Westminster stages comeback victory over North Carroll

Byrne and Brown set the stage for Hughes to clinch 35-29 upset

Wrestling

High Schools

January 18, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Westminster senior Brendon Byrne and junior Jason Brown certainly had a flair for the dramatic last night at No. 10 North Carroll.

In the evening's two most pivotal contests, both Byrne and Brown took their opponents down in the final two seconds of the third period and won come-from-behind victories. Those wins set the stage for sophomore 103-pounder Justin Hughes to clinch a dramatic 35-29 upset over the Panthers before an exuberant crowd in Hampstead.

With Westminster trailing 29-21, Byrne avenged two early- season defeats to North Carroll senior Keith Viens at 189 when he erased a 5-3 third-round deficit with an escape at the 4:36 mark and a takedown with two seconds remaining to score a 6-5 victory.

"I just decided there wasn't much else I could do but hit that move," Byrne said. "I hit it as hard as I could. It was a lateral drop, but I didn't hit it all the way, so I popped my head out to get the two points."

That pulled the Owls to within 29-24, before Westminster heavyweight Steve Stultz pinned Bobby Dell in 3:26, and Hughes defeated Trevor Davison by technical fall, 16-1. Since the match started with the 112-pound bout, Hughes' win was the final match.

Earlier, in the evening's most anticipated and exciting bout, Brown erased a five-point deficit and scored a come-from-behind, 10-8 overtime victory over North Carroll junior Randy Shreck at 135.

Shreck, who fell to 19-5, took a 5-0 lead and nearly won by fall late in the first round. But Brown narrowly avoided a pin and scored a reversal with a spectacular spin move that he executed on his head. Shreck reversed 35 seconds into round two to move ahead 7-2 before Brown reversed back 25 seconds later and again five seconds into the third round to close to 7-6.

Unable to get near-fall points or a pin, Brown intentionally let Shreck escape with 14 seconds remaining, and then got his takedown with one second remaining in regulation to tie the bout, 8-8. Brown then took Shreck down one final time with 13 seconds remaining in the extra round.

"I've never had to let anyone up like that under that kind of pressure," said Brown, who improved to 19-2. "I just had to do the basics: shoot and grab the leg to get the two points. I knew when I got that two that I had him."

North Carroll (11-3, 4-1 Central Maryland Conference, 1-1 Carroll County), which was without injured 152-pounder Fran Jackson and 160-pounder Tom Bowman, raced to a 20-9 lead after six bouts on the strength of pins by 119-pounder Seth Knights (20-1) and 130-pounder Tyler Graham (17-3), and victories by Patrick Maloff (17-3) at 125 and Kyle Smith (13-1) at 140.

Westminster (7-2, 4-0, 2-0), which won its fifth straight match, closed to 23-21 on pins by Travis Mohlhenrich (17-2) at 145 and Nick Burger (19-1) at 160 sandwiched around Panthers sophomore Robbie Pearre's 6-3 victory over Joe Dell at 152. North Carroll senior Cash McHargue (20-1) led his bout over Adam Muse, 19-6, at 171 before Muse was disqualified midway through the third period for stalling to make the score 29-21. Westminster then swept the final three bouts to take the match.

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