Bell helps Old Mill topple Hammond

Patriots' DeCosmo tops Mackin to stay unbeaten


January 21, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The obvious storylines were the Old Mill wrestling team's two-year unbeaten streak and the heavily anticipated showdown between Adam DeCosmo and Ryan Mackin.

But William Bell stole the show.

Bell, a first-year heavyweight, used an escape in the waning moments of his duel with junior Manuel Patino to lift third-ranked Old Mill to a 28-24 victory over visiting Hammond yesterday in Millersville.

With the win, Bell avenged an earlier loss to Patino, who beat the sophomore last month at the Lackey Tournament.

With the Patriots nursing a one-point lead, Bell took advantage of a stalling violation on Patino and shook him off with less than 20 seconds left to secure a 4-3 decision and the necessary three team points.

"I was surprised," Bell said of the referee's decision to award him a point for Patino's stalling. "It gave me another boost of confidence to go all the way."

Bell's dramatics helped Old Mill preserve their winning streak going back to February 1999. Since losing to Arundel 23 months ago, the Patriots captured their second state duals championship and, at 9-0, are poised for another title run.

Old Mill took a 9-0 lead after two bouts when 103-pound freshman Doug West pinned sophomore Sean Smith in 1:21 and 112-pound junior Stu Cohen nipped sophomore Caleb Lowe, 3-2.

But Hammond (7-4) swept the next three weight classes, getting second-period pins from 125-pound senior Mike Azoulay and 130-pound senior Jimmy Davis and a 10-4 decision from 119-pound junior Russell Tebeleff.

Senior Brandon Evans's 6-5 decision over junior Jarrell Graham at 135 cut the Bears' lead to three, setting the stage for Mackin and DeCosmo at 140 pounds.

Trailing 1-0 with less than 15 seconds remaining in the third period, Mackin, Hammond's county and regional titlist, dropped DeCosmo to the mat and attempted to roll the defending state champion him on his back.

But DeCosmo spun around with the momentum and registered a reverse with no time remaining for the 3-2 victory.

Mackin, who is 26-2 and suffered his first loss last weekend at the Hammond Invitational, said the referee missed at least two back points.

"It's the referee's job to look at the shoulders, not mine," Mackin said. "But I put myself in that position, and I paid for it. It cost the team the match, and I'm hurting."

For his part, DeCosmo said he thought he dropped his second straight head-to-head match against Mackin, who pinned DeCosmo in overtime last year in a dual meet.

"I didn't want to give up," said DeCosmo, who improved to 19-0. "I kept the last move, and it was enough."

After DeCosmo's win, the Patriots won only two more bouts, a 15-1 major decision by junior Sandro Vitorino at 160 and a 31-second pin by senior Adam Dayton at 189.

Hammond, which received decisions from senior Joe Killo (145), senior Marshall Porter (152) and senior Scott Wallace (171), lost its second straight heartbreaker after dropping a 28-27 dual meet to No. 4 River Hill on Thursday.

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