Purpora wins in 2nd OT, lifts Bel Air in Edgewood tourney

10 Bobcats among top 6

Rising Sun is runner-up


High Schools

January 26, 2003|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Bel Air's fifth-ranked Joe Purpora entered the two-day Edgewood Invitational knowing the road to a title would be difficult.

His weight class included ranked wrestlers Justin Brown of Aberdeen and Jeremy Navarre of Joppatowne. When Brown beat Navarre, 5-3, in the semifinals to avenge an earlier 9-0 loss, it set up a title match with Purpora to determine current bragging rights as Harford County's best 215-pounder.

Purpora (16-1) also was saddled with the pressure of having to win for the Bobcats to edge Rising Sun for the team crown. Thanks to his conditioning and good fortune, Purpora edged Brown, 2-1, in double overtime when his rival was penalized a point for forcing him out of bounds - a technical violation.

Andrew Stephenson (119) and C.J. Malinowski (140) were runners-up for the Bobcats, who placed 10 wrestlers in the top six to edge Rising Sun, 183.5-181, despite the Tigers' individual titles from Justin Olin (112), Zach Dawson (119) and Erik Williams (171).

"I'd rather win by escaping on my own, but I guess he had a tough time holding me down," said Purpora, who also owns an 8-7 win over Navarre. "I'll see Brown in a dual meet this Wednesday, so a lot can happen between now and the county tournament."

Third-place finisher Mount Hebron - last year's 3A-4A state duals champ - had the most tournament winners with Cody Gormley (103), Kurtis Walther (125), Howard County and region champ Grant Gormley (130) and Zak Porta (152).

Porta (24-2) and Grant Gormley (23-3) pinned all three opponents, with Gormley finishing Rising Sun region runner-up Greg Benham at 5:30 of their title bout.

Cody Gormley (23-4), a freshman, and Walther, a senior first-year varsity wrestler, each won their first high school tournaments. Gormley led, 4-0, in an eventual 10-9 upset of Harford County runner-up Erick Brown (16-3) of Joppatowne. Walther led, 7-0, when he pinned Havre de Grace's Alex Wolverton in 2:36.

For fourth-place finisher Edgewood, Javance Payne (heavyweight) improved to 18-2 with his title, and teammate Ike Wright (145) to 17-2. Wright overcame a 3-2 deficit to hand North East's Kevin Prins his second loss, pinning him at 2:47.

"He had just gotten an escape," Wright said. "But he made a mistake by locking up with me and dropping to his knees. Then he leaned in and I caught him and threw him on his back."

Aberdeen's Mike Gibbons (140) won the night's best bout. Gibbons (13-1) scored a takedown with five seconds left in the first overtime of his 13-11 win over Bel Air's C.J. Malinowski (19-4).

Malinowski had trailed, 11-6, with 20 seconds left in regulation when his five-point headlock forced the extra session.

C. Milton Wright's Chris Norman (171) edged Havre de Grace's Tom Brochu, 2-0, for his title. C. Milton Wright's Bobby Moore (189) was runner-up to Howard's Phil Thomas (17-2), whose late reversal won the bout, 4-2.

Perryville's Tim Donnelson (112) won no individual crown, but he wrestled like a champion. Donnelson was born with no legs from his knees down and with only a thumb and two fingers on his right hand. He went 1-2 over the weekend and is 6-8 for the year.

The 17-year-old junior, who wears prostheses, impressed Rising Sun coach Dean Cox at an earlier tri-meet with his Tigers and Bohemia Manor.

"He pinned a kid from Bohemia Manor with a headlock," Cox said. "Tough kid."

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