Liberty overwhelmed by Urbana

Hawks win six of first 7 weight classes in 43-10 win

Wrestling

High School

February 17, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The table was set for Liberty to surprise Urbana for the second straight year, but the Hawks had a different plan.

Fresh from a disappointing loss to Northern Garrett in the Class 2A/1A West regional dual-meet finals last week, Urbana captured six of the first seven weight classes and crushed the host Lions, 43-10, in Eldersburg last night.

When the two teams met last season, the Hawks of Frederick County edged Liberty by four points courtesy of two Lions forfeits. Last night, Liberty forfeited at 171 and 189 pounds, but could not pull off a repeat performance.

"We were hoping to do that again," said senior 119-pounder Mike Haran, who earned the Lions' lone win in the first seven weight divisions. "It just didn't turn out that way."

The loss of 171-pounder Adam Rausch to academic ineligibility and 189-pounder Matt Canada to a rib injury didn't prevent Liberty from falling to 7-7 overall and 4-3 in the Central Maryland Conference.

"I think they are a fundamentally sound team," Lions coach Mike Flemming said of Urbana, which finished 7-0 in the conference and swept all four Carroll County opponents. "They've got fine coaching and they're good athletes."

At 119, Haran found himself trailing 4-2 to Urbana sophomore Sean Campion at the end of the first period. But the senior scored three takedowns and withstood a rally by Campion in the third period to win, 8-7.

But the Hawks won four straight matches, including pins by junior Greg Klein at 125 and freshman T.J. Chucoski at 135 and a 22-7 technical fall by sophomore Andy Taylor at 130.

At 145, Liberty senior Chris Risko scored three near falls to defeat sophomore Chip Clusman, 15-8.

Risko, who said he has been in a slump since a loss to Westminster's Kevin Henry at the Damascus Tournament in December, said he thought he had the advantage against Clusman from the neutral position.

"I knew I had to wrestle smart, and I've been working on my neutrals in practice lately," Risko said. "It has improved my technique, and that worked for me tonight."

The Lions' only other points came from senior Rich Skelly, who outscored Urbana sophomore John Alcorn 13-2 in the second period to seal an 18-2 technical fall.

"At first, my strategy was to take him down and hold him there," said Skelly, who improved to 21-4. "Then I decided to get as many points as I could because I wanted to get off the mat as quickly as I could."

Hawks coach Brandon Kellog said his team's loss to Northern Garrett didn't weigh as heavily as an upset at the hands of Middletown two weeks ago.

"We shouldn't have lost that, but we did," Kellog said. "We keep that in mind knowing that anybody can be beat at any time."

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