Chesapeake cruises, 49-24, in Anne Arundel showdown

Pins propel No. 7 Cougars past No. 10 Severna Park

Wrestling

January 22, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

It was an ideal way to start for No. 7 Chesapeake last night, an omen of sorts - Chris Grove's unconventional first-period pin of Severna Park's Mike Zazarino - and the defending Class 4A-3A state champ Cougars were far from through in their highly anticipated Anne Arundel County showdown with the No. 10 Falcons.

Right after, Seppi Serio ground out a key 8-4 decision over Walker Babington, and then consecutive pins from Jake Couch, Chad LaPlanche and Tom Parry - a combined 4 minutes, 37 seconds on the mat - sent the Cougars on their way to a 49-24 win over the visiting Falcons.

Grove found himself caught in a cradle by Zazarino, but in doing so, the latter had his own shoulders on the mat. It turned out to be the first of many six-point efforts for the Cougars, who improved to 5-5 overall and remained perfect in Anne Arundel County (5-0). Severna Park (5-3) lost for the first time in county action after five wins.

"I was kind of confused," said Grove, who eventually had his hand raised. "But I looked up at my dad and he gave me a look like `You're OK.' I guess that's my lucky break for the year."

After the Cougars pins gave them the 27-0 lead, the Falcons got a forfeit win to cut the lead to 27-6 before the lighter weights went to work.

Chesapeake 103-pounder Josh O'Keefe kept the pressure on with a 9-1 major decision win over Scott Smith in one of the pivotal toss-up matches that went the Cougars' way.

"I just went out hard. We needed that win," said O'Keefe. "We knew our [early-season] schedule would help us. This shows where we are."

Chesapeake opened the tri-meet with a 52-17 win over Annapolis.

Serio got the first of three Chesapeake pins at 160 when he decked Eric Lawrence in the third period. Couch (189) and LaPlanche (215) also came away with pins for the Cougars, who clinched early, with Annapolis choosing to forfeit at 103, 112, 119 and 125.

Severna Park also had its way against Annapolis with a 54-20 win in the second match of the night.

The Falcons got pins from Scott Smith (103), Mike Smythe (119), Tom Massie (130), Babington (171), Matt Jarry (189) and heavyweight Brian Payer.

Annapolis got strong performances from Ben Graham (135) and Andrew Smith (140), both of whom earned major decision wins against Chesapeake and technical falls against their Severna Park counterparts.

Sun staff writer Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.

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