Mount Hebron dethrones River Hill

Vikings stop Hawks' 26-match county streak

Wrestling

February 01, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Mount Hebron's Chris Garrow wanted to avoid a third overtime bout with River Hill's Jesse Fawcett, with whom he had split victories.

"I'm not going into overtime with this guy again," Garrow said afterward, recalling his thoughts while he held a 5-4 lead against Fawcett with about 30 seconds left in their 189-pound match last night at River Hill.

Fearing a stalling penalty that would force extra time, Garrow flipped Fawcett to his back in a match-clinching, four-point reversal. Garrow's 9-4 victory gave No. 3 Mount Hebron an insurmountable 13-point lead with one bout left in its 41-22 Howard County dual-meet win before a raucous crowd that numbered more than the gym's 1,310 capacity.

The Vikings (14-0 overall, 9-0 in county) dethroned the two-time champion and fifth-ranked Hawks (15-3, 8-1), ending River Hill's three-year, 26-match winning streak against the county.

"We came here so pumped up, we had so much energy," said Garrow (26-2), who shook his fist as he walked toward his team bench. "All the people in the crowd here made us want to win even more."

Garrow's win, and a subsequent pin by heavyweight Justin Neal, completed a five-bout sweep for the Vikings.

Mount Hebron led for good, 25-22, after Shawn Girch (152), moving up from 145 pounds, flattened Thomas Perkins in 3:21. Two-time state runner-up Mike Mengel (160) then hammered River Hill's Austin Sneeringer, 14-4.

River Hill won just four bouts, with pins from Vince Cina (103), Ryan Green (135), Nick Shevland (145) and Vince Cina (103), plus a 10-0 decision by Michael Dauberman (140).

When Cina's 30-second pin made it 6-0, the Vikings won four straight for a 19-6 lead. After Shevland's 55-second pin put the Hawks ahead 22-19, the Vikings closed the show with five wins.

"We were ready for anything they threw at us," said Girch, one of the team's five seniors. "We went after them."

Mount Hebron's intensity was apparent throughout, starting with a tempo-setting, 18-6 rout by junior Austin Laws (112) that included eight takedowns of Ryan Hartman.

In a 10-3 victory by Andrew Benicewicz over River Hill's Ryan Shevland, Benicewicz turned a 2-1 advantage into an 8-1 lead midway through the third period.

In other bouts, a burst of energy and the right moves were the difference for the Vikings. Consecutive pins by junior Grant Gormley (119) and senior Zach Wendal (125) came in bouts in which they led only 3-0 and 2-1, respectively.

And a 7-6 decision by county champion Scott Bissett (171) over the Hawks' Mike Lignelli was secured on a takedown with a minute left in a bout that was tied twice.

"I knew it would be close, but our conditioning helped us," Bissett said.

River Hill coach Earl Lauer lamented the absence of 135-pound reserve Ryan Hughes, who is out with a leg injury he suffered in a club soccer game on Sunday.

"That limited some of my options, but they're a good team, deserving of the county championship," Lauer said.

River Hill gets another shot at Mount Hebron in Wednesday's Class 3A-4A state duals. The Vikings are the No. 1 seed, and the Hawks are No. 2.

The four-team field will be completed with two schools from among the group of No. 15 Dulaney, Kenwood, Fallston, Westminster and South Carroll.

"If we're going to beat them, we have to correct our mistakes and wrestle better," said Green, who is top-ranked in The Sun with a 26-0 record and 20 pins. `They did exactly what they needed to do to beat us."

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