Hammond withstands South Carroll, 34-30 Bears' Dennis records pivotal win at 119 pounds

January 25, 1998|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

In a highly anticipated rematch, host Hammond fended off a valiant challenge by South Carroll and gave the Cavaliers their first loss of the season, 34-30, at a tri-meet yesterday.

The No. 3 Golden Bears (6-0 overall, 6-0 in the county) also routed Glenelg (0-7, 0-4), 70-3; and South Carroll, ranked eighth and 11-1 overall, defeated the Gladiators, 57-12.

The surprise of the day was South Carroll junior Mike Muller's near upset of Glenelg senior Jimmy O'Connor. The state champion at 145 was down 6-3 after the first period and 10-5 after the second before he rallied for six unanswered points to nip Muller, 11-10.

O'Connor, who said he felt sick and took a college entrance exam before the match, flipped Muller onto his back with three seconds left in regulation.

"I figured that I gotta go crazy to get the points I needed," O'Connor said afterward. "I hit him with a headlock and dropped my hips so that mine were lower than his and I flipped him. It was a desperation move."

Muller, who writhed in agony on the wrestling mat after the defeat, was philosophical.

"It's not that disappointing," he said. "All these matches are getting me ready for the sectionals and regionals."

Two weeks ago, Hammond edged South Carroll by four points to claim second place in the school's Golden Bear Invitational. Archbishop Curley, ranked No.1, won the title.

Hammond coach Bill Smith said his team developed a game plan based on the last meeting between the two teams.

"We knew that they work really well from a scramble position," he said. "So we worked on our takedowns and not trying to rush for back points."

Pins by freshman Dan Patterson at 103 and freshman Anthony Ashenbrenner at 112 staked South Carroll to an early 12-0 lead.

But the Golden Bears won the next five weight classes to pull ahead, 21-12. The pivotal match was at 119, where junior Veymond Dennis used his speed and strength to beat Cavaliers freshman Bryan Hamper, 11-8.

"That was the key match," said South Carroll coach Pete Olson. "My kid is 19-2. My kid had him on his back at the end of the first period, and he couldn't pin him. Dennis is tough."

Muller pinned Hammond junior Mark Read at 145 despite trailing 18-9 in the third period.

But Golden Bears senior Adam Clark decisioned junior Brad Mann, 14-6, at 152 and junior Pat Jameson pinned sophomore Billy Perna with 49 seconds left in the first period and put Hammond ahead, 31-18.

South Carroll senior Jason Hamper (171 pounds) pinned senior Randy Curtin with 1: 32 left in the second to close the gap to 31-24, but senior Kyle Peddicord beat junior Scott Warner, 5-1, at 189 to seal the victory for Hammond.

South Carroll senior heavyweight Tom Crown pinned sophomore Brutus Spinks with 1: 07 left in the first period to end the scoring.

Pub Date: 1/25/98

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