Add Hammond title to list of Curley's achievements Glenelg's O'Connor suffers loss to Orr of Rising Sun

January 11, 1998|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Archbishop Curley convincingly won the third Golden Bear Invitational at Hammond last night, 216-167.

Heading into the finals the No. 1-ranked Friars held a 37-point lead over runner-up Hammond, and the only team battle left was for second place. The host No. 3-ranked Golden Bears hung on to nip third-place South Carroll by four points.

The big surprise of the evening was a loss by Jimmy O'Connor of Glenelg, a state champion who had won 46 straight matches. He was upset by Roy Orr of Rising Sun in overtime, 7-5. O'Connor tied the match at 5-5 with 1: 02 left in the third period. But Orr scored a takedown in overtime.

"I just haven't wrestled anyone of his caliber, so it was a rude awakening for me. But it's going to be great. I've just got to suck it up, because I've got a lot more wrestling ahead of me," said O'Connor.

Orr (13-4) finished third in the state last year. "I heard he was good on his feet, so I was more careful setting up my shots. It came down to technique," said Orr.

It was Curley's fourth straight tournament victory in this season of historic firsts for the Friars.

"We've never wrestled at this level before," said Curley coach Alan Gebhart. "At the Catholic tournament we beat Mount St. Joe for the first time. And this is the first time we've won this tournament. We were third last year."

Curley placed six wrestlers in the finals including Brian Bricker (112), Mike Frey (125), Mike Boettcher (140), Paul Boettcher (145), Pat Curran (160) and J. D. Mislak (189), but only the Boettcher brothers emerged as champions.

Bricker (20-2) lost a 2-0 decision to Matt Pandullo (15-1) of Meade who had also beaten him earlier this season, 2-1.

Fifteenth-ranked South Carroll placed four in the finals, including Dan Patterson (103), Bryan Hamper (119), Mike Muller (145) and Jason Hamper (160). They trailed Hammond, which had only one finalist, by 11 points heading into the finals.

Patterson, a freshman, easily won his match to advance his record to 16-2. And Jason Hamper won to push his record to 16-1.

Hamper dropped down a class to wrestle Curley's Pat Curran who had beaten him on a disqualification at this same tournament last year. Bryan Hamper (16-2), a freshman and Jason's younger brother, was pinned by Pat Howard of Lackey.

And Muller lost to Curley's Paul Boettcher, 6-2.

Another Carroll County wrestler, Matt Yinger of Francis Scott Key, won the title at 135 and improved his record to 10-0.

Hammond placed one wrestler in the finals, heavyweight Matt Nelson, who won a title with a 6-2 decision over Ben Brand of Rising Sun.

But Hammond coach Bill Smith wasn't disappointed with his team's effort.

"No one lost a match that wasn't a toss-up. I know some of our seniors are disappointed we didn't do better," Smith said. "But Curley is at full strength and we're missing our 171-pounder who would have been top-seeded.

"I was surprised at how well South Carroll did. They are very good and they will be a tough dual-meet match for us down the road. The competition here was comparable to what we will see at regions and states, and to lose to a private school that has wrestled so many more tournaments and matches is no disgrace. I'm proud of where we're at."

Pub Date: 1/11/98

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