Kim, Old Mill overcome River Hill

Heavyweight makes up for '99 region loss, clinches championship

State wrestling duals

February 13, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

WALDORF -- Fittingly, it came down to Old Mill senior heavyweight Dave Kim, who had the rare chance to right a wrong last night at Westlake High.

But getting there -- all the obstacles that came first yesterday before Kim pinned River Hill's Scott Cannon to give the No. 4-ranked Patriots a dramatic 30-28 win over the No. 7-ranked Hawks and their second Class 3A-4A Dual Meet State Championship -- will be just as memorable.

There was junior 189-pounder Adam Dayton, in only his second season of wrestling and first on varsity, getting a mandatory third-period pin over Jesse Fawcett to keep the Patriots breathing and give Kim the opportunity.

The makeshift lineup, that featured three sophomore winners in the Patriots 31-28 semifinal victory over Northern of Calvert County, had two starters out for the final and two others -- Antoine Cooksey and Dan Connelly -- wrestling injured.

Cooksey, who reaggravated an elbow injury that dated back to the football season, needed to get a phone call through to his mother for approval to go. Despite a 5-2 loss to Jason Fawcett at 171, only his second loss in 27 matches, his presence was a big lift for the Patriots.

Then came Kim, a senior captain who was controversially disqualified for biting Arundel's Jeff Blachly at last year's Class 3A-4A East Region final, which cost the Patriots a trip to states, making the most of the chance with a lateral drop that sent Cannon to the mat and Old Mill's bench sky high.

"That was one of my best moves last year, but I've shied away from it this year because it's dangerous," said Kim. "I love the pressure, love taking the team under my wings. Our goal coming into the season was to go to states and get what we didn't get last year."

Said second-year coach Vern Hines: "This was an opportunity for Dave to redeem himself from the year before. We have a saying we use `The Will To Win' and he exemplifies that quote. He's been a leader all year."

Stu Cohen got the Patriots off to a good start with a first-period pin over Steve Brown at 103 pounds, but a stubborn and firm-believing River Hill team (17-1) came away with a number of third-period deciders to build a 28-18 lead with Dayton and Kim left.

Dayton was leading 5-0 in the third period against Fawcett in need of at least a technical fall to keep the Patriots chances alive. He did one better with the pin.

"I just went out there thinking I had to get it done -- anything possible to win," said Dayton.

Hines captures his first state title and it's the eighth overall for the Patriots, who also have six tournament championships. The first seven state crowns came under former coach Mike Hampe.

"It took the tradition of coach Hampe, he created the depth; the great coaching staff and the hard work of the kids to make up for everything we went up against tonight," said Hines. "It was tremendous to see the young kids step in to replace people and the hurt ones who went out and wrestled."

River Hill coach Earl Lauer, whose Hawks battled through a tough North region and then beat North Hagerstown in the state semifinal, was proud of the effort.

"We were just happy to be in the same gym against a team with that kind of tradition and are working on building on our own. We gave up the pins and that killed us," he said.

To get past Northern (13-3-1) in the semifinal, the Patriots used a patchwork lineup that featured wins from three sophomores; a clutch pin from senior Dwayne Jones at 125 and a clinching fall from Erik Hultgren at 171.

With the Patriots trailing 7-0 after two bouts, Hines would have settled for a split at 119 and 125, but instead got both with sophomore David Cha getting his first varsity win -- a 12-4 major decision over Joe Nogle -- and Jones catching Chris Shelton with a second-period headlock.

With the match tied at 16, sophomore Chris Bonner (7-7) scored a tightly-contested 14-11 decision over Jesse Ratliff, taking control in the final seconds of the second period with a reversal and three back points to lead 12-8 going into the third.

Then fellow soph Sandro Victorino (2-2) was having his way against Ray Trigger at 160 -- leading 5-0 into the third -- when the latter had to default after he dislocated a finger. That pushed the Old Mill lead to 25-16 with Hultgren providing the finishing touches with a second-period pin over Josh Miluk.

In the Class 3A-4A championship, Northern of Garrett County edge Kent County, a team that has only one senior, 27-26, to win the title. Kent County had advanced to the final with a 31-24 semifinal victory over Hammond of Howard County.

Northern of Garrett (15-1) advanced to the finals by pounding North Region champs Owings Mills, 56-3.

Pub Date: 2/13/00

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