Atholton halts Hammond's run

Bears' streak ends at 41

rally lifts Raiders, 26-24

Wrestling

High Schools

February 04, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Atholton ended Hammond's streak of 41 straight county wrestling victories yesterday, 26-24.

The Raiders did it dramatically by winning the final three matches and erasing a 24-13 Hammond lead.

Hammond's loss insured River Hill, which watched from the stands and wildly cheered on Atholton, of at least a share of its first county dual-meet championship. Hammond (8-4 overall, 7-1 league) wrestles River Hill (13-0, 8-0) on Saturday night and must defeat the Hawks to tie for the title -- one Hammond has held since 1996.

The victory was important to Atholton (10-3, 6-2) because it means the Raiders, and not Hammond, will play host to next Thursday's Class 1A/2A South Region Dual Meet Championships.

Atholton's Mark Carbone triggered the amazing finish. He rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the third period to win 3-1 on a takedown with 20 seconds left in his 171-pound match against Scott Wallace.

Then, Atholton's Brian Mullinix produced a crucial pin at 4: 59 of his 189-pound bout against Don Hill, narrowing Hammond's lead to 24-22.

"I didn't expect a pin from Mullinix, but he never let him [Hill] relax. He just kept coming after him," Atholton coach Bruce Lindblad said. "Mullinix said: `This was my last home match my senior year and I wanted it bad.' "

With starting Atholton heavyweight Joe Levine flu-ridden and unable to wrestle, the Raiders depended upon Josh Kelly for the victory. Kelly was wrestling his first match of the season, but was skilled enough to defeat Jon Sacks in a wild match, 23-12. Sacks nearly pinned Kelly in the second period and pulled as close as 14-11 before Kelly took control in the third period.

"This was my biggest match ever," Kelly said. "I didn't think it would come down to me. I didn't even think I'd be wrestling today. All I was thinking is that I didn't want to lose and let down my teammates."

Hammond started quickly with tension-filled, one-point victories at 103 and 112 pounds. Hammond's Matt Myers upset Doug Ramsey at 103 pounds, 9-8, and the Bears' Russell Tebeleff edged Wes Lipple, 5-4.

Atholton's Mike Shoemaker rebounded to defeat favored Jason Freiert at 119 pounds, 6-3.

Perhaps the biggest upset was at 130 pounds, where Atholton's Jason Hanfman defeated Rob Osborn, 5-0.

Ryan Mackin wrestled at 140 pounds despite a fractured jaw and earned Hammond's only pin.

"I didn't want to use him [Mackin] but we had to," Hammond coach Paul DiRienzo said. "Atholton stepped it up, wrestled very well and beat us. I still think this was an upset, and it will take character for us to come back Saturday night at River Hill. We saw River Hill in the stands cheering for Atholton. And the only time River Hill will ever see us lose is from the bleachers."

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