River Hill ends Hammond's title run

No. 6 Hawks beat Bears for first time, take county dual-meet crown


High Schools

February 06, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

After losing two gut-wrenching matches to Hammond last season, River Hill finally came out victorious against the Bears last night to win outright their first county dual-meet championship and end a streak of four straight titles by the Bears. Hammond could have tied for the title with a victory.

It was the first time that 4-year-old River Hill ever defeated Hammond in a dual meet, and the 36-18 win kept the Hawks (14-0 overall, 9-0 league) undefeated this season.

"The score was not indicative of the closeness of the match," said River Hill coach Earl Lauer, whose team won eight of 13 matches and produced five pins.

A raucous crowd at River Hill saw more than just a good wrestling match. It witnessed three team misconduct penalties against River Hill and one against Hammond, and a near brawl during the 189-pound bout that resulted in the ejection of River Hill's Jason Fawcett, who had already won his 171-pound bout.

Fawcett, a senior, charged onto the mat after Hammond's Scott Wallace had pushed his younger brother, Jesse Fawcett, following the conclusion of the first period of their match. Other players joined Fawcett but were restrained by Lauer. The Hawks were penalized two team points for that ejection and had a total of four team unsportsmanlike conduct penalty points.

Wallace was penalized one match point for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"Both programs hate losing," said Hammond coach Paul DiRienzo, who had vowed River Hill would never beat Hammond after Hammond's loss to Atholton Thursday -- a loss that ended the Bears' 41-match county winning streak.

The match began with Hammond fans chanting "over-rated" as No. 6-ranked River Hill entered the gym for warm-ups.

As if to prove their fans correct, the 13th-ranked Bears then won the first two matches, a pin by Matt Myers at 103 pounds and a 13-3 major decision by Jason Freiert at 112 pounds for a 10-0 lead.

But River Hill dominated the rest of the match with Hammond able to squeeze out a 5-4 win at 135 pounds (Rob Osborn), an 8-7 win at 160 pounds (Kevin Chrapaty) and a 6-0 win at 152 pounds (Dominic Sessa).

Osborn's win was the most impressive because it came against Mike Romano.

The match that hurt Hammond (8-5, 7-2) the most was the 140-pound bout that River Hill's Matt Shevland won by pinning Joey Killo. Shevland trailed 5-4 until he scored a reversal with 1: 06 left in the third period. Then Shevland got the pin at 5: 23 plus an unsportsmanlike conduct team penalty.

The 145-pound bout also hurt Hammond when Scott Buescher pinned Will Shields. It was Buescher's 15th pin and 18th win.

"We weren't expecting a pin there," DiRienzo said.

Jesse Fawcett's pin over Wallace was by far the biggest upset.

"My brother's ejection got me pumped up," Jesse Fawcett said. "He always looks out for me."

Scott Cannon (HW) ended the night with a pin, joining teammates Buescher, Jesse Fawcett, Shevland and Brandon Lauer (125).

The Bears wrestled without star Ryan Mackin (25-3) who has a fractured jaw.

"That definitely hurt us," DiRienzo said.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.