated Spicer, 7-4.

Sharkey was the Owls' biggest surprise. Seeded eighth and needing to get through a pigtail match just to get into field, he pinned top seed Travis Williams of Dundalk in the quarterfinals.

The Westminster wrestler gave Tim Groszkowski of Franklin a fit in the finals, taking a 12-8 lead after two periods of a wild match. But Groszkowski (29-1) controlled things in the third period, rallying for a 15-12 decision.

Jamie Blankenship (33-0) of Eastern Tech nipped Henry, 6-5. Blankenship got an escape with 44 seconds left to break a 5-5 tie.

"Westminster is just a solid team," said Dulaney coach Pete Chakmakas. "They're hard-working, and they're aggressive."

Dulaney put two wrestlers in the finals and got one title, from Bulloch. Chris Knox (103) also made the championship round, but a takedown with 12 seconds left gave Bel Air's Brad Stone a 5-3 victory.

Eastern Tech, winner of the Baltimore County tournament, had two championships. Gourgoulianis and Blankenship each won while teammate Hector Santana (160) lost to Matt Myrick (26-4) of Kenwood, 11-4.

Kenwood also had two champions. In addition to Myrick, Chuck Jones (130, 29-1) gave the Bluebirds a title with his 7-2 decision over Baltimore County rival Nick Sidiropoulos from Perry Hall. Sidiropoulos handed Jones his only defeat earlier this season.

C. M. Wright also won two titles. In addition to Reilly, Chris Schneck (145, 24-4) got three back points at the buzzer for a 13-10 victory over Mike Muller of South Carroll.

North Carroll got titles from Joe Hughes (171, 26-1) and %o heavyweight Ben Fleming (22-3).

Hughes rolled over Mike Saylor of Liberty, 19-7. Fleming then closed the night out by reversing Jeremiah Albright of Bel Air with 1: 16 left for a 2-1 victory.

Jason Hamper of South Carroll had the championship round's quickest pin. Hamper (152, 22-8) took down Parkville's Pete Occorso and pinned him at 17 seconds.

Pub Date: 3/02/97

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