Westminster's 8 pins lead way to 6-0 record

Owls unbeaten in CMC after beating Liberty, 57-10

Wrestling

High School

January 24, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Three weeks ago, Westminster couldn't find its way on the wrestling roadmap.

Now, not only do the Owls know the way, but the road is getting clearer all the time.

The Owls continued their recent impressive run, using eight pins en route to a workmanlike 57-10 victory over visiting Liberty (7-11, 2-4 Central Maryland Conference match) last night.

"We're so much further along than I figured we'd be," said Westminster 135-pounder Jason Brown. "We've been working hard in practice and it's showing up on the mat. We're getting it done."

The Owls (9-2, 6-0) visit long-time nemesis South Carroll next Thursday. If they win that match, and then another at Linganore, the Owls could lock up the conference title.

"We didn't have this type of team six weeks ago," said Owls coach Henry Mohlhenrich. "Around the holiday break they stepped it up and started to work harder. It's been a team effort."

Westminster wasted little time getting started, scoring the first 15 points with a pin, a forfeit and a decision.

In the best match of the night, Brown rallied from a five-point deficit in the second period to record a 12-9 victory over Jason Engels. Entering the third period tied, Brown scored an escape and a reversal to win.

"He caught me in a headlock, and then he caught me on my back," said Brown. "I had to go back to my basics. I know how to wrestle from behind."

Mohlhenrich hinted that Brown's effort inspired the team.

"It was a gut check," he said. "Coming back from five points down isn't easy, and that guy was pretty good."

Mohlhenrich says he's not surprised that his team is doing well, just that everything has happened so suddenly.

"I knew we had the potential to be a good team," he said. "I just didn't know whether it would materialize this year."

The Lions got their points with three decisions. Liberty's most impressive performance came from Justin Muhl, who decisioned Warren Strevig, 8-4, at 140 pounds. At one point, Muhl had an 8-0 lead.

Liberty coach Mike Fleming was philosophical about the loss.

"They're a good team, and they came out very inspired," he said. "They got some good breaks and they took advantage of them. We wrestled solid tonight, but when you get a kid on his back, you have to finish him off."

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