Mt. Hebron silences Oak. Mils

Vikings build early lead, hold on to stay unbeaten

January 12, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Unfazed by the emotions of the moment, unwilling to entertain any notion of an upset, Mount Hebron did precisely what it needed to do yesterday to beat Oakland Mills - it didn't blink.

It was easy to see after the fact, When all the matches had been wrestled, how the Vikings emerged with a 29-24 win over the host Scorpions. They simply won the matches they had to, and in so doing remained unbeaten at 7-0, 3-0 in the league. But, oh, was it ever close.

"I thought it was going to be a real close match, they're a very strong team," said Mount Hebron coach Michael Duffy. "We got all the matches I thought we would and we had some guys step up big for us."

Mount Hebron was without 125-pound Andrew Benicewicz because of the flu, and had to make several shifts as a result. But the moves paid off as Zach Porta (125) and Stephen Garrow (130) both dropped down a weight class and earned major decisions to give the Vikings a 14-6 lead, helping negate a 6-0 start by the Scorpions.

Yet Oakland Mills (4-5, 1-4) was determined to go out with a scream instead of a whimper - literally. Scorpions coach Brad Howell bellowed encouragement at the top of his lungs, and could still hardly be heard over the din of the home crowd, which seemed to sense that any upset might turn the tide for Oakland Mills.

"They had some real strong fan support out today," Duffy said. "They've got a great coach. I anticipate it's only going to get better."

Oakland Mills pulled to within 14-12 after two victories by Chris Orem (135) and Simon Wauters (140), before the Vikings answered. Shawn Girt (145) pinned Jeff Clavicle in 4:12 and Mike Menial (145) pinned Matt Seta in 29 seconds.

And in what was perhaps the duel's best and most important match, Mount Hebron's Scott Bissett closed the door on Oakland Mills with a 6-4 decision over Willie Ludwig. Scorpions Brandon Thornton (171), Adam Lewis (189) and Robert Scott (heavyweight) won the final three matches, but it wasn't enough.

"Our guys were ready to battle today," Howell said. "We needed one upset and didn't get it. We were in a lot of tight ones, but we were one short. Mount Hebron is well schooled and has a lot of experience. It's tough to beat a team like that."

Said Duffy, "We're very happy with what we got today. We like the way we match up with just about any team so we'll see how things continue for us."

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