Hammond wins fifth straight 2A-1A South

Regional wrestling duals

February 07, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Hammond won its fifth straight Class 2A-1A South regional dual- meet championship at Hammond last night.

The Bears (14-2) defeated Glenelg in the championship match, 37-24, after crushing unbeaten Poly in the semifinals, 68-6.

Glenelg (11-5), making its first dual-meet championship appearance, had rocked unbeaten Bladensburg, 26-12, to reach the finals.

Glenelg coach Rob Bowman thought his team had a chance of beating Hammond even though the Gladiators had lost earlier this season to the Bears, 43-21.

"We thought that if could win with Eric Wise at 189, with David Brindza at 103 and with Bobby Kuczarski at 112 then we would win the title," Bowman said.

Instead, Wise lost an 8-6 decision to Pat Wallace at 189 pounds, 8-6.

Brindza lost an equally disappointing match to Ethan Cohen, 6-5. Brindza was leading with 36 seconds left when Cohen turned a reversal as Brindza attempted to ride.

Kuczarski also lost a close one, 5-3, to Sean Smith.

"If those three had won, we would have won by one point," Bowman said.

Glenelg's most exciting win was Ryan Barnowski's victory over Chris Giroux at 160. Giroux was leading 10-8 when he was pinned with 49 seconds left.

Hammond coach Pedro Barbosa was especially pleased with Cohen's win. Cohen had been pinned when the two teams previously met.

He also enjoyed Steve Sessa's victory at 171 because, like Cohen, he's a freshman. Barbosa blamed Giroux's loss on inexperience.

"It was only his sixth varsity match," Barbosa said.

Barbosa said this is the longest streak of titles that Hammond has put together.

The Bears won state dual titles in 1996 and 1998.

They will play in the state championships Saturday at Lansdowne against top-seeded Kent County.

"We're not really looking past the weekend, but we're really focusing on the county championships next week," he said. "We badly want to avenge two bad county losses to River Hill and Mount Hebron."

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