Host Overlea's Joe Smith beat Sparrows Point heavyweight Jason Plienis, 7-4, for fifth place, securing yesterday's 158-157.5, Class 1A-2A North Region tournament victory over 10th-ranked Owings Mills and the rest of the 17-team field.
Though Smith did not qualify for next weekend's state tournament at Western Maryland College, he made sure that by then 13th-ranked Overlea's coach Bruce Malinowski will have less hair than his infant twins, Nathan and Nicholas.
"He said he'd shave his head [if we won the regional], and I'll personally make sure that he does," said Smith, whose Falcons added this week's regional crown to the title they captured at last weekend's Baltimore County tournament.
Winning individual titles for Overlea, which qualified seven wrestlers for next weekend's state tournament, were Derrick Oxendine (145, 32-1), freshman Jason Laubach (112, 30-2), junior Justin Mitchell (189, 19-3) and fourth-ranked, state runner-up Terry Lawson (171, 31-1). The Falcons' James Laubach (125) was second.
Oxendine, Jason Laubach and Lawson added the region crowns to the county titles they won a week earlier. Lawson has now won county and region crowns the past two years.
Owings Mills got titles from Drew Bowers (130) and Matt Summerlein (152), along with runner-up efforts from Justin Myers (135), Jeremiah Calp (140) and Alex Gitomer (145). Bowers (37-2, 34 pins) has pinned six of his past seven opponents.
Owings Mills qualified nine wrestlers, but was hurt by three narrow losses, particularly Oxendine's come-from-behind victory over Gitomer, 11-10. Also, Myers was upended, 2-1, by Harford County runner-up Jason Owings (North Harford), and Calp, 10-9, in overtime by Hereford's county champ Pat Curtis (29-1).
Gitomer, a county runner-up at 152-pounds last weekend, had come off an 11-6 semifinal victory over Harford County champ Jason Bertuzzi (North Harford), who had pinned Oxendine in an earlier overtime bout.
"It was a tough match, and I had no idea it would determine whether we won or not," said Oxendine. "But now that I realize it, it's great."
For Pikesville, Nathan Rosenberg (125, 28-4) and Steve Golob (160, 24-6) won crowns. Rosenberg, by 6-3, against Overlea's James Laubach, and Golob, 2-1, over Patapsco's Joe Bena (30-2).
Towson junior John Narlis (103, 28-3) notched his second straight region crown, 9-7, in overtime to improve to 2-1 vs. Franklin's Stan Wagner. Narlis' lone loss to Wagner came after pinning himself while leading, 14-1.
"That loss knocked me out of the state rankings, but hopefully, now I'll get back in," said Narlis, a county champ last weekend.
Sparrows Point county champ Billy Webber (119, 29-3) pinned two of three opponents for his title after two straight runner-up efforts. Webber, twice a fourth-place state finisher, has now pinned five of his past seven opponents.
Loch Raven heavyweight Greg Walker beat both Sparrows Point's Jason Plienis and Patapsco's Bill Hook (31-3, 27 pins) en route to his title. Plienis had beaten Walker four times, and Hook -- a 19-2 title-bout loser -- had pinned him three times.
Pub Date: 3/01/98