Last-bout pin lifts Curley

2nd-ranked Friars edge No. 3 McDonogh, 34-29

Wrestling

High schools

January 16, 2002|By Luke Broadwater | Luke Broadwater,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With his team down a point going into the last match of the night, Archbishop Curley's top-ranked Mark Frey (119 pounds) knew what he had to do. One minute, 49 seconds later, McDonogh's Dane Ratajski was upside down, flat on his shoulders, pinned in Frey's trademark leg-ride.

Frey's victory gave the No. 2 Curley wrestling team a 34-29 victory over host and No. 3 McDonogh.

"It felt good to seal the win off," Frey said. "We expected to win coming out, but after the first couple matches, it looked the other way - it looked like we were going to lose, but we turned it around."

Indeed, with the exception of Jim Barbour's opening 4-0 win at 125 over Joe Cristaldi, the dual meet looked to be headed in McDonogh's favor.

At 130 pounds, the Eagles' Chet Naylor scored a 12-0 major decision over Curley's state-ranked Mike Wood.

Then, in a battle of state-ranked wrestlers, McDonogh's Ricky Tippett (135) controlled Brad Kahl in a 4-1 decision.

Zak Johns (140) and Travis Holmes (145) added first-period falls, giving McDonogh a commanding 19-3 lead.

However, the Friars' big guns - Tom Boettcher (152) and Rob Miller (160) - returned the favor, pinning their foes in 35 seconds and 3:05, respectively, and cutting the lead to 19-15.

Down 6-0 in the third period of the 171-pound match, 160-pound Ben Nichols took Curley's Tim Curran down and let him up three times. Time expired, however, with Curran defending a Nichols shot and holding on to a 9-7 win.

In a match between the state's No. 1-ranked wrestlers at 171 and 189, the lighter Geoff Miller (McDonogh) picked Eric Oppel off his feet numerous times, scoring eight takedowns in a 23-11 victory.

After Tom Green (Curley, 275) received a forfeit, Curley led 24-23 going into the 103-pound match.

Curley's Ben Sills then scored a 9-0 major decision over Brandon Tillman.

A forfeit to McDonogh's Robbie Willey (112) and the Frey pin closed out the night.

"Me and Mark, we prayed all week it would come down to us, and it did, and we pulled through," said Sills. "It makes me feel real good."

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