Arundel gangs up in 14-team tourney

Coach credits teamwork as nine Wildcats finish in top 4 to secure victory

High Schools


January 07, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

For Arundel wrestling coach John Miller, last night was all the evidence he needed.

Miller, who has been teaching teamwork in a sport long considered one of individualism, saw the fruits of his labor as his Wildcats bested 13 other teams and captured their own Arundel Invitational in Gambrills.

The Wildcats placed nine wrestlers in the top four of 13 weight classes and boasted two individual champions in 135-pound junior Ryan Lowder and 140-pound senior Mike Money.

But Miller was more pleased with the consistent effort from his wrestlers, who outpointed runner-up DeMatha, 211-150.5.

"Arundel is no good individually," Miller said. "We have a few good guys in Ryan Lowder and Mike Money, who could be state champs. But it's all about teamwork."

Three Wildcats - 112-pound junior Mike Handleman, 130-pound senior Dave Bowser and 171-pound senior Jordan Norsworthy - earned runner-up finishes, and Money nearly joined them because of a controversial call.

Money appeared to have defeated Nathan Myers of McDonough, 8-4, when several referees conferred at the scorers' table, giving Money a caution with 40 seconds left in the third period.

Forced to restart with a two-point lead at 6-4 and with 40 seconds left, Money scored a takedown and near-fall points to win, 11-4.

Money, who improved to 12-1, said he tried to forget about the call.

"I had to keep a cool head because I was getting mad," Money said. "I was trying to hold him off, but I knew he'd be angry and that he would make a mistake."

Lowder, who lost by a combined two points at the Meade and Arundel holiday tournaments, made amends by earning an 8-0 major decision against Annapolis junior Bill Vollono.

"I knew that I had to tie him up and get inside," said Lowder, who improved to 10-3. "I tried to stay tight to keep the pressure on him."

Oakland Mills finished third with 148.5 points courtesy of senior heavyweight Robert Scott's 14-6 major decision over Matt Bovich of DeMatha in the championship final. Scott, the defending Class 2A state champion, remains undefeated at 18-0.

The Scorpions also received solid outings from Jeff Plasse (third place at 103 pounds), Neal Nakagama (fourth at 112) and Brandon Thornton (fourth at 171).

Broadneck finished seventh with 106.5 points and had an individual champion in 152-pound senior Mike Harris, who tackled Chad Patterson of Sherwood to win, 4-2, in overtime.

"I started defensively, but the coaches told me halfway through the match to be more offensive," said Harris, who improved to 11-3. "In overtime, you have to be offensive or you're going to lose."

Although Annapolis didn't produce any individual titlists, the Panthers were eighth with 100 points on the strength of runner-up performances from Vollono, 119-pound freshman Ben Graham and 145-pound junior Paul Macknis.

Overlea placed ninth with 94 points and earned an individual title from 125-pound senior Darien Kess. A transfer from Archbishop Curley, Kess toyed with Tom Massie of Churchill before capping a 21-6 technical fall at the 5:17 mark.

"I try to dictate the motion," said Kess, who is undefeated at 11-0 and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weight division. "I was getting in and moving a little faster than he was."

Kevin Gabrielson of DeMatha, a 160-pound senior, scored pins in all three of his matches to win the championship and the invitational's Most Outstanding Wrestler award in the upper weight division.

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