R. Hill sends 11 wrestlers to tourney

5 ranked teams competing in 3A-4A North regional


February 24, 2000|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

County champ River Hill is sending 11 wrestlers to the Class 3A-4A North region championships at Dundalk this weekend.

No. 3-ranked River Hill, a state dual-meet finalist that lost by two points to Old Mill, must face a powerful lineup of opponents that include No. 5 Franklin, No. 6 South Carroll, No. 9 Eastern Tech and No. 15 Dulaney.

In addition, the Hawks face Carroll County champion Westminster and two strong Harford County teams, Fallston and Bel Air, the latter sending a tournament-high 12 wrestlers.

Brandon Lauer (unbeaten at 125) and Jason Fawcett (171) were the only Hawks earning top seeds. Ryan Green, Mike Dauberman and Mike Romano are second seeds, Scott Buescher is a fourth, Danny Allen and Scott Cannon are fifth seeds, Matt Shevland and Jesse Fawcett are sixth seeds and Mike Lignelli is seeded ninth.

Wilde Lake is sending eight wrestlers to the tournament and Long Reach three.

For Wilde Lake, Jimmy DiPietro is seeded second, Mike Davis and Rob Jackson are threes, Pat Burns and Matt Ennis are sixth seeds, Greg Smith is a seventh and David Guralnik and Jason Downs are eighth seeds.

For Long Reach, Mike Chesbro is ninth, Nick Meyer is eighth and Chuck Freis is seventh.

Ref fouls out of county

The ejection of River Hill's mild-mannered boys basketball coach Brian Van Deusen had an unexpected boomerang effect for one referee.

Van Deusen, a first-year coach who never raises his voice at anyone, was ejected from the Feb. 9 game against Atholton for asking the referee "to call it both ways."

He was immediately slapped with a technical foul.

Van Deusen, who was still seated on the bench, then said: "I'm getting a technical for that?"

Then he was given a second technical -- and ejection.

Because his assistant coach was not present, someone had to be found to take over the coaching duties, or the game would have been forfeited. The Hawks were in the midst of a torrid six-team championship race.

His father, Don, the athletic director and a former basketball coach, was found, and he finished coaching the game that River Hill won, 55-44.

After hearing of the ejection, county athletics coordinator Don Disney did a database search on the referee and found previous complaints from coaches against him. The ref has now been banned from working Howard County games.

Boys basketball pairings

Seven county boys basketball teams received first-round byes at the state playoff pairings meeting Sunday at Blake High in Montgomery County.

Those schools are Oakland Mills and Glenelg in Class 1A, Hammond and Centennial in 2A, and Wilde Lake, Long Reach and River Hill in Class 3A. Glenelg received a bye in Class 1A, even though the Gladiators have won just one game.

No county team received a top seed, but Oakland Mills and Wilde Lake are seeded second and Long Reach third.

Coach John Aquila, of Mount Hebron, was the most pleased with the draw out of the three remaining county teams facing first-round games. The Vikings play host to Potomac at 7 p.m. Saturday, and if they win, they will visit Hammond, with that game's winner playing either Gywnn Park or Surrattsville.

"We could get Gwynn Park at our place, which would be ideal," Aquila said.

Mat tourney leftovers

Hammond's Kevin Chrapaty, the 160-pound champ, overcame off-season surgery to correct a shoulder that constantly popped out of place last season. The senior won his first title after finishing fourth last season.

Hammond's Joe Killo, the 135-pound champ who was fifth at the Hammond Tournament, surprised River Hill senior Mike Romano. But Killo, a junior with a 23-18 record vs. Romano's 28-4 mark, didn't consider his win an upset. Killo, wrestling just his third season while Romano is a junior-league product, dropped down from his normal 140 pounds to wrestle Romano for the first time.

"I expected nothing less than a county title," he said.

Hammond's Ryan Mackin, the 130-pound champ with a 33-4 record, had two surgeries on his jaw a week and a half before the tournament to repair a chip fracture and a torn gland.

But last season's county runner-up wasn't settling for second place again.

"I wanted to show everyone that this is a contact sport, and you have to toughen up. It's such a rush to win a tournament like this."

Oakland Mills' Neal Nakagama won the 103-pound title, shaking off an asthma attack in the third period. The freshman wrestled hard from the start, explaining: "I want to be a four-time county champ like my rec league coach, Jeff Rosenberg."

Oakland Mills senior Jason Orem, who expected to reach the 112-pound finals against Hammond's Jason Freiert, scratched because of a medical problem.

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